What We Really Need
There has been an unbelievable amount of tragedy lately. Death. Racism. Innocence crushed. Valuable lives lost. Everywhere you look, it seems, there is another headline broadcasting yet another painful event.
Amidst these horrific events we are left broken, confused, angry, doubtful, shocked, outraged, and deeply saddened. There’s been a lot of talk and opinions expressed. There’s been ideas and thoughts exchanged. Brilliant minds are wondering what can we do and how we can fix things. But I think we need to remember one important thing.
All of this–the suffering, the injustice, the pain, the death, the cruelty, the senseless violence–is a sign of what is true of our world. It’s broken.
I’m not one to have a doom and gloom outlook on the world we live in. God made the world and said His creation is good. It was good and it is good. But there is also the painful reality that things are not as they should be.
It’s not okay for young men to be gunned down.
It’s not okay for prejudice to exist in our world.
It’s not okay for terrorism to strike again and again.
It’s not okay for us to try and pick sides or pinpoint causes or rationalize any of it.
It’s all wrong. And it hurts God.
I heard Rob Bell talk recently on a podcast about how there are certain words that we can’t throw away because they are the only words that truly describe what is happening. One of these words is sin. It’s an ugly word. It just sounds bad rolling off the tongue. But it’s needed, isn’t it?
What do we call racial profiling?
What do we call innocent people killed?
What do we call terrorism?
We call it sin.
Sin is real and rampant in our world.
There is no denying its presence. To make matters worse, we can’t fix it, take it away, or educate people enough to help them overcome it. It’s here to stay. What we need, and what this world most desperately needs, is a savior.
We need Jesus.
Maybe that sounds too idealistic or far-fetched. (Perhaps it is. And perhaps that’s okay.)
All I know is that what we’re seeing and hearing and feeling is not going to be fixed by politics or measures or bills being passed.
What we need is going to come from another place. It’s going to come from knowing God.
When I was younger, I thought I could change the world. I thought a book or the right sermon or a blog could bring about the needed change.
There’s was this sense of unbridled optimism in my life. It makes sense. When we care deeply about what’s happening in the world, we long to do something. But the truth is, I can’t change the world. And–sorry– neither can you.
But Jesus can.
In fact, right now, He is changing the world. One person at a time. One act of kindness and love. One gesture of humanity towards another fellow human being.
Things in this world are broken and sinful and lost…but there’s also light and love and kindness and compassion and forgiveness.
Instead of trying to change the world, perhaps we should look at our own lives.
How are we loving others? How are we being generous? How are we repaying evil with good?
I can’t stop violence or terrorism or fix the brokenness of the world. But I can love my fellow brothers and sisters. I can pray. I can point people to Jesus. And if we do that together, maybe, just maybe, the world will start to be a better place.
I heard a message by Bob Goff recently at a conference. He told the audience that what we need in this world right now is people who simply “Focus on Jesus.” He beseeched us not to worry about what people are saying or even the need to have an opinion on this or that.
Just focus on Jesus. Live in grace and walk in love.
I love that. The truth is, I don’t have answers. I’m confused and baffled and saddened by things in this world. I don’t have solutions.
But what I can do is, I can focus on Jesus.
Let us pray His will be done and His Kingdom come.
Let us strive together to make the world a better place by being people who focus on Jesus.
Because that, my friends, is what we really need.