Adolf Hitler

There is a book and movie about the life of Adolf Hitler that has generated a considerable amount of criticism because they reveal his human side. He is not depicted as a homicidal maniac but as a person with characteristics and behaviors like us. We are most uncomfortable with this. We want him to be as much unlike us as possible. We want him to be a mad man from his youth to his death. We do not want to acknowledge his oratorical talents and mastery of human psychology. If he is like us then logic might suggest we also could mastermind the horror of a holocaust—an ugly truth we would rather not face.

Unfortunately, psychological research reveals the unpleasant truth that most people under certain stimuli will actually do the things of their nightmares. The battle has raged for years. Are we evil by nature or are we basically good? The answer seems to be “Yes.” On any given day we are capable of incredible acts of unselfishness and self-sacrifice. There is a bit—albeit just a bit of saintliness in us all.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24.

It is a blow to our dignity to think we cannot be good enough to be saved. Nevertheless, once we get over it and face the truth, it is at that point that we receive The Gift—the justifying grace of Jesus Christ.

Written February 2, 2003