Here are 4 life-changing truths that are missing in the world today. Why is there systemic racism in America? Why are there violent riots? Why can’t opposing leaders – or even some family members – be civil, agree to disagree, and work out a solution?
These 4 truths are the answer. Jesus teaches them in his masterpiece sermon (see my digital book, Jesus’ Greatest Teaching which is inspired by Dallas Willard). They build on each other to make a rock-solid foundation for our lives (Matt. 7:24-25).
Very few people are talking about these ideas today, but if you absorb and activate them in yourself and your circle of influence they’ll increasingly change your world for good.
God’s loving presence and power (the Kingdom of the Heavens) are more real and lasting than the ground you’re walking on (Matt. 5:17-18 MSG). Today most people think faith and morality are subjective, a matter of preference or emotion. They don’t believe that the spiritual world is really real, good, and beautiful for eternity and here and now. So they have no secure place to stand in conflict, danger, or suffering.
People of all creeds and colors are created in God’s image and have goodness in them (Gen. 1:27). The people you disagree with, and even the people you see doing bad things, believe they are doing what is right. They want to create value for other people. Love calls us to listen to all people, see the good in them, and learn to bless them even if they curse us (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:28).
Our society is full of people who avoid being alone and quiet, especially as a way to pray. We’re addicted to busyness, productivity, noise, and entertainment. That’s why in COVID and quarantine we’re seeing crazy stress reactions and rage. At first in solitude and silence, you’ll feel bored, antsy, even distressed. Actually, that’s the Spirit of Truth surfacing stress, hurt, desire, and need for God’s loving care (Psalm 139:23-24; John 16:13). So Jesus woos us, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31).
The most under-rated spiritual discipline today is giving and receiving empathy. Everybody needs tender-hearted listening every day (James 1:19). Every work project, every relationship, every prayer experience, and every ministry activity would be dramatically more successful and loving if it featured heartfelt empathy.
Standing with the Spirit of Jesus in this wonderful and eternal reality we’re blessed beyond our wildest desires! (As I share in Jesus’ Greatest Teaching, that’s the message of our Lord’s beatitudes). From God’s World we can learn to listen generously to people we disagree with and be kind to people who mistreat us.
Listen to this week’s SoulTalk: Listen in as Bill and Kristi consider four key perspectives for living with hope in these challenging times. They invite you to consider the ways you can use your influence to pray for and practice the way of God’s kingdom, even when surrounded by turmoil.