Over the last 5 or 6 months i have been caught up in the news cycle. I turn on the tv and see the Malaysian Airliner disappear with out a trace and am mystified by what i am seeing. I see our government drawing “red lines” when people are being brutally murdered by their own government with chemical weapons. We are all appalled and what happens? Nothing! And i merrily go on to the next news story and soon the people that are being slaughtered in Syria become a distant memory. They almost become fictional characters in a movies. By the way, that is not an indictment on a political party or political persuasion. It is an indictment on me!
I have become numb at the carnage, apathetic to the plight of humanity, and comfortable in my casual Christianity. As a Christian, these things should plunge into my soul like a wrecking ball and completely rearrange me. I just move on to the next news cycle and say things like, ‘that’s too bad’, ‘somebody ought to do something’, or ‘why is our government uninvolved?’. I must be honest. Sometimes i am so overwhelmed that i do not know where to start or what to do. So I take a path of least resistance and do nothing. I am like the guy on Monday who has all the answers as to why my team didn’t win and if they would just listen to me the Superbowl would be an inevitability. So what do i do for what is going on in the world? How do i make an impact? How do i keep from becoming jaded? How do i keep from becoming apathetic and judgmental?
First, i must change my thinking (Romans 12:1-2) and realize that as a christian my world view must be guided by Biblical principals. However, many times we are lazy theologically and just regurgitate what we have always heard. We must ‘study to show ourselves approved’. If we really believe the Word of God then we have a precious gift that can impact the world. I am convinced now more than ever, Jesus Christ can bring the healing our world needs. We Christians must not just deliver sermons and homilies that make us feel better but we must BE the sermon and homily to a hurting and wayward world. I’d rather see a sermon than hear a sermon.
Second, i must be motivated by the love of God. This is preeminent if we are to make a lasting difference in our world. I am so weary of the hate that is disguised as concern. I must never forget where i was and how far God reached down to me to save me. If i do that then i cannot spew hate or indifference. If i believe that, then it is incumbent upon me to act in love. Let me just say, love is not license and we cannot abandon our Christian world view for the sake of compromise. We can, however, liberally love those we disagree with on any issue. This is the great challenge of the church today. I do not have to agree with homosexuality but i am compelled by the love of God to love the homosexual. I do not have to agree with Jihadist but i must not be indifferent or swallowed up by hatred. That hate does not destroy them it destroys me. It has been said, “not forgiving another person is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. How can i love God whom i have never seen and hate a person who is standing right in front of me? We all have our presuppositions but we all MUST LOVE. It is the very heart of God. Remember, ‘God is love’.
Lastly, i must do something! I always tell my congregation that each one of them is created in Christ for a purpose. We are all on a journey to find that purpose. My life’s calling is to help people find that purpose. You may be saying, ‘i have no idea what my purpose is’. Let me suggest something simple. If you are a carpenter then go and build things for Christ and make a ministry. If you are a mechanic go and change oil for widows in your community for free. If you are a dentist use that to help the less fortunate. In doing these things we will find a higher calling and purpose to what we do. Let us not be busy building our own personal kingdoms but let us be passionately building God’s Kingdom.
I am building my life around those principals and i am seeing my church do the same. To change the world we must start with ourselves and work outward. We then move to our family and friends, community, state and world. You can make a difference with the Love of Christ.