Speaking to your loved ones, friends or co workers about things that matter most can be hard. Trust me, I know. Whether you bring up a discussion about God, or go for something a bit less sensitive, such as exercise/diet, you run the risk of alienating that person…perhaps permanently. Even when spoken in love, attempting to discuss the truth about a situation with someone can end poorly.
At first, I thought that since I often spoke about faith in God, the rejection and reactions I received was because I dared to bring up a subject somewhat taboo in our culture. Yet, when I tried other subjects about self-improvement (or even saving oneself from an early death), I found myself facing similar walls. Despite the fact that I would choose topics that, on paper, should appeal to democrat or republican, religious person or atheist, people often waived me off (at best) or told me to shut the heck up.
The common thread I noticed was that I was challenging others (and myself in the process), to take steps outside their comfort zones and consider other ways of living their lives. And, while you may understand why some people do not wish to hear someone else’s religious viewpoint regardless of how true they think it may be, when it comes to something such as how our food in this country makes our children sick, one would think that people would be a bit more open to discussion. Yet, the vast, vast majority of people I speak too have no interest, as for whatever reasons/excuses, they simply cannot take the time to consider other points of view. In all reality, they simply do not want to give up the lifestyle they currently enjoyed. In our culture, inconvenience of any sort is one of the most grievous of sins.
We simply only have to look around us to see the results of such narrow thinking. The interesting thing about our sugar-saturated diets is that we can see the results on the waist-lines of most people around us. A quick look at Google pulls up reports such as this one from the Washington Post / CDC showing that the average weight of Americans has risen six pounds the last decade alone. And, it only gets worse as time marches on. Yet, few will sit down and have a real discussion on the subject because so few have the desire and will power to take the steps necessary to change their habits.
If we struggle this much with something such as personal diets or holding our government responsible for the quality of mainstream food…imagine how we fail, as a nation, to gather the willpower to turn around our sinking finances, or make truly ethical high-ground decisions. Our forefathers understood that doing the right thing often came at great cost. However, Americans today cannot even fathom changing their diet to help themselves, their family, and the society around them (through greater productivity and less reliance on medical care). Unlike earlier generations, we cannot claim ignorance as an excuse, when we have full access to the internet. We simply do not wish to be inconvenienced. We do too much already.
Now, multiply this self destructive, selfishness and laziness across our entire nation…or even the world. Can any of us sincerely say that we truly believe that somehow, as a group, we will do what we cannot bring ourselves to do as individuals…. especially given the examples of history? Will we stop pollution, war, waste, etc., before something truly catastrophic happens? Or, like so many individuals, will we wait until our dying breath to realize we should have made different choices?
I understand that this missive seems overly negative. The truth often hurts. However, until we understand just how deeply in trouble we are…how depraved we are as individuals and as a group, can we see just how much we need God in our lives. I can face each morning, knowing the above, because of Him. For those of us who put our faith in Him, we have a hope and a peace the defies most understanding. We know that this world is in His hands. And, we know that we are safe as He has paid the price for our poor decisions and deliberately selfish actions. We now live our lives in thanks to Him!