This year and the past several years have been dominated by news of sexual harassment, assault, and rape worldwide. The spotlight seems to have been shone on the mistreatment of women worldwide at work and home. And it has been happening for centuries.
Also, the spotlight has illuminated the many shootings of black men by the police, but not only black men, other men and women of color, and many white people. And it seems that some people want to make the police our enemies, but like it or not, we need them. Often our troubles with the police are brought on by the way we treat them and how 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 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 ’80s, the teaching in the church was all about going to heaven when we die. That is still the teaching for the most part, but in the last six or seven years, I have become 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 homeland. 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 thoughts about other people have changed over the last few years because I have realized how much the Lord truly loves me. But of course, He loves me more than I love myself. So, the more I experience his love for me, the more I love myself and those around me.
The more acceptance I feel from the Lord, the more accepting of others I become. 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.
Some people are aware of God’s love and 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.
Our 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 is change, in one way or another. Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the difference 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 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 think 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 think 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 excellent work and can bring it to completion. Jesus, the risen King!