Christian Living · Uncategorized

What the World Needs Now

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Some songs make me cringe.

It’s not necessarily the lyrics—although cringe-worthy lyrics abound. Often it’s the style of singing or instrumentation. Sometimes it’s an associated memory. For instance, whenever I hear Andy Williams’ voice belt out, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” I can’t help but groan inwardly. I associate it with disgruntled black friday shoppers and unhappy ugly-Christmas-sweater people. I don’t know why…. it’s probably related to some lame commercial. Then there’s Burt Bacharach’s “What the World Needs Now.” The words aren’t bad, it’s just the way it was sung or the melody or… something. Think “nails on chalk.”

And yet…

As I have been listening to and reading all the jubilant and sorrowful responses since Wednesday November ninth, that Bacharach song popped into my head unexpectedly. Yes, the world could definitely use some love between people. However, there is something the world needs far more than common “love.”

What the world needs now is for Christians to behave like Christ.

Let that sink in for a second.

Did Christ walk around telling people Caesar was better than Herod or that Pilate would make a better governor than the other guy?

When Jesus silenced the Pharisees with a particularly incisive question, did he gloat over his sharp wisdom?

Did Jesus whine and cry when there was a change in rulership?

When Jesus suffered on the cross in indescribably agony, was he raining down curses on the Roman guards?

Things that make you go hmmm…

Over the past few days, more than a few people have confided to me their disgust over Christian responses to our election. The gloating. The ugliness. The disdain for Hillary or third-party  supporters. The “I-can’t-go-to-class-because-of-Trump-trauma” nonsense.

Their disgust is justified.

My very dear friends and readers, my heart weighs heavy with sadness that something such as this election—so important at this moment, but so minimal in the scope of eternity—has brought out such behavior in my fellow Christians.

If I have learned anything from voting in the previous four presidential elections it is this: your candidate will always disappoint you; and the opposing candidate will always disappoint their people. “Don’t put your faith in princes,” as the psalmist says…

What the world needs now—what the world has always needed—is for Christians to behave like Christ.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

~ Philippians 2.3-8, ESV

Notice some significant terms here:

selfish. ambition. conceit. Negative words. This is NOT how we ought to be.

emptied. servant. humbled. obedient. Positive words. The way Christ lived. They way we ought to live.

Gloating is the antithesis of humility. Disdain reflects pride. Jesus did not consider us with disdain. He did not call ten thousand angels to destroy the world, as he could have. He suffered humiliation and died willingly to save us. He did not tell his apostles to take a hike whenever their fumbled in their misunderstanding. He washed their feet, he pulled them out of the ocean. He extended mercy to a samaritan woman. He saved an adulteress. He was just, but took no joy in exacting justice. He wept over Jerusalem and the hard-hearted Scribes, Pharisees, and Elders. Jesus, in spite of being the son of GOD, embodied humility. How odd! How completely unfathomable!

The world doesn’t need us to look down on it with loathing. It needs us to behave like Jesus.

“What does the Lord require of you,” Micah writes, “but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6.8)

We take the justice part pretty seriously with others, but mercy and humility are often forgotten. Don’t forget them! Remember, we deserved justice, but Christ gave us grace.

We are going to be hated for following Christ. We are going to be hated when we take a stand for truth and justice. It’s inevitable. Let’s be hated for the being Christ-like, not for imitating the world.

Paul wrote the following to the Colossians Christians, and it ought to be our mindset today: 

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,so that you may know how to answer everyone.

~ Colossians 4.5-6, NIV

“Outsiders” in this text refers to non-believers. Are we being wise in the way we act towards outsiders? Are we guarding our speech (and our keyboards)? Are we being careful with our Tweets and Facebook posts? Are we reflecting Christ or the world? Is political victory of greater importance than the soul of a non-believer?

What the world needs now, as always, is for Christians to shine the light of Christ. They don’t need to hear that we are politically right, they need us to be kind. They don’t need government intervention, they need us to be good neighbors. They don’t need circumstantial gloating, they need to see our unquenchable joy through Christ. The only way the lost will come to Christ is if they see his love through us.

We are the only Bible
The careless world will read;
We are the sinners gospel,
We are the scoffer’s creed;
We are the Lord’s last message,
Given in deed and word;
What if the type is crooked?
What if the print is blurred?

What if our hands are busy
With other work than His?
What if our feet are walking
Where sin’s allurement is?
What if our tongues are speaking
Of things His lips would spurn?
How can we hope to help Him
And hasten His return?

~Annie Johnson Flint~

Is the type crooked in our lives? Are our hands busy with other work than his? Let’s be what the world truly needs: let’s be the light of Jesus in this dark world.

