The world and I have a complicated relationship.
It was the reason I got into toxic Christianity after college.
Between complaining to a friend and the Lord, I realized I was trying to escape the world rather than change what I hated about it.
The Bible tells us not to love the world (1 John 2: 15-16), but many Christians take that as a license to hate.
To a point, I still wish I could, but I can’t.
I struggle with fantasizing about the world’s end, even if I am a part of that world. Those thoughts must go to the cross to condemn them as they condemn others. I have to fight my lust for fire and brimstone.
Yet, none of us consider that we are capable of the impossible with God. Sometimes we don’t want the impossible. We don’t want the inconvenience of putting in work to change what we complain about most.
Can we change people? Not all the time.
Can we change how we react and interact with people? Yes!
Part of me writes my articles to preach to myself because if I treat myself as someone else, I have a higher chance of listening to the Holy Spirit.
The more I tried to escape into games like D&D and other Discord RP games, the more I realized everyone was creating escapes instead of solving problems just like me.
“This world stinks; let’s go over here for a while, and maybe it will blow over.”
Everything I made a passion project became an escape mechanism to share with others so we could daydream for a few hours together. Only within these past few years had I sat down to see what I could do for myself instead of with myself.
It’s okay; we’ve all been guilty of chronocide (killing time) at one point.
Sometimes we get complacent with an “it is what it is” philosophy. In truth, having that mentality can be a step in the right direction. What if it’s happened more times than you can count?
Jesus says to forgive 70×7 times, but if you walk away from a repeat offender, you won’t need to forgive them that often.
Then lies the problem of walking away only for a time to forget what happened. Sometimes this manifests in things like drinking or drugs.
If this thing is gnawing at you like a rabid rat, feed it the proper poison instead of putting it in a trap and letting it go.
Doom scrolling got you down? Announce you are taking a social media fast and only take essential messages!
Metacognition is thinking about how you think.
An excellent step to finding solutions is examining your problems. Go through each aspect of why these problems bother you. There you will learn whether the problem is you or the world (or things/people residing in it).
Peel your problem like an onion. Why is it a problem? Answer that question and ask why that answer is. Keep peeling the situation in your mind until you come up with a solution. Trust me; it may take years to ask yourself the right questions. If you keep plugging away at it, I have found the Lord rewards those seeking wisdom.
Sometimes these solutions come in steps, mainly if genuine hatred is involved. This works particularly well when dealing with trauma that requires forgiveness.
Indeed, some things may never be made even or resolved, but you can find the solution of letting go. Five stages of grief end with acceptance, but there are still five stages. Be comforted in knowing it is usually the easiest to remedy if it is you. Getting from the point of emotion to logic can be a long road, but having the humility to ask the Lord for forgiveness and to examine a problem with yourself is often rewarded. Even if it isn’t an outward event, I find peace when I realize it was I who tied the knots in my soul.
If I tie it, the Lord can help me untie it.
For those who don’t believe, imagine how much harder it is to change someone else than it is yourself. If you change yourself first, sometimes the world around you follows suit.
Being Honest About Not Having a Solution
There are some things about this world that are things only God can change. A lot of times, I find I am angry at toxicity and stupidity on the internet.
This is a situation where I cannot change the root of the problem. This is because it was and always will be there. While the internet provides us with the ability to connect with every person out there, this also means everyone has a platform to hear garbage as well as watch silly kitten videos.
Finding the outlet of posting articles about things that anger me to action has at least given me the peace of being the watchman. While social media is a mixed bag of getting the word out about what’s on your heart, starting a blog and inviting your friends to read it might change one person or make them think. If you have made them think, you have proven to yourself people can still think. Sometimes that is all the encouragement you need.
When times arrive when prayers remain unanswered and great pain remains in this world, I like to think of the science of “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” If everything is made of energy, so are emotions and acts made by choice. The Lord has made the world’s rules for a reason, and there is a balance between free will and God’s will. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be where we are or even need the Book of Revelation to happen.
So many things need work, and you aren’t the person to take on all of them. Find what sparks your heart and go from there.
“Slow to Anger” Doesn’t Mean Don’t Get Angry At All
If you must get angry, consider thinking things through before you type. Before you post it on social media, write it in a Word or Google Doc file. Please read it. Out loud. After that’s out of your system, assess whether or not this might change the problem you are complaining about or if it’s put in a way you might regret later.
Bleed out your poison in the comfort of your home before putting it in someone else’s veins.
Are there days when you must take out the bullwhip and chase some moneychangers from a temple? Yes.
Make sure you have cleaned out your demons before exorcising them from others. Jesus was a carpenter, but you need steel to make homes. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask the Lord to help check for planks in your eye. Sometimes they get shoved so far into your skull that you are numb to their presence. Your body is a temple of the holy spirit; that brain is where the battles occur. Use that fire to weld yourself back together, even if it takes a bit. Yes, that can be considered a Holy Spirit, but faith without works is dead. If you believe you can get well, you need to take steps with the Lord to do so.
Understanding yourself is the key to understanding what changes you can make in the world.
If you still have anger over a particular area of this world after forging yourself, that is the time to take the welder to build a sanctuary.
Sometimes we have anger against others because it is a weakness within ourselves we see.
It stinks to realize this, but if you are humble enough to try and take care of it, your healing process can become another’s survival guide.
In a Nutshell
Part of the game of changing the world is knowing when you are trying to escape a solution and when you honestly can’t do it on a grand scale. It’s alright to get mad, but if you do, use your anger for focus. With nearly 8 billion on this planet, if everyone does little things to get to the big stuff, we might have a better chance of changing this world for the better. Never underestimate the momentum a single step in the right direction can create.