“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.