You can’t force real change.

As I mentioned in my previous post, this is an interesting time we live in. It is bad enough we have all these events happening, but the situation is made worse by the media continuing to shove images and words of contention, sadness, anger and fear at us, 24/7. It can be too much, especially for the more sensitive among us. It feels so confusing and hopeless.

I stay out of it.

Personally, I try to stay out of the fray as much as possible. Not only do I do it to preserve my health and sanity, but, lets face it, there are already too many voices out there spouting their opinions and insisting that their position and solutions are the good and right ones. Problem is, their opposition believes themselves to have the good and right ones. Any person with a working mind understands that two opposing views cannot both be 100 % right, but neither side ever wants to admit that.

Each looking out for their own interests at all costs.

People are pushing narratives that are skewed or just plain false. They are pushing personal agendas rather than the truth, twisting facts to support their cause, assuming facts not in evidence, judging wrongly. They are looking out for themselves and their particular interests rather than standing for fairness and truth. Worse, they then try to force their views on everyone else, getting angry and violent when others won’t bend to their demands.

Why?

It is a complete mess. Why? Why is it so hard for people to be honest and to see and exclaim the truth? Why can’t/won’t people be kind and considerate? Why are they so quick to think they have all the right answers when they are usually very wrong? And why are the loudest people usually the most wrong?

People are selfish.

Simple. People are selfish and their hearts are deceitful. Everyone looks out for their own interests. They think they are right and many are willing to lie, steal or worse in order to promote or protect their cause. This isn’t new. Its a story as old as time and the Bible tells us why it is like this.

Lets look at a few related Bible verses.

…all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. (Judges 21:25)

Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. (Mark 10:18)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. (James 3: 14-15)

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. (James 3:16)

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you. You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. (James 4:1-2)

People have messed up, self-centered thinking.

As you can see, the Bible plainly states that people are selfish, their thinking is wrong …and that leads to trouble. When they are looking out for their own interests at the expense of others…no matter what that may be…no good can come of it.

So what is the solution?

What is the solution to man-kinds problems then? The solution is the simplest, yet the hardest thing in the world: You do the opposite of what is causing the problem. Instead of being selfish, you look out for the other person, the other group, as much as you look out for yourself. Instead of lying and twisting the truth, you accept and tell the truth, even if you don’t like it. Instead of being lazy and quick to anger, you research the facts and stop making assumptions. You stop jumping to conclusions and educate yourself. You stop being envious and greedy.

Lets see what the Bible says we should do.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Phil 2:3-4)

No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. (1 Cor 10:24)

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. (Matthew 7:1)

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (Ephesians 4:31)

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires (James 1:19-20)

These are some very good examples of God’s guidance when it comes to people getting along and decreasing relationship problems. We need to stop making everything about us and ours, and start including everyone else in out thoughts and considerations. No lying, no stealing, no yelling, no killing, no destruction. Replace it all with consideration and kindness because if people keep being selfish and dishonest, nothing is ever going to change.

I want to wind this up with one of my favorite verses.

I could write page after page on this subject because it is so serious and so important, but that is beyond the scope of this post. Instead, I want to end this with the following verse and commentary:

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

You can’t force a person to change.

You see, you can’t force a person to feel what they don’t feel. You can yell, scream, curse, call names, threaten, and use violence. MAYBE you may force some outward behavior…but you will not change the person’s heart. In their heart, they will feel the same…probably even more deeply, because no one likes forced to do anything and they often move further in the opposite direction when attacked. When the chips are down, when it really counts, that person’s true feelings will come back out in the open in full force.

Anger and violence don’t change anything that matters and you can only change YOU.

Anger and violence do not change people’s hearts. Only God can do that. The only one you can change is YOU. Get busy on your own heart. Ask God to show you your true feeling and beliefs…and, more importantly, what is behind them. Why do you believe what you do? Because it is truly right and good or because you will gain something from it? Are you operating from selfishness or the good of all? Ask Him to show you your heart problems and then ask Him to help you clean it up. That is the only true change you have any control of, and even that requires God’s help. We can’t do it alone.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)

Nothing will truly change until we turn to God and change our ways.

Until people turn to God and ask for help in changing their hearts, nothing is really going to change. People need to understand that you cannot legislate morals. You cannot force a person to love. Only God can change the heart.

©God, Truth and Life 2020

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