Dissect a crowd’s reaction at any emergency situation and you will observe at least six types of people: Victims; Helpers; Runners; Strollers; Gawkers; and the Defiant. Type one victims have no clue they are in serious trouble. Police call them ‘walking victims’, they are about to be a victim, they are simply unaware at the moment out of ignorance or willful disregard for the obvious; “I need help?” Type two victims do not require anyone to tell them that things are bad and getting worse. They have a deep comprehension of the desperation of their situation because they are physically and emotionally involved; “I need help!” Helpers, are typically emergency personnel, they see the need and rise to the occasion to render first aid to the victim but also to protect others from similar harm; “I will help”. Runners are those who hear the helpers telling them, “Get back!” They recognize the problem, observe its continued threat, and adhere to the helper’s plea to flee and run from the area; “I can help by not being here”. Strollers see the same emergency situation and reluctantly, slowly and half-heartedly walk away with a continual stare over their shoulder to keep an eye on the unfolding situation; “I don’t care to help”. Gawkers due the minimal that the helpers have demanded. They get as close to the danger as possible without crossing the thin blue warning line; “I will not help the helpers”. Finally, the defiant group ignores all signs of trouble, breaks through or covertly recons the scene seeking its weak point so they can get a closer look; “I will impede the helpers and the victim’s help”.
The entire world apart from Jesus Christ is in the victim status. Many are type one victims in that they do not know, either willingly or unbeknownst to them that their sin separates them from a loving God. The Bible says that the world is ignorant of their status (Eph. 4:17-19). Still, others are type two victims. When they finally grasp the peril of their situation and begin to cry out for help, Jesus answers their cry. Jesus describes a tax collector who beat his chest and cried out for help (Luke 18:13). Helpers are those who actually do what Jesus has commanded, “Go and make disciples”. They are in the trenches seeking the lost, careful of their own possible fate as they tangle with sin and sinners but unflinching in their attack. Paul and many others know the price of being a helper but press on regardless (2 Corth. 11:24-27). Runners are those who understand that sin is deadly and they must flee from its presence or fall prey to its enticement. Joseph ran from Potiphar’s wife because her temptation was too powerful for him to withstand if he had stayed (Gen. 39). Strollers are the proud ones who see the danger and very hesitantly walk away with constant looks over the shoulder at the sin that so easily entangles them. During the destruction of the valley of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s wife strolled while Lot ran. Her end was self-destruction (Gen. 19:26). Gawkers are the arrogant ones who only go as far away from sin as they are forced. If there were no lines or people telling them to get back they would walk right up to the sin thinking themselves beyond its icy grasp. King David must have considered himself beyond sin’s death spear as he stared at a women, called her to his home and went down the infamous and often followed road of sensual temptation leading to self-destruction and agony (2 Sam. 11). Defiant individuals perceive fully what is occurring and can’t wait to get past the barriers, walk up to the sin and eagerly devour the grotesqueness. They are engrossed with what they see, can’t get enough and think destruction cannot possibly happen to them because they’re not like the guy on the ground. They must get close enough to smell the scene, taste the putrid poison and drink it down. Adam and Eve had everything yet they could not stop looking at and eventually walking up to and partaking of the sin that has killed every man women and child since that fateful moment.
So which one are you…Victim…Helper…Runner…Stroller…Gawker…Defiant?