In my recent trips to the USA, I heard the same phrase over and over again from believers: “America is going in the wrong direction.” During the past few weeks, America was in shock and deeply grieved over the massacre in Connecticut, where a teenager murdered small children and their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary. This was just one indication that something is terribly wrong in America, and indeed throughout the world. The sad reality is that it is not just America that is going in the wrong direction; we see evidence of similar things in Europe and Australia as well.
Many believers are pointing fingers at their President, the government, and the Rise of Islam, etc. I recently even saw a T-shirt where the following message was written: “Dear God, why do you allow so much violence in our schools?” Signed, a concerned student. And the reply was “Dear concerned student, I am not allowed in schools” Signed, God.
At the risk of sounding calloused and maybe even insensitive, I believe we are looking at it all wrong. It is very easy for followers of Messiah to point fingers and blame others for all that is wrong in the world, instead of asking ourselves what we are doing to prevent it. It is easy to blame such a tragic event like the one that took place in Connecticut on the mere fact that God is out of the schools, instead of pointing the finger back at ourselves.
The reason God has been taken out of the schools in the US, and that these heinous crimes are happening is simply because we as God’s followers have been very comfortable with where we are. In many ways, we are running away from bringing the Good News into this world. We are running away from making a real difference in peoples’ lives; we are running away from confronting wrong-doings; we are running away from calling evil by its true name, for fear that we might appear fanatic or extreme. Yes, the harsh truth is that we are too comfortable with just doing our good deeds, afraid of being pushed out of our comfort zones in the name of “not offending anyone” or “being politically correct”.
If we look to Yeshua, our ultimate example, we can clearly see He was not interested in “keeping the peace” or being politically correct. He was not afraid to call evil by its name, and challenge the status quo of His day, even to the point of calling the religious hypocrites “brood of vipers” multiple times. Everything He did was done in love and with a zeal for righteousness, which is something we must also have at the forefront of our minds in these times.
I would like to challenge all of us, the ones that call ourselves God’s true followers, to take a really good look at our lives and ask God to show us the areas that He would like us to change within ourselves, in order that we can impact the world around us. This world is in desperate need of revival, a return to God; we, His followers, have not only the privilege to call ourselves that, but also the responsibility to make a difference in this world.
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