Lawlessness - It really is a word. It describes people who are not restrained or controlled by law. Lawlessness is found in society, nature, government, religion. It's all over the world, but since we have not been out in other regions of the world in many years, I can only speak about what I know to be in Nicaragua.
I see it out in society whenever I leave my home to run errands. Something so simple as waiting your turn in a line is nonexistent. Everyone moving and pushing to be first. There is no longer respect for the elderly, the young pregnant woman or the incapacitated to have first seating or first service. Or a person is forced to step off the sidewalk into the street because a group of people decide to walk abreast and not step into single file for even a moment. There is no respect for another's possessions, if they want it, they will take it.
Nicaragua is a beautiful country, but it is hard to see that because of all the trash and filth that litters the neighborhoods and streets. I have seen people walk to the door of their home and throw out papers and trash into the yard and street. In the commercial areas, trash bins are ignored. A person will open up whatever is in their hand and throw the wrapper immediately on the ground; this also includes plastic bottles, paper plates and leftover food. Rat infestation is a HUGE problem everywhere.
The government does not keep their own laws or enforce them to the people. The reigning President has abolished term limits and will be in office indefinitely. The police make traffic stops in hopes of receiving bribes; some of the stops are for no purpose - it's their word against yours. The people do not observe traffic laws and driving is now very dangerous.
The final category is religion. We have attended several churches in our years living here and we do not hear teaching about adultery, pregnancy outside of marriage, abortion, physical abuse, sexual abuse, lying and truth, a person's responsibility to their family and community. All of these topics seem to be taboo in the church. If the church will not talk about them, how do the young people learn? They definitely are not talked about in the home.
One of our programs is to teach everyday life skills, respect for authority, each other and the environment. Many times it's a continuous battle, Americans vs. Nicaraguaneses. There is not a month that goes by that we do not hear "well, you are Americans, it's different here". We tell them that the laws of society and nature should apply everywhere. When they don't want to believe us, I love to take the "American excuse" out of the argument by turning to scripture and telling them what God has to say about the matter.
As we get older, we also have to weigh our aging against societal changes to determine the extent of what our tolerance should be. However, there is never an excuse for a lack of goodness, kindness, and love no matter how old or young.
Please pray for us and our ability to continue to teach what is good and true.