How to respond to a broken world

I don’t watch the news. Not on a regular basis, anyway. I prefer to focus on what I believe is true—that for every heinous story featured in mainstream media, there are a thousand small victories of kindness and love that never make the cut.

And yet. Some headlines are hard to ignore.

When I woke on a Monday a couple weeks ago, my husband filled me in. Mass shooting in Vegas, fifty people dead, twice as many injured. And my heart plummeted to my stomach. The first words out of my mouth were probably similar to yours.

What is wrong with this world?

As if international terrorism isn’t enough, today in America we’re under attack by our own people. Our own neighbors. Our own co-workers and classmates. Columbine, Sandy Hook, college campuses, movie theaters, malls, concerts. Is no place safe anymore?

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Even in my own small, ordinary Midwest town we’ve suffered shootings at the grocery store and near the playground. Random acts of evil seem to be gaining momentum, showing up everywhere we once believed secure. And as a mother, I wonder—what kind of a world am I ushering my children into?

It’s enough to paralyze me. To fear going anywhere, doing anything, or trusting anyone save for my own little family unit, which I’m tempted to lock down in the basement with a lifetime supply of bottled water until we’re all knotty-jointed and gray, or until Jesus returns, whichever comes first.

But then I remember, that is exactly what the enemy wants. What better way to disarm a Christian soldier than by piercing the heart with irrational fear?

Believer—do not give in.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Here’s the gospel in a nutshell. Jesus wins. And for those of us who believe in the One True Christ, who are led by the Holy Spirit within our own souls—we win, too.

“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6).

So how should we respond when the world falls apart?

Not with fear.

But with love.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).

As the world gets darker, we Christians don’t need to shine brighter in order to be seen. We just need to shine at all. In a black and hurting world, the tiniest flicker of light can break through like a beacon to the lost. So let’s show them who Christ is.

Love someone who seems unlovable.

Speak kind words to the clerk at the gas station. Smile at your child’s grumpy teacher. Deliver a loaf of homemade sweet bread to your too-loud neighbor next door. The nightly news will never report these actions. You’ll be spreading love unnoticed and uncelebrated—by anyone except the recipient. Each person we come across today is a soul who’s as desperate for hope as we are but perhaps has no clue where to find it.

Let’s show them where to find it.

John MacArthur says, “We put God on display by loving each other. There’s no human explanation for the level of this affection and love. Love is our testimony. The unseen God is seen in our love for each other. It’s evidence that our lives have been transformed, that we love in a way that’s not human.”

On days like today I’m especially eager for Christ’s return. Maybe my children will be the generation to witness His coming, in which case, I ought to approach their future not with trepidation but instead with great anticipation and joy. But meanwhile, we’re stuck here, in this crazy, scary world. And I intend to do something about it while I have the chance.

Love God. And make Him known—by loving people.

Will you do it with me?

Our world needs it now more than ever.

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Becky Kopitzke is the author of “The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood” (Shiloh Run Press) and the upcoming “Love Forward: Discover the Joy of Living Generously” (Bethany House, April 2018). Becky lives in lovely northeast Wisconsin with her husband and their two daughters, where her home office is overrun with bouncy balls and tween craft supplies. For weekly, keeping-it-real encouragement, visit Becky at beckykopitzke.com.


 

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