David Burchett Christian Blog and Commentary

Waiting on the world to change

Yesterday I had the joy of driving from scenic Garland, Texas to every bit as scenic Waco, Texas. Despite the mindboggling beauty of the I-35 transit I was able to get in some iPod time on the way. One song that struck me on the journey was a recent Grammy Award winner. The artist is John Mayer and he won a statue for Best Male Vocal Pop Performance with a song called “Waiting on the World to Change”. 

The song is written as an explanation of sorts for the apathy displayed by many of Mayer’s generation toward political and social activism. The song is powerful and, to me, a bit depressing.

Me and all my friends
We're all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing and
There's no way we ever could

Now we see everything that's going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don't have the means
To rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

I couldn’t help but think that this could easily be reworked to describe the state of mind for many churchgoers in America. Sadly, that song could be multi-generational in our churches as well. It is so easy to see everything that is going wrong with the church and those who lead it.  But we decide that we don’t have the energy or the means or power to beat it. So we just keep waiting. Waiting for the church to change. Waiting for the leadership to change. Waiting. Mayer describes the next step.

It's hard to beat the system
When we're standing at a distance
So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change

Rather than step in it is so much easier to step back and it is really easy to just step away. Researcher George Barna notes that millions of self-described born-again Christians have left the church. Many are standing at a distance and waiting on the church to change.

It's not that we don't care,
We just know that the fight ain't fair
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change

The average Christian would no doubt tell you they support the church in theory. But they are just sick of the church ….(pick two from the list below)

___ Being full of hypocrites (as if we couldn’t squeeze in a couple more)
___ Being too much about politics
___ Constantly Fund Raising
___ Not being friendly
___ Having teaching that is too boring
___ Having teaching that is too much “entertainment”
___ Being too legalistic
___ Being too into freedom
___ Playing music that is too modern
___ Playing music that is too old fashioned

You get the point. It is not a problem to find a problem. And we keep waiting. Waiting for the church to change.

But Jesus has a different plan that could help my dilemma and also the apathy that Mayer sings about. Jesus asks us to accomplish the goal with a radical plan. He asks me to change. He asks you to change. He tells us that we are accountable for ourselves. Period.

Do you think things would change if we could implement the instructions below written to the church at Colossae?

So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.

And later in the chapter Paul describes what that would look like…

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.  Colossians The Message

Can you imagine what the church would look like by simply implementing those few verses alone? Reflecting the love and light of the grace of God will change others. If enough of us follow that plan then the church will change. No waiting. And if enough churches change then the world will change. So that is the plan. No waiting required. Just get started on you today. I will work on me. We can stop waiting for the church to change and simply be obedient to do our part. It is a start. And to be honest, I am tired of waiting.

Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People and Bring'em Back Alive: A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church. You can reply by linking through daveburchett.com


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