Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What the World Needs Now...

I have come across a few disturbing articles on the internet in my time. There is a lot that sucks in the world. I worry especially about our children, and the influences they will or may be exposed to. That's just background for the following insight.

It occurred to me that what the world needs is more people to be really good, exceptionally good.

And so, what the world needs from ME is to be exceptionally good.

But we often misunderstand what good means. A lot of "good people" are "shocked," "outraged," "offended," by what they see in the world, on the internet, in the behaviors of others. I don't think that is what the world needs. I don't recall anything about Jesus being shocked or outraged, except that one time when he was angry about the money changers and merchants in the temple area. More often, he was saddened. I remember the rich young man who didn't answer Jesus' call because he had many possessions, and how Jesus looked on him with love.

Any way, not to go on too long about it, I think what the world needs from me, from Christians, from all moral people, is exceptional goodness without the "moral outrage," but with mercy, compassion. It is a sad world, and the "bad people" who are making it a sad world are the saddest people of all. And they need from us, the example of goodness, and the balm of mercy and compassion.

Maybe we Christians can find a "right" and sometimes even a "duty" to "fight back" on some level, but I think the obligation to fight back is relatively rare, certainly not as common as we have come to see on the internet, all the outrage, and taking offense, and arguing and name-calling, even amongst Christians.

And of course, this applies firstly and mostly to those closest to me. To set an example of goodness, and to be merciful toward others who fall short of goodness. Being "good" doesn't give me a right to get offended or angry with someone else's bad behavior. But it probably gives me a duty to be more compassionate and merciful.

I'm going to try to start the new year with a resolution to strive to be both exceptionally good, good in everything, not making allowances for myself, and my questionable behavior, while also making allowances for others, praying for their weakness and struggles, forgiving them readily when they hurt or offend me in some way, showing them patience and kindness and gentleness as much as possible, avoiding any taking offense, outrage, arguing, anger, harshness, that sort of thing where I might claim to care about "the right thing," when in reality, I'm making it all about me, even if it's just my frustration in not being heard, etc.

So, there you have it, the world, my small world, and the big world, with all the concentric circles in between those two extremes, needs ME to be exceptionally good, and exceptionally merciful.

The song is right: What the World Needs Now... is love, being as good as possible, and as merciful as possible.