What the world needs now is you

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There is a mean-spiritedness prevalent in our society today and we need to counter it as Christians in the marketplace. Donald Trump’s success is not because of Donald Trump, it’s because his message and bullish attitude has connected with a large number of people who are not happy with the way things are and feel powerless to do anything about it. That now-famous line from the movie Network seems to capture a widespread sentiment among many people who feel threatened by terrorism, immigration and the huge cultural changes that are shifting away from white control to a multicultural, multiracial reality: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Well, welcome to the new world. You can throw your window open, stick your neck out and yell that to your heart’s content, but it’s not going to change anything. The forces of change are already in motion. We’re not going to go back to a simpler time — to the way things used to be. We need to adjust to a changing world, and reflect a different attitude from the prevailing “kick some butt” approach.

First, we need to cultivate an overall graciousness whenever we are operating in the public square, which would include being at work or just being out and about meeting people and engaging with the public in any way. We need to be kind and accepting towards those who are different from us. We need to be understanding and give people the chance to express themselves. We need to be calm and not shout others down. We’re not trying to win anything or get anything back; we’re trying to learn to live together with those who are different.

Second, we need to cultivate compassion — not only caring for the needs of the disabled or the less fortunate because their needs are often so obvious, but for everyone. A large part of compassion is empathy. That would be an ability to stand in someone else’s shoes and see the world from their point of view, or feel their pain, know their fear, or experience their helplessness.

And finally, we need to cultivate an overall attitude of respect for every human being no matter who they are or what they represent. Our enemy is not flesh and blood. Our enemy is the evil one, and when we make people or groups of people our enemies we are playing right into his hand. Learn to see the image of God in everyone. It’s there. We’re just not looking hard enough.

Think of what it took for you to know Christ and experience His love and forgiveness. Think of what a scoundrel you are and how He loves you anyway. Realize there would be no hope for you were it not for God’s grace in your life in giving you what you don’t deserve. Now give that same grace out to everyone you meet because that’s what God does. Do this and you will be a champion of grace turned outward, and grace turned outward is not only what every person in the world needs, it’s what society needs as well. Do this and you will be an agent for good in the world. You will be giving the world just what it needs.

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11 Responses to What the world needs now is you

  1. Awesome words. Thank you!

  2. Sandie says:

    Thinking about my how I shirk my responsibility as a believer, a song I used to cover came to mind – Scott Roley’s Within My Reach. We look for this BIG thing we’re going to do for the Lord…when all the while we miss the little things that would add up to GREAT things. I need to pay more attention to what is at hand.
    Another song just came to mind…”We’re on another witchhunt – looking for evil wherever we can find it – off on a tangent, hope the Lord won’t mind it” – “takin’ away from all our Gospel labor – on a crusade, but we forgot the Savior.” (Petra) Guilty here too…
    I think I’m better than I used to be…maybe I need to live up to all those things I preached and taught when God afforded me a bigger platform…just take care of whatever and whoever He puts within my reach. That should keep me busy.

  3. Dan says:

    This article is partisan (and ill-informed) social/political writing of the worst order, made worse by recruiting the gospel in a specific political interest. However the outlines of the welcome mat are now completely clear. Concerned politically conservative people are racist. Good to know.

    • Sandie says:

      Dan – I believe you missed the point. Believers are supposed to be about the Gospel first and look at everything through that lens. I speak as a Christian who just happens to be a Second Amendment advocate and life-long conservative. As John said, people who don’t believe the same way aren’t my enemies – they are fellow travelers with the same hopes and dreams – we just have to agree to disagree on how to best achieve them. Satan is the real enemy and he is kicking up his heels with joy at seeing us all at each other’s throats. We need to look for the best in other’s and not second-guess their motives…if we don’t, remember it’s a two-way street. And the best is there because we are all made in God’s image. Only God knows the heart and only God can change a heart (an old Dion song). If you look to get offended you will never be disappointed. Blessings and all the best to you.
      Colossians 3:12-17
      Phillipians 4:8,9

      • Sandie, I agree with you (and with John) I am afraid that Dan really did miss the point as he got stuck in the politics of today’s world and forgot about the love, compassion and challenge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. I see nothing in John’s article about conservative people being racist. I only see that racist people are racist. Big difference. Normally only those who tend to fear ones who are different than they are tend to be racists and would challenge it. Jesus’ commands were simple: “Love God. Love your neighbor” Sometimes we are able to follow the first but many in our country often do a terrible job of the second.

      • jwfisch says:

        Yes, but had I left the politics alone, he wouldn’t have gotten stuck on it. Using a gospel platform as an opportunity to make a political point is wrong. My bad.

      • jwfisch says:

        Be sure and see my reply to Dan.

    • jwfisch says:

      Hey everybody, Dan is one of my best friends. He probably knows me better than anybody. He always talks to me like this. And he’s right. I was looking for an opportunity to skewer the man and should have resisted, though the overall positive message of the article I stand behind.

  4. Terri Main says:

    Amen! The last thing Christians need to do is get “in your face.” We need to be a refreshing oasis of love and compassion in a hate-filled world.

  5. hahimes says:

    I just love this and appreciate seeing it “out loud” so much. (You and Marti, too, John, by the way) Seems as if graciousness gets panned these days in favor of the “in your face”, “kick some butt” approaches. Oh for more graciousness, compassion, openness to understand… May God give us the strength to be that way with others and with ourselves.

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