I often hear people complaining about how bad the world is, how our country is heading to hell in a hand basket, and that things are generally worse than they've ever been. They either want a Mayan apocalypse or want Jesus to come back and rapture everyone off this rock.
The problem is that neither of these options are Biblical.
You see, God has commissioned humanity (and especially Christians) to work with him to restore this Earth to what it once was. Does that sound daunting? It is. But we aren't called to do it alone. We have each other, a community of Christians that should be committed to loving this world away from darkness.
If we start thinking about everything that is wrong with this world, it can seem incredibly overwhelming. But here are some simple things that each person can do to make this world a better place:
Take Responsibility for Your World. If you're at the park and you see trash on the ground, pick it up and throw it away. God entrusted humanity with caring for the Earth. Don't expect someone else to do the job.
Get a Little Greener. Keeping in mind that God expects us to take care of the planet, it wouldn't hurt to make your carbon footprint a little lighter. Don't pretend this is a "liberal" agenda. Anyone with common sense knows that it's a good thing to keep nature clean. Try not to use so much gas. Make your home energy efficient. Do the simple things that keep the air fresh and water drinkable.
Vote. Become active in your local community through voting. I'll admit, unless you're in a swing state it's pretty tough to have an impact on national elections, such as electing a President. But your vote still matters in local elections, and those are the ones that really affect your life. So go out, get informed, and cast your ballot for people who will influence your community for the better.
Have Dinner. Make a meal, sit down at a table, and eat dinner with your family. Eating a meal with someone is the best way to connect with them. I can't tell you why, but there's just something about sitting with some food that opens up conversation amongst us human-folk. So take the time to eat with your loved ones.
Read the Bible. It's the story of God redeeming humanity, so it's our story. Learn from it. Be entertained by it. The Bible will help you understand why we're here, and why our lives are so important.
Volunteer. Find the organization that fits you and donate some time. Get involved, and like I said above, don't expect someone else to do it. There are so many different charitable entities out there that you should have no problem finding something interesting and rewarding. If you need help, here's a quote from the Bible: "True religion in the sight of God our Father is to help the widows and orphans, and remain pure." So find some widows or orphans and you'll be off to a good start.
Donate. Don't just give your time. Give your money, too. Charitable organizations don't get free electricity or rent. They have bills to pay. If you don't have a lot of cash at the moment, that's okay. Just give a dollar or two when you can. Seriously, you can do without Starbucks for one day.
Pray. This is probably the most important thing you can do. Our hands are small, but God hears our prayers. Pray for your nation, state, city, and neighborhood. The Bible encourages this. When you feel like there is absolutely nothing you can do, take a hint and ask God to help you.
What about you? Any ideas of what you can do to change the world?