2014 / January 2015 - Vol. 77

What is Wrong with the World? I am and You Are! 
by Tom Caballes

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 
- Romans 7:15-19
One question I faced recently: what is the biggest problem with the world today? Is it social injustice? Greed? Inequality? Politics? Yes, to some degree, to all. But from an angle we can say the problem with everything is – you and I. Why? It goes back to our fundamental identity before God, that we are all sinners [Romans 3:23]. 

Suffering, pain, abuse, hatred, death, injustice, etc. – all these came as “wages of sin” [Romans 6:23]. So are we doomed? Is there a hope for us? Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! [Romans 7:24-25A] 

There is hope for sinners like you and I – Jesus can change and transform us, through the transforming power of God’s Holy Spirit. There is hope for the world to change and become a better place for all of us.

So how do we change and transform the world to become a better place?

  1. Our world can change by first changing ourselves. We cannot expect anyone or everyone to change if we ourselves do not change. We need to become redeemed sinners, not yet perfect but growing in holiness and love for God daily. We all need all need ongoing deeper conversion. Our behaviour and character needs to be transformed day by day. How? By prayer and God’s Word. We need to grow to be God-like in the way we live – to be more loving, patient, kind, forgiving, etc. We need to think and act like Jesus in all things.
  2. The next biggest thing we can do to change the world is to share Jesus to all those we know – by the way we live our lives and by speaking to them about God and the new life that awaits them. Transforming the society involves transforming people from within. It is like setting a very dark world alight one person at a time. We are in a rescue mission – to save everyone within our grasp, from the wages of death and death itself. We also need to pass on our faith to our children, so they continue to transform the world even when we are gone. If we do so, our children will be world-transformers of the future.
  3. We should not judge anyone, but have sympathy. We are all sinners, and we are all capable of sinning big and small. Let us see ourselves in other sinners too – because we are like them.
  4. We need to stand our ground against the onslaught of evil around us. We need to be in a supportive environment that conforms to our beliefs, values and priorities rather than in an atmosphere that opposes, contradicts and challenges them. We need to speak the truth in love even if we will be rejected.
  5. Look forward to eternity. Sin can only conquer our physical bodies and our time on earth, but not eternity. Seek heavenly treasures, not earthly ones. Delight in God and in heaven - even now.

  6. 6. Imagine a home, neighbourhood, workplace, school and a university where people are loving, caring, peaceful, joyful, patient, forgiving one another, etc. - wouldn’t they be a much better place to live in? 

Other Scripture passagese: 

  • Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. [1 John 2:15-17]
  • "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin … But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. [1 Corinthians 15:55-57]
  • Other references: Matthew 5:14; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Timothy 4:2; Revelation 21:4.

For personal reflection or group sharing

  1. How can you transform your home, neighbourhood, workplace or school in your own simple way?
  2. What weaknesses in your character can you start working on now? How?

Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.


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