Would You Really Like to See a Change?
FACING life under the conditions that exist at the present time, millions of persons would like to see a change.
When people are asked what they would most like to see announced in the news headlines, some say world peace, some, the elimination of crime or pollution, or a cure for cancer. Others speak of certain political changes they desire. The subjects of taxes and the world food shortage also come in for comment.
A world of peace and plenty, with clean air and water and wholesome food for all, a balanced ecology and the end of oppression, is indeed desirable.
This world would have to undergo a great many changes for all these desired conditions to exist at the same time. How far-reaching would the changes be? Would it require personal adjustments in your daily life? If so, would you be willing—even if making these adjustments now should inconvenience you seriously?
As stated earlier, the responsibility for the world’s deplorable situation does not rest altogether on the rulers. If individuals obeyed the laws there would be no crime problem. If each one had consideration for his neighbors, his fellow workmen, his employer, his employee, and dealt honestly and kindly with others, there would be few prejudices and hatreds, and no tie-ups due to strikes. If each person were willing to work and if he did his work with real interest and concern, the economy would be much more stable and taxes would be greatly reduced.
But is this the way things are today? For example, how does the average workman feel about the materials, supplies and equipment belonging to his employer? Does he reason, ‘The small items I will take will never be missed, and, besides, the company can afford it’? Or does he feel that ‘the company is making lots of money and they really don’t pay me enough anyway’? Are people generally careless with the property of others? How about their treatment of public facilities such as parks, rest rooms, streets, public buildings? What is your own attitude about these things? Changing our attitudes and practices along these lines is not easy. But these bad practices are some of the basic sources of trouble in present-day society and would be completely out of place in a righteous society.
Moreover, if every individual had love for his fellowman, wars would be no more. And if he were willing to be more than passive in demonstrating his love, if he would exert himself by going out of his way to help others, having as much concern for his neighbor’s welfare as his own, then real peace and relief from tension would come. Do you regularly show that deep a concern for your fellowman?
It is clear that action on the part of everyone, major changes in everyone’s life, are necessary for all those who would live in a desirable world. One not making these changes and ordering his life along these lines would cause trouble for others. He would be a real misfit. He would not be deserving of the peace and tranquillity of that world.
The righteous new order that God promises is just such a fine, desirable arrangement, with the added prize of everlasting life in perfect health. The Bible describes the good conditions we have discussed as realities in the earth under God’s Messianic Kingdom rule. How does all this appeal to you?
ARE YOU A DOER AS WELL AS A HEARER?
Almost everyone would like to enjoy the material human benefits the Bible promises, but not all want to change their way of life, forsaking materialism and becoming spiritually minded. They are comparable to those Jews in Babylon to whom God’s prophet Ezekiel spoke. God told Ezekiel:
“They will come in to you, like the coming in of people, and sit before you as my people; and they will certainly hear your words but these they will not do, for with their mouth they are expressing lustful desires and after their unjust gain is where their heart is going. And, look! you are to them like a song of sensuous loves, like one with a pretty voice and playing a stringed instrument well. And they will certainly hear your words, but there are none doing them.”—Ezek. 33:31, 32.
If, really, in your heart, you would like to see a change to the fine conditions of God’s new order, then you will be like the ones to whom the apostle Peter spoke, saying: “Get saved from this crooked generation.” They asked with the greatest earnestness: “Men, brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37, 40) You will have the attitude of Zacchaeus the tax collector, who, on listening to Jesus’ teaching, acted immediately at great expense to himself to right his wrongs and to change his life. (Luke 19:2, 8, 9) You will be like Lydia of the city of Thyatira, who made no excuses or inward reservations, so that “Jehovah opened her heart wide to pay attention to the things being spoken by [the apostle] Paul.”—Acts 16:14, 15.
A SWEEPING BUT BENEFICIAL CHANGE
The only one who can make the change that will bring all the desirable things mentioned is the Creator. Of him alone it can be truly said: “You are opening your hand and satisfying the desire of every living thing.” (Ps. 145:16) This change will affect every living thing, for earth’s symbolic “foundations” are out of balance. Jehovah spoke of the injustices of the rulers and judges of his covenant people Israel, saying concerning the situation of the people: “They have not known, and they do not understand; in darkness they keep walking about; all the foundations of the earth are made to totter.” (Ps. 82:5) Through his prophet Isaiah, God said: “The land has gone to mourning, has faded away. The productive land has withered, has faded away. The high ones of the people of the land have withered. And the very land has been polluted under its inhabitants, for they have bypassed the laws, changed the regulation, broken the indefinitely lasting covenant.”—Isa. 24:4, 5.
These words are true in a larger and more widespread way in Christendom, which professes to be in a covenant with God. However, the psalmist depicts the state of affairs as it should be, and as it will be in God’s new order. In inspired song the commandment is given to humans of all kinds, men and women, young and old, to praise Jehovah, and along with them “you wild animals and all you domestic animals, you creeping things and winged birds.” (Ps. 148:10-13) Thus, all creation will be brought back into harmony, with happiness and unlimited benefits to all.
It is inescapable, then, that a sweeping, large-scale change in the life of every human must take place, that is, in the life of every human who wants to live under the conditions for which God originally made man. But the change is certainly worth while, and is the only way to achieve true happiness. How can this change be made? This is the question dealt with as we proceed to the discussion, “What Do You Want to Do?”