Culture promised so much but delivered nothing. We were told that happiness comes from faster internet, more entertainment options, the sexual revolution, changing pronouns, legalized drugs, more alcohol, more credit, less work, and so on. But despite the promises, we’re still stressed and bubbling with anxiety. Happiness is elusive and, when found, so brief. Like an endless train of zombies stumbling into a dark tunnel, we wander, hoping that fulfillment and satisfaction are just ahead. They’re not. Culture has failed. What now?
1. Don’t trust what doesn’t deliver.
Promises from cultural, political, and societal leaders haven’t delivered. Your station in life has changed little from where you stood ten years ago. Would you keep the same internet provider if they couldn’t meet their promises? Would you change your cell phone provider if you experienced spotty coverage despite their lovely blue and purple maps?
Culture is saying that religion is bad, that there is no God, and it’s all a scam. Maybe their thoughts on faith are as useless as a pretty blue map with only a rare gap. It’s time to reconsider.
2. Consider Jesus.
Now, wait. Before you click away, read just a little further. The next 60 seconds could be life-changing.
Jesus is the greatest teacher who ever walked. Initially, I am only asking that you consider his words. For the moment, let’s forget his miracles and his divine claims. Just focus on what he taught.
In a single lesson (Matthew 5, 6, and 7), Jesus declared the “Golden Rule,” “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them… (Matthew 7:12). He declared the uselessness of worry and anxiety (Matthew 6:25-29) while reminding us to focus on the day, not tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). Jesus declared that we should not only love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39) but even our enemies (Matthew 5:43-47).
By any measure, these teachings are world-changing! Culture has failed. Try something new.
3. Focus on Jesus, not His disciples.
You’ve seen hypocrites. Preachers who are greedy cheaters. Church leaders who are sexual abusers. Double-talking Christians who would embarrass a crusty old sailor. Hypocrites are real, and they are found in the church.
There is a difference between Jesus and broken Christians.
Peter, who struggled with his own set of sins, always pointed to Jesus and not to himself.
“…but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy”1 Peter 1:15, 16
Should you take up the mantle of faith, you will follow Jesus and no one else. And, you will stumble.
4. Expect from Jesus what culture has failed to deliver.
Jesus changes our outlook and our thinking. He transforms our minds through his message (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18). We come to know real and abiding peace. We think less about this world and focus on eternity. Your boss, bank, and neighbor become less irritating as you grow deeper in Christ.
Despite what some money-grubbing preachers will tell you, prosperity is never assured. But that’s ok because our view of money is downgraded. It is no longer a goal but a tool to help others. You will not suddenly become rich. You won’t find “$56,000 in the mail.” But you will find peace and a release from the anxiety vexing you. It’s not instant, but it is real.
I have one goal with this message. I hope you will turn to Jesus to find what culture failed to deliver.
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