For years, the music of the Beatles dominated the charts throughout the world as one hit-song after the other flowed from their fertile minds. Many regarded their music as merely raucous noise for the young people, superficial and frivolous. And in some case, it was band from the South African airwaves. Those who really listened to the lyrics came to realize that pop-music had changed character forever. Their songs carried a message and revealed a depth of insight about human experience.
One such song is called Imagine by John Lennon
Imagine there is no heaven
It is easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there is no countries
It is not hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
No religion too
Imagine all the people living live in peace
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You may say I am a dreamer
But I am not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
and the world will live as one
When a new year lies before us, we wish that it would be a good year, with peace, happiness and joy. Yet minutes into the year we hear of war, famine, nature destructions, etc. No change from the year that we bid farewell. Thus, we keep on living in the hope that one day we will experience the world described in “Imagine”.
When God created earth and mankind that was what he had in mind. A peaceful world for man to enjoy. There was no heaven and no hell, no countries, no war, hunger or greed. God is filled with goodness, love and grace. These characteristics led to God creating a beautiful and good world. He was so generous that he created man in his image to enjoy the world he created. He created man to love him and one another and to do good work to reflect God’s goodness and His image in the way man cares for the world and for each other. Man was created without flaw or sin. Moreover, man was created with a free will. Man could accept the live God offered or rejected it.
When God created man, he told them that there was just one boundary they could not cross. Man chose to cross that boundary and disobey God. They severed their relationship with God and each other and sin, decay, corruption and death came into the world.
The world God gave us does not exist anymore. But we can still experience the imagery world as God gave us his only son to allow us to live forever. The kingdom of God is anywhere the presence, rule and influence of God reigns in the lives of people.
One does not have to be an important or influential person to experience his imaginary world. There are three steps to be followed:
This is the easiest but also the most difficult rule to implement. The problem is that social media holds us to aspire for the perfect person and lifestyle, that does not exist. We even feel bad when we cannot reach this perfection. There is no person in the world that is flawless. Start accepting your flaws. This will take time. Remember these flaws are unique, it is your flaws. When you accept your flaws, it will help you to help other people who suffers because of their flaws. It is a kind of “random act of kindness.” The act will make you feel good, and the other person will feel good. He reacts by doing good to someone else starting a positive chain reaction. This will help you to open-up to other people.
2. Love your neighbour
This is one of the most difficult commandments. We frequently hear people say that in this changing world is it difficult to love your neighbour. The world is still as God created it. The only change is the moral and cultural norms that keeps on changing causing frictions, dislikes, rages and malice attacks on each other.
The command is still the same
be generous. Give unconditionally.
Be understanding. Getting to know people and to understand them you are two stone nearer to love them. Talk to them, get to know them and do not judge because they differ from you.
Pray for them. Most people want to be prayed for. If they find that you are a Christian, and you have been a good and kind neighbour to them, they may even ask for it. So be specific in your prayers, love your neighbours by interceding for them, and be willing to be the answer to your own prayers if God asks you to carry out the prayer. Doing so shows love.
Love your enemies. This is a tough one. Take the que from Jesus. Christ extended grace to all walks of sinners, as well as to those who meant Him harm. Extending kindness and grace, even in the face of hostility, exposes the injustice of your enemies’ actions, and may just make them re-think their positions. Love can change even the hearts of your enemies.
3. Love God
Many Christians expend so much energy and worry trying not to sin. The goal is not to try to sin less. In all your efforts to keep from sinning, what are you focusing on? Sin. God wants you to focus on Him. To be with Him. “Abide in me.” Just relax and learn to enjoy his presence. Every day is a collection of moments, 86,400 seconds in a day. How many of them can you live with God? Start where you are and grow from there. God wants to be with you every moment.” ~ John Ortberg, Soul Keeping
Building a better world begins with us embracing our identity and reaching out to our neighbours in our love for God.
Lord, help me to accept my flaws, reaching out to my neighbours and to walk close to you.