What went wrong? Why is the world such a mess?


Let’s go back to our earlier conversation about the opposing forces in life. If we are honest with ourselves, there is an internal self-centeredness that has captured each one of us. This destructive force is what hurts us and our relationships. One author said it this way: “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.” This destructive force produces a constant internal battle about the way we treat ourselves and others. These destructive forces deceive and distract us from remembering our value and the value of everyone on earth. Jesus said it this way, “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.”

As we navigate this journey called life, this human nature seems to intrude on our lives more and more. We see it on a large scale all over the world, in wars, genocide, human trafficking and other evil that destroys lives. We also see it on a more personal level in our own lives. The everyday actions we received from our parents, peers and others, as we grew up; either tore down our value or affirmed our value.

For many of us, those interactions tell us, we are not worthy of love and didn’t affirm our value as human beings. It’s often the small comments or times when someone loses control of their emotions, that wounded our sense of value given at our birth. We long to be told we are worthy of love. There are many ways that a wounded person begins to strive to regain that value. And I am convinced that most of the problems in our world result from this wounding of our value and our attempts to regain that value.


Have you noticed that people use many strategies to overcome their woundedness, to regain their value as a human being?

C. S. Lewis once said, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

There is a craving to find our value that was lost in our lives up to this point. Let’s look at some of the strategies we use to regain our value and if they are effective. There are basically two strategies with several sub-strategies:

  • Things you acquire or do. Many people say that the answer to the need for value is: Wealth or Power or Position or Prestige or Trophies or Strength or Beauty or Intelligence or Education or Humor or Efficiency or Servanthood or Addictions or Control of Others or Theft or Deception or Fitting in with the Crowd. All these strategies will fulfill the need for value temporarily. However, it doesn’t take long in a conversation with a person who has gained one or all of these “value builders” to find that they have not met the deeper need of intimacy and connection. You often hear the comment, “My life is empty.”   
  • Looking inside yourself. Many people say people are basically good. They say if you look inside yourself you will get in touch with that goodness. In fact, I was a strong believer in this view. I now challenge that assumption. Remember the opposing forces in our world that always battle inside us? If I’m honest with myself I fail to live up to the standards of goodness that I desire to live by. As much as we try to control our human nature, it it proves to be an overpowering force in human life. We even see this inner selfishness and jealousy start early in life, as young as small toddlers.

Wow, Walt, that seems pretty harsh. Don’t you have any positive news?

Next: Yes, I do have some very positive, optimistic and hopeful news. I would like to present the idea of embracing a Biblical worldview as a quest to be a stronger and more united family.

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