How to Change the World – Part One

Greetings, friends…

Both today’s and next week’s posts will be difficult to read… and to consider… and to implement. I’m just warning you ahead of time!

Many people want to change the world. While, on the surface, such a goal might seem laudable, I don’t think it is. For those of us–or those among us or those in leadership over us–who want “to change the world,” I think that desire is almost entirely misguided.

Let’s be honest…

If we’re being truly honest with ourselves (which is difficult to do), those of us who want to change the world, far more often than not, work to do so from a visional space and place that says something like this:

Things would be so much better, if everyone would just start
behaving the way I want them to.

No, they wouldn’t. I can almost guarantee that. In fact, every day, the world (that is, the whole of creation) grows increasingly worse–and groans under the ever-increasing burdens of fallenness [see Ro 8:22]–as all of us work (self-centeredly) to manipulate the world into what we think it should be. This is the on-going, disastrous result of the human condition trying to make itself better by focusing on everything–and everyone–OUTSIDE OF ITSELF.

The above “vision” or “desire for a better world” is the fueling mantra of fallenness as well as its close cousin, totalitarianism. Historically, totalitarian regimes–those that “promise a better world (but never deliver on such promises)”–intentionally fail to articulate for whom they want it to be a better place. In all instances–bar none–everyone, and every group or mob, that wants to make the world a better place wants to do so, first and foremost, for themselves. The want to make the world “a better place… for them.” This, my friends, is the underlying motive for every move to “change the world.” Yes, every move–bar none. (If you think I’m being too harsh, here, please tell me. I don’t think I am, but I’m probably not the best person to comment on my own thoughts, behaviors, and blind spots.)

Instead of trying to change the world to make it better for you (or to just give you a break), why not focus on trying to change you and your own life? And to create your own breaks? God has given each of us the freewill and agency–the instrumentality–to change. And He wants to partner with us in this. Writing from my own experience, my first task (in my life with God) is to partner with Him to set my own life in order. In partnering with Him to do this, I’ve discovered two things essential to such creative work:

In this present Earth-life, it (that is, the cultivating of my own personal integratedness-of-belief and congruency-of-being) will never be completed; and If I work earnestly to manage my own life, I’ll have NO TIME LEFT to try to manage anyone else’s life.

There’s a really interesting thing that happens when you and God begin to bring order to your own life: Except for those bitter, entitled, and envious few (and we all have or know such people), most everyone around you will benefit. In a way, their worlds will be made better–freer, more vibrant, more loving, more peaceful–as your life improves… as your life become freer, more vibrant, more loving, more peaceful.

This concept reminds me of something Solomon wrote in Pr 17:1 and something the Apostle Paul wrote in 2Co 2:14-16. NIV renderings of both passages are provided below:

Better a dry crust, with peace and quiet, than a house full of feasting, with strife.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and partners with us to spread everywhere the aroma of the knowledge of H-him. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To one, we are an aroma that brings death; to another, an aroma that brings life.

Okay, we’ll stop there for now. Next week, we’ll look a little more at how each of us can begin to partner with God to bring increasing order, integratedness-of-belief, and congruency-of-being to our own lives… and also how we can stop meddling in the lives of those around us.

Peace to you…

Daver

MRL Maxim: If I work earnestly to manage my own life, I’ll have NO TIME LEFT to manage anyone else’s LIFE.
MRL Call-to-action: What’s one thing you can begin to do today to bring order to your life? Once you determine that one thing, set in your heart and mind the resolute commitment to do that one thing and TO BEGIN DOING THAT ONE THING TODAY.