The ugly news about Dr. Larry Nassar, who has been found guilty of sexually abusing more than 130 young female athletes over many years, prompts us to ask, How can an intelligent, well educated person become such a “monster”?

Consider the following as a related parable: Fire in a furnace or at a campsite may be both lifesaving and heartwarming, but when a fire is out of control, in a house or in a forest, it is devastating. In that light, we could say that in terms of sexual desire. This is also true for individuals or for a nation.

God is the creator of our sexual nature, and he did so for the purpose of procreation and for an ongoing joyful, bonding experience between a husband and wife. However, if we ignore his standards, we reap devastating consequences. C. S. Lewis put it this way: “From the best gifts come the worst miseries if we are too foolish not to follow the giver’s directions.” How very, very true that is!

We can certainly blame the many negative influences of our society, but our “society” is simply individuals like ourselves. (Sadly, we see ourselves “represented” in our government.) We may not like to admit it, but individually there is a kind of corruption within us. Jesus spoke about the “sinfulness” of our hearts. See Matthew 15:19-20. But also through Jesus is the good news of forgiveness and empowerment to change. Without that, we too could become “monsters.”

ROY ANDERSON

Janesville

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