This is the most difficult topic I’ve ever pondered and thought about. It’s difficult because I believe there is a simple answer out there to solve it and I’m dedicating myself to finding the answer to the question of how to change the hearts of mankind away from selfishness, greed, hate and violence – to instead embrace peace and love with generous and loving hearts. Yet to even begin to solve this dilemma leaves me unable to grasp even the starting point to solve something that could literally be accomplished in the time it takes to complete a heartbeat. So Part Two of this series leaves me literally with no starting point from which to begin, yet begin I must – because there has to be an answer for choosing love and peace over violence, hate and war.
It would be easy for me to say that everyone should just accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and be done searching for the answer. The fact is that plenty of people in history have demonstrated that they can be peaceful and loving human beings without professing faith in Christ. More disturbing is that history has also shown that professed believers in Christ, and people of other faiths, have committed terrible crimes of violence throughout history – often in the name of religion – which is just the opposite of love. So morality and the difference between right and wrong seems to be able to be completely separate from any belief or faith in a practiced religion while living in this world. So it must be possible on purely moral grounds alone, to argue for peace and love apart from faith and religion.
While personally I believe the answer to true and lasting peace and love lies only in Jesus Christ, I have to believe that Jesus gave us the ability to work together to build a world focused on peace, love and harmony for everyone to participate in while living in this physical world. The Holy Spirit is always at work in our physical world to call and lead individual hearts to Christ; and the hard work of this world – that has been given to us by God to do with our own hands together – still remains incomplete. Our world is filled with war, terrorism, violence, wrath, pride, selfishness, greed, sloth, lust, envy and gluttony of epidemic proportions. Even today’s entertainment, literature and film is often full of horrific graphic violence and lust. Selfishness, greed and entitlement seem to rule many people’s lives today.
Yet, despite living in a world full of problems; peace and love have been and are being embraced by millions of caring and loving people every day – showing us how the world could be if only we all chose to be loving, selfless, sharing, generous, charitable, thoughtful and peaceful human beings. So why this great divide between peaceful, loving people; and the violence that is found throughout our society? This is the great quest and Holy Grail of humanity since the dawn of human history. I pray that Jesus leads me to an answer that can inspire the world to choose peace and love for the sake of our entire world. I personally give no opportunity or power to the Devil to stand between myself, the answer and the truth and love of Jesus Christ – because the Holy Name of Jesus Christ causes the Devil to be impotent and retreat back into the shadows from where he came.
In Part One, I began the discussion of changing hearts in order to change the world…one heartbeat at a time. It seemed that to change a human heart – away from selfishness to love and peace for the world – first required an exchange of contents that were held within that individual heart. The difficult part is to replace, “wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony” – the Seven deadly sins; with the Heavenly virtues of, “prudence, justice, restraint, temperance, courage, fortitude, faith, hope, charity, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” The really difficult part is to convince the entire world to do this together and change our violent world into a peaceful, caring and loving world where everyone is more concerned for the needs of others than for even themselves.
The frustration is that this could be done in a single heartbeat world-wide, yet our world continues to be a violent and selfish world where some people live in extreme abundance while others live in extreme poverty. Ours is a world filled with crime and war, gangs and terrorists – all side by side with caring and loving people doing the selfless work for their fellow brothers and sisters. Why the paradox and polarization of attitudes and actions? It’s a cop-out to say that evil is all the work of the Devil – because I don’t credit him with any power to conceal the answer from discovery and implementing a solution. I’d like to say that once everyone finds and accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior everything here on Earth will be peace and love, but the reality is that here in our world today there are plenty of people from all faiths and no faith at all that have demonstrated that they can be loving, caring and peaceful people. So why doesn’t everyone in the world renounce violence and dedicate themselves to being loving and caring people in a peaceful world?
The reality is that we’re the very reason the world isn’t united in peace and love – all of us – and I start here with myself. All of us are to blame for not doing what we are called to do as members of the human race to unite everyone in the world in peace and love through selfless and generous hearts. I’ve seen with my own two eyes the deepest poverty in the eyes of people, and I’ve also seen the homeless, faceless and disadvantaged people living in our world – yet I haven’t worked to solve this problem for them. I’ve thought about the injustice and inequities of the world since I was a young child, yet I haven’t worked to solve the issues of violence, lack of caring and unfairness that people have to deal with every day of their lives. Christians world-wide remain separated and segregated in a denominational crossword puzzle of theological finger-pointing, that focuses on the differences of our individual beliefs – rather than the common faith in Christ Jesus that we all profess to have – yet I haven’t contributed to helping bring everyone together.
I’ve come to believe in the time that it has taken to write this article, that the answer to why we haven’t changed the world into a loving, caring and peaceful world has nothing to do with the opposition of the Devil; for the Devil has no power before the Trinity of God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. It is people who give the Devil what little power he has, by doing nothing in this world to bring peace and love into our world – that we all share together and call Earth. If we don’t even try as the people of God to do His work in this world, then the Devil wins by default and continues the status quo of violence and selfishness. To continue this is insanity – when we all have the power to do God’s Will in bringing peace and love into His world with our own small hands – working together.
When God made Earth and gave free will to mankind, He gave us every tool that we needed to create a loving and peaceful life on Earth. We are all thinking human beings, beautifully made in the image of God; with the power to think for ourselves that was bestowed upon us by our Creator. It is within us all to build a loving, caring and peaceful world in our own day; because God gave us the ability Himself – as the stewards of His creation. It doesn’t do any good to point out all of our faults and failures as His stewards of this world, either individually or collectively as members of the human race; but it is profitable for us all to give some real thought and effort towards solving the problems of our world – and then working together to implement a solution for choosing love. There is really no greater issue before us, and I will do my best to help find the answers for the entire world to embrace love and each other – one heartbeat at a time – or all together in a single heartbeat of love.