This year and the past several years have been dominated by news of sexual harassment, assault, and rape from around the world. The spotlight seems to have been shone on mistreatment of women around the world, at work, and at home. And it has been happening for centuries.

Also, the spotlight has been shone on the many shootings of blacks men by the police, but not only black men, other men and women of color, and many white people as well. And it seems that some people want to make the police our enemies. Like it or not, we need them. Many times our troubles with the police are brought on by the way we treat them and the way we treat one another. Think about it. You’ll get it. They have a very stressful and dangerous job.

So with the news of so many assaults, not just against women, but people in general, it makes me sometimes wonder if the world is getting better or if it is getting worse. I have asked the question before in other blog posts, did the death and resurrection of Jesus accomplish something for the “here and now?”

When I became a believer back in the 80’s the teaching in the church was all about going to heaven when we die. That still is the teaching for the most part, but, in the last six or seven years, I have come to be more convinced that the world and its people have been changing for the better.

The Holocaust during WW2 spotlighted the mistreatment of the Jewish people in Europe. The result, a new Israeli state in their own land. They still face many troubles but things are still changing.

The civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a NON-VIOLENT approach accomplished a great deal. Laws changed. Things got better, but we are not finished yet. The troubles we seem to be facing today are proof of that. But things are still changing.

So, are we getting better or are we getting worse? My own thoughts about other people have changed over the last few years. This is because over the years I have come to realize how much the Lord truly loves me. He loves me more than I love myself. But the more I see his love for me the more I love myself and those around me.

embrace_the_LordThe more acceptance I feel from the Lord, the more accepting of others I become. This is because He accepts me right where I am, before anything changes, if ever. He simply loves me. I believe the Lord feels the same way about all people, and that’s another reason my feelings about the people around me are changing for the better.

clipart-love-heart-buncee_clipart__hearts_08Some people are aware of God’s love and they allow it to affect them in positive ways as it should. Some of those people aren’t even “Christians.” Most of them are labeled as liberals because they care about the welfare of all people. Well then, I guess I am a liberal as well. I’m still changing.

prostest_russiaOur peaceful marches and demonstrations are effective, even when they happen in Russia or Iran or North Korea, or some other place we consider horrible. It may cause us to be attacked, ridiculed, treated even worse, but, the result will change, in one way or another. Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the change it has caused in all men and women, change will eventually come.

There may be war. But it will cause people to change because no one really wants war. Those who do want war will eventually be drowned out and overruled. Deep down I believe we all want good things for all people.

I believe the world is headed for peace. Does that mean we won’t face new conflicts and clashes with one another as individuals and nations? Does it mean there won’t be any more wars? I seriously doubt it. But I do believe we are better people than we think we are, and that is because I believe that people have changed since the resurrection. I believe the Holy Spirit is hard at work in all people to open hearts and minds to the ways of love. Resistance is futile.

I don’t know if I have communicated my thoughts here very well. I do hope I have provoked your thinking though. I believe the world is getting better even though it doesn’t look that way most of the time, I believe people will eventually learn to accept and treat one another with love and respect. How can I say that? Faith. My faith is in the one who started this good work and who is able to bring it to completion. Jesus, the risen King!

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018!