“The sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light” (Luke 16:8).
We’re bound to lose, you know. It’s baked in. No matter how close we get, no matter how hard we strive to preserve what’s left of public morality and common decency in this crumbling pagan society, we’re not going to win. And the reason for this is revealed in the quote above right from the lips of our Lord: They’re simply better at it than we are. “Better at what?” you ask. Navigating the world, manipulating processes, and reaching predetermined ends (recall our Lord’s trial). The “sons of light” are either ignorant of how such things are done or live by rules that preclude behaving in such a manner. They know that ends do not justify means and that they cannot do evil to bring about good. The “sons of this world” have no such scruples. But they are shrewd enough to know that their intentions must be covered. Though their minds are darkened unto righteousness, they are “enlightened” unto evil, and so their proud and impenitent hearts are ever manufacturing new ways to craft deceitful schemes. The sons of light simply can’t catch up, and do not wish to. AND THIS IS WHAT IS PLAYING OUT RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES.
“So what are the sons of light to do?” you ask. We can’t adopt their tactics, for in doing so they win in the worst way. What then? And here is the bad news: We shall ever lose in this world. And I fully believe that such is our Lord’s intention. His desire is that we look to Him, not the ballot box. Oh, we should continue to vote, assemble, and bear witness to what a truly just society would look like—of which today’s self-(un)righteous “social justice warriors” know nothing. But we must understand that this side of heaven, the deck is stacked against us. In a real way, it’s proof of our divine citizenship and of the justice of our cause—as if protecting life from the cradle to the grave and religious freedom needed vindication.
We’ve read the Book. In this world, the sons of light lose. We often do not understand. We ask ourselves, “How could God let this happen? We must always remember that the clay doesn’t talk back to the Potter; the clay finds its strength resting in the Potter’s hands. Moreover, because we have read the Book, we also know that ultimately, the sons of light do win—AND WIN BIG!
“The sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.” This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this happen; it won’t be the last. I really don’t mean to trivialize this. It’s infuriating. But I just mean to say, look to the One who will one day right all the wrongs. And in the meantime, let us be sure to keep our own hearts pure and always live as “sons and daughters of light.”