Starting with Ourselves
Bible Reading: Ecclesiastes 3:15–4:3
We admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies and
that our lives had become unmanageable.
Some of us avoid or cope with our own pain by trying to fix the world. We try to right every wrong, heal every wound, point out every injustice. We spend our time demanding that the world system reform. We may also dedicate ourselves to rescuing and reforming those we love. Our zealousness to set the world aright can be a means of denying that we are powerless to do so.
Solomon said, “I also noticed that under the sun there is evil in the courtroom. Yes, even the courts of law are corrupt! I said to myself, ‘In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.’ . . . I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power” (Ecclesiastes 3:16-17; 4:1). He saw that the world was not as it should be. He also recognized that it was God’s job to judge and overcome the injustices in our world.
When we set out to save the world we err by taking on a role that belongs to God. What we gain by taking on such a massive task is the guarantee that we’ll always be busy. Then we’ll never have the time or energy to face our own issues. The Bible makes it clear that the world will never be right until Jesus Christ returns to make it so. We need to accept the fact that we are powerless to do his job. However, when we focus on our own recovery, fixing ourselves instead of everyone else, we will then be able to be more effective in helping others, too.
If we try to fix the world before fixing ourselves, we’ll do both badly