“We have to be the people we want everyone else to be.” (see yesterday’s Catch)
We could spend weeks on this, but given the current climate, at least a few days would be good. John sent us an arresting video of Michael Jackson’s song “Man in the Mirror,” a song that says the same thing. We are the only ones who can make the changes in the world that we want to live in, and it starts there. It starts with us.
It’s so easy to complain and be afraid of the way things are going in the world. Wars, hunger, homelessness, poverty, and people holding other people in contempt — there is so much that can bring you down and make you feel helpless to change. But that is a feeling we do not have to give in to, because no matter how horrible the world gets, you and I can always do something.
Think about all the bad things about the world, and all the bad things you can do about that — you can complain, be afraid, blame, hide, grieve, condemn — all that negative reaction takes time and energy and bleeds constructive energy away from anything you could contribute to make the world better.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been so obsessed about the cheating scandal that they think gave the 2017 World Series to the Houston Astros instead of them, that they may have a difficult time focusing on getting ready for another season. At some point you have to move on and make a positive contribution to the current situation.
Focusing on negativity can pull you down and render you ineffective for change while even the slightest push in a positive direction can start a chain reaction of good. Keep thinking, “What can I do?”
Dr. Arthur Brooks, in his talk on loving your enemies at the recent National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C., concluded with three things we could do to change the culture of contempt that seems to have gripped the country. The third thing is the most bold.
He said to actually “go looking for contempt so you have the opportunity to answer it with love. I know that sounds crazy, to go looking for something so bad. But for leaders, contempt isn’t like the flu. It’s an opportunity to share your values and change our world, which is what leadership is all about, isn’t it?”
Look for opportunities to love your enemies and return good for evil. That will make a difference. No matter how small, it will be significant, as long as you trust the Lord to put the love you need in your heart, and jump in by faith.
“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear-minded and sober, so that you can pray. Above all, love one another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without complaining.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange were happening to you.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Indeed, none of you should suffer as a murderer or thief or wrongdoer, or even as a meddler.
But if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed (or insulted or indignant or fractious or unlovely), but glorify God that you bear that name….
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should entrust their souls to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”
~ 1 Peter 4
Something many people (particularly many in leadership) seem to forget is that the most Christlike person, Jesus Himself, was despised and rejected by most everyone including those closest to Him.
So, if we endeavor to follow His example then we must expect and be prepared to be treated no better than He was.
And, yet, we must behave in a manner worthy of His Name and, just like Him, be loving, gracious, humble, and forgiving until the very end – whether we see results or not.
Regardless how difficult it may be, we must purpose to follow His Way which leads to true Truth and real Life and Perfect Shalom, Peace that passes all understanding.
Like to ask who wrote this? Isn’t common curiosity to have an author’s name assigned to an article?
So sorry my mistake, & plz forgive me, I seen it’s posted by Posted on February 20, 2020 by jwfisch
I think wat threw me off was: :.. John sent us an arresting video..” talking about John in the third person…
That was an easy mistake, Mark. I was referring to John Fagliano who sent the video based on yesterday’s Catch. I normally don’t use last names in Catches. I almost did this time to avoid the confusion. Probably should have.