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34 thoughts on “What the World Needs Now

  1. Yes! I can’t agree more. It Jesus, it always has been Jesus and always will be Jesus. God took the time to become flesh and dwell among us to give us that sinless example as He redeemed us. It is my deepest desire as a follower of Christ, to exemplify Christ! Amen Elihu, Amen!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you and yes…slowly but surely Christmas is coming to life. It’s all about Jesus. May every knee bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (and then act like it!!) Thanks for your never-ending inspiration Elihu! Thank you for being like Jesus!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. And I was just thinking how proud I am of my Trump-supporting FB friends for not gloating. I’m sorry you witnessed it on your end, and I’m glad I have not. The ugly posts from the Clinton supporters were quite enough. Think I’ll go pray…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been tough no matter which way you slice it. I just pray for the country to start coming together instead of remaining in an us-versus-them mentality. We shall see. Thanks for your comment Julie. So glad to know that many people have been behaving themselves.

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  3. I was actually singing this song to myself last evening–as I was longing for a simpler time—and then “all we are saying is give Peace a chance” came flooding into my mind as I pondered the difference between our country then and our country now—thank you for your heartfelt reflections….

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Ah! Great minds think alike. ☺️ Thank you for sharing this post. I hope my readers will take time to check it out as well. Thank you, Julie!

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  4. I am NEW to this blog. I was invited to view “What the World Needs Now” @ another blog. While I appreciate and whole-heatedly agree with EVERYTHING stated here, I only want to report that my personal experience has been quite different. Certainly not to brag, but the Christians I’ve encountered are very empathetic, and rather than gloating, they have opened their hearts to the opposition and pray for them, realizing we’re all in this together – regardless of religious or political affiliation. I think God is well-pleased with many”good and faithful servants” who are rightly acknowledging HIS hand in all of this. Too bad the media continues an unbalanced focus on the negative results, rather than than the positive – which caused the sever faction in the 1st place. Peace!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I take heart in hearing your comment. welcome to this little corner of the web! Thank you for taking the time to read and respond.

      I’ve seen a lot of what you speak of also, but I think we need a reminder every so often. It only takes a handful of people to stain a whole group. If the majority of Christians exercise Christ-like behavior it will help to minimize the damaging behavior of a few.

      Thank you again for your great input. God be with you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I was just about to say the same. I went to a play several years ago based around the music of Burt Bacharach, so I automatically attributed it to him. ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Another excellent writing. The election sure was “exciting”, but as a Canadian, from Ontario, I have no room to make negative comments about your side of the border. Our side has too many concerns, problems, of our own.
    My one statement is, both our countries have governments, at every level, with people who need prayer. God is our source for Wisdom. His Spirit will direct our prayers and actions, so the Risen Son of God, Jesus Christ will be glorified.
    God’s Blessings. George

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had that Andy Williams song in my head all evening. I don’t talk politics much, but I have been hard-pressed to find an actual Trump supporter. The kindest thing that I’ve heard someone say is that he was not my first choice… personally I held my nose and voted for what stunk the least. I compared it to the difference between having dog poop or human feces in my backyard and chose the one that I felt was slightly less offensive. Don’t feel that Christians should be gloating about anything that happened in the election. I completely agree with you.

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  7. Yes so True Elihu the opposite of Humility is worldly pride which is a trap many fall into, what we need is Godly Pride as we can see below, to have Godly Love for oneself is to take Pride in our position in Christ Jesus.

    The two types of Pride, Godly Pride and worldly or fleshy pride.

    What Worldly pride is…

    Mark 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

    1 John 2:15- 17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father it’s of the world.

    What Godly Pride is …

    Galatians 6: 4 Each one should understand their own actions. Then they can take Pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to others.

    2 Corinthians 8:24 show these men the proof of your Love and the reason for our Pride in you, so that the Churches can see it.

    2 Corinthians 5:11-12 Because we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. It is plain to God what we are, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are giving you an opportunity to take Pride in us not trying to commend ourselves again to you , so that you have an answer for those who take Pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.

    Romans 11:13b I take Pride in my Ministry.

    As a Christian I also take Godly Pride in my Ministry to those who are in darkness, and rejoice with those who are not as I’m sure you do too Elihu.

    To share God’s Truth Elihu means we need His Wisdom and the Empowering of The Holy Spirit, which we ask for we were not Born with them. When we have God’s wisdom we also have His ,knowledge, reasoning and logic even as we are still learning and we can have assurance that what we share is right and this is not arrogance or fleshy pride but is walking in obedience, God tells us not to doubt we have His wisdom and we are stand up firm in His Truth even if it is rejected by others and we are rejected too, which is what you also shared Elihu. When we are empowered by The Holy Spirit we know God’s heart and that He is Love and we will also know His good will for us as shown very clearly in 1Corinthians2:9-16

    Christian Love in our Unity in Christ Jesus – Anne.

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