What’s Wrong?

Chris Jones by Chris Jones

What’s wrong with this world? It’s a question we’ve probably all asked ourselves at one time or another. Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer…or is there?

In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus is confronted with a question that’s familiar to many of us. “…An expert in religious law tried to trap him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?’ Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.'”

Did you catch that? “The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Obedience to God’s Word should be a natural byproduct of our lives, when we learn to completely love God and those with whom we share this world.

In 1 John 4:7-12, John says,

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

The answer, then, to any question of “what’s wrong with this world” might be best solved by answering the question of “what’s wrong with us”.

What sense is there in analyzing the world’s problems with religious and political debates, when our time is better spent finding ways to love one another? What meaning will we find in letting our differences divide us, when His love has come to unify us? What reward is there in capturing possessions for ourselves, when love should motivate us to willingly share with those in need?

“No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” (1 John 4:12) If people aren’t expereincing God’s love through you, what’s wrong?

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Posted on October 30, 2014, in Chris Jones, Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. This is certainly what we must all live by. As I get older, it appears that there is a separation from loving others and acceptance of differences. It is odd to me that my conservative lifestyle has now placed me in “the hater” generation. Truly I would give someone the shirt off my back and not question in one second what he/she would do with that shirt. Yet, being happily married, a faith-based christian, loving the sanctity of life as well as desiring limited governmental control of my life has now placed me in a group that “hates people and their lifestyle. Please help me understand that premise “Mr. Wise one”.

    Rules & structure help maneuver through chaos. The 10 commandments seem like a “no brainer” to me but diversity is asking that we throw these christian rules away. I know I am going off on a tangent but overheard the strangest comment the other day and it just pushed me over the edge. Sadie Robertson was performing on “Dancing with the Stars” and a group of males stated…we aren’t voting for her because her grandfather is homophobic. Really?!? First of all, you vote on the performance and dancing capabilities not her personal beliefs and second of all…her grandfather is not dancing.

    Can we all just get back to the basic foundation and get everyone’s sex life out of the public eye and politics. Who you sleep with is your business not mine and it should not be mandated that I get involved. So yes, I love my neighbor as myself but I do believe that this biblical principle needs to be reciprocated.

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    • I love your comment, Pam. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to respond to in a simple reply. It really merits a conversation.

      My primary thoughts lead me to consider how sadly Jesus Christ and His love are misrepresented by “Christianity”. I believe we (the church as a whole) find ourselves having to defend our faith because we don’t live it. Honestly, Christians just haven’t done a great job of just loving people. We’ve grown so far away from what the church was developing into in Acts. It makes me sad. We’ve retreated into our buildings, removed ourselves from public institutions, stockpiled our financial resources in the form of personal possessions, and allocated only the spare bits and pieces of our time to works of ministry to others. Perhaps this is a little harsh. It’s not that I can’t think of many exceptions to these generalizations. It’s just that I shouldn’t have to think so hard to find those exceptions, in a country that largely considers itself to be a Christian Nation.

      Whether it’s right or not, it’s the negative contact “the church” in America has with “the world”, that gets the most popular attention. Seemingly by default, it has gotten to the point that, whenever a Christian opens their mouth to express their opinion, it’s interpreted offensively. The question is, what do we do about it. I wrote a post a while back, that I think speaks to this point well:

      https://witnessrunner.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/right-of-way/

      In terms of thinking that embracing diversity or acceptance of others challenges adherence to Biblical commands, I’m not sure I see that. Perhaps that’s relative to one’s definition of those terms, each of which seems to have grown to mean different things to different people. Personally, I’m only a fan of celebrating diversity to the extent that it doesn’t overshadow all the ways in which we’re the same. I love that God painted this world with variety among our cultures and physical appearances. I’m a much greater fan, however, of celebrating the fact that we’re all brothers and sisters in Christ, made in God’s image and called to His purpose.

      Sadly, not even everyone within the church can agree on what the “foundation” is. My perspective seems adequately supported in the above post, that this foundation is simply loving the people we come into contact with, as representatives of Jesus Christ. I can imagine a successful attempt to change this world, that doesn’t begin there.

      I’m not sure that any of this even begins to respond to your comment. I do, however, appreciate you starting the conversation, and hope others will chime in.

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  2. I reread the Right of Way. It does help to remind me to be compassionate. That is a strength that I am willing to hold on to. Helping those in need, the less fortunate as the Bible states. There is no right or wrong in “Loving others”. Again that seems to be a “no brainer”. This could very easily be just a mid-life crisis as I look back on my life and the choices I made.These decisions make me rethink where my energies need to be placed. You are right the church is often clouded with what the foundation “is”. I remember a Bible study that spent several sessions on “if Jesus was a baby when the wise men came to visit or if he was two years old” and “did Jesus really turn water into wine or was it grape juice”. Seriously, those details are immaterial. That is exactly what the enemy wants to do; cloud your thinking with frivolous details. Forget about loving God and others to focus on whether personal habits are keeping you from the crown of glory.

    I began to withdraw from participation in many church activities because I often have very different views from what the foundation “is”. Yet, I still am at the alter asking for forgiveness for myself and trying to lead a life worthy of Christ. My premise for all of this is… as generations come and go, we need to realize that as you continue to become numb to others around you that Biblically-speaking we are preparing ourselves for not recognizing truth from untruth. Diversity is not the clothing styles or lifestyle choices that many think we are suppose to embrace. Diversity is respecting others in any situation where their faith or ethnicity is impacting decisions. At work when its is “Bacon Friday” and you have those that don’t eat bacon because of their faith or that they are vegetarian that they are excused from eating bacon. Clearly it is not an excuse for productivity or entitlement but freedom from persecution.

    My concern is a country that was founded on religious freedom and escape from England’s tyrannical rule are now imposing rules that are bringing us right back to what we spent hundreds of years to escape. All of the clamoring’s of others to embrace freedom for every minority (ethnicity, personal lifestyle choices, etc…) seems to be okay when its the freedom that you believe in. I am not an English major or a journalist so my ramblings seem to make me continue to go in circles. I am sure we are saying the same thing but I can’t seem to elaborate on my frustration.

    I can only speak for myself and choices that were made for my family household. We made sacrifices early in our lives to provide for what we thought was a strong biblical foundation for our children. We worked. Both Tom and I have gone to further our education while married and raising kids. One of us either worked a night shift so the other could succeed in their dreams. Sacrifices to succeed and provide for yourself and your family is what I think I am frustrated with. Blaming your circumstances or others for your “lack of” is what I struggle with. No one knows the shoes that you have walked in to get where you are.

    Truly I want to help others but I don’t believe in giving them fish but instead teaching them how to fish. I don’t want to enable a generation that will continue to look for others to support them. This will eventually lead us right back to tyrannical rule. We are definitely heading in that direction.

    I need to take a break for now but eventually will need to revisit. I seem to have a deep frustration in this area as it is affecting my interactions with others lately. If you see me at the alter on Sunday…just say a prayer for me.

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