Fixing Windows

In 1982 James Wilson and George Kelling proposed an academic theory they deemed the "Broken Window" theory.  The Encyclopedia Britannica ( describes how the theory connects serious crime to "a lengthier chain of events, theorizing that crime emanated from disorder and that if disorder were eliminated, then serious crime would not occur."

The final statement, in my view, sounds rather out of reach; nevertheless, the theory is worth our consideration.
When you and I see a neglected building (i.e. broken windows, unkept lawn, etc.), we tend to assume that either the structure is uninhabited or the owner rarely, if ever, monitors its condition.  Anyone eager for mischief sees an opportunity in such a place.  Unkept and neglected locations serve as easy or, at least, more appealing targets.

In the Old Testament book of 2 Kings, the author relays an interesting fact.

He issued this edict because a Passover like this had not been observed since the days of the judges; it was neglected for the entire period of the kings of Israel and Judah.
2 Kings 23:22 (NET)
That verse follows the account of King Josiah giving his order, one which greatly pleased God, to the people of Judah to "Celebrate the Passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant." 

Due to the neglect practiced by kings previous to Josiah and priests prior to Hilkiah, the Hebrew people held not the annual feast of their people that reminded them of God's great deliverance of their forebears from death in Egypt.  Neglect led to spiritual stagnation and forgetfulness of the grace of God.  The windows of the kingdom of Judah were broken.

The Bible is full of "broken window" stories.
- David kept looking at the beautiful bather.
- Solomon grew attracted to his wealth.
- Lot's wife failed to face forward.
- Judas lost focus on the true prize.
- Peter chose the security of secrecy.

The result?
- David felt the pain of loss.
- Solomon saw the kingdom headed toward division.
- Lot's wife lost her life.
- Judas lost hope and took his own life.
- Peter heard the rooster and felt the sting of failure.

Broken windows led to grief, disillusionment, shame, and even death.

About a month ago, a couple of young men broke into my office by breaking a window.  We fixed it quickly.  I am thankful for that as our temperatures have been in the single digits.  I am thankful, also, because my office is tended to - not neglected.

What in your world needs tending?  What in your life suffers neglect?

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  
2 Corinthians 13:5a (NIV)


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