Who robs a blind man? Who mocks someone who is bald? Who curses someone who is deaf? Who looks at someone in adversity and takes advantage of their limitations? It sounds like bullies on the playground, but God warned the children of Israel, “You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord” (Lev. 19:14). I read that and thought, “Why would someone do that?”
People can be mean. Meanness comes from selfishness. Someone is smarter, prettier, faster, or has something another person wants, and selfishness acts outs in mean ways. It steals possessions, knocks the pretty girl into the mud, or ridicules the smart kid. Parents should teach their children to control their selfish tendencies and not be mean. However, many kids are raised by childish parents who exemplify the same childish behaviors in adult ways. They yell at teachers, scold referees, and laugh at the disadvantaged. This has de-civilized our society. However, there is more to cursing the deaf than just meanness.
People who take advantage of others feel safe. They think, “The deaf man cannot hear me, so I can curse him all I want and get away with it.” Or “That blind man will never know who put a rock in his path.” When people think their actions are anonymous, or they won’t get caught, are emboldened to do hurtful things. Like people randomly knocking out unsuspecting individuals on public streets or creating anonymous online accounts to bully or bilk others. But meanness and anonymity do not completely explain why people abuse others.
God reveals the full extent of their hearts, “You shall fear your God.” Bad behavior, wickedness, and abuse arise when people do not fear God. To summarize Paul’s discussion in Romans 3:10-18, why do people turn aside and become worthless? Why do people lie, curse, deceive, steal, abuse, and murder? Paul answered with Psalm 36:1 “Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.”
Integrity means doing the right thing when nobody is looking. It means always keeping the fear of God in our hearts. It means remembering that though the blind may not see it, or the deaf hear it, God does. A sense of God’s presence helps us live to please him every day.