They underpay and overwork us
Though we seldom get our due
And when each day is through
I bring my tired body home
And look around for you
You and me against the world
It feels like you and me against the world
And for all the times we've cried
I've always felt that God was on our side”
-- “You and Me Against the World,” By Kenny Ascher and Paul Williams
Many of you have heard the popular saying, “I’m not of this world, I’m just passing through.” I can relate. I’ve felt that way my entire life. As a child I was shocked and appalled by the way I saw human beings treat one another. I never got over it. I guess I just got used to some of it. Then I met Jesus. He showed me by example what his view of the world was. I’m able to walk through this world each day by focusing on him.
When the world says: Are you sick? Do you have medical insurance? Do you have any pre-existing conditions? Sorry, we can’t help you out.
Jesus says: Do you want to be made well? I will make you well.
When the world says: Let's get revenge.
Jesus says: Turn the other cheek. Love your enemies.
When the world says: Offend me once, shame on you. Offend me twice, shame on me.
Jesus says: Forgive seventy times seven.
When the world says: Lock him up and throw away the key. Let him rot in prison.
Jesus says: I was in prison and you came to visit me.
When the world says: You’re a loser and you can’t do it.
Jesus says: Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
When the world says: Maximize your profits above all other considerations.
Jesus says: Sell all that you own and give it to the poor.
When the world says: Spend all your time wishing you were rich and keeping up on celebrity gossip.
Jesus says: Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
When the world says: Judge.
Jesus says: Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
When the world says: They are evil.
Jesus says: Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
When the world says: Let's command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elisha did!
Jesus says: Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.
When the world says: Hate those who are not like you.
Jesus says: Love one another as I have loved you. By this they will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.
When the world says: It’s every man/woman for himself/herself. Now go read “Atlas Shrugged!”
Jesus says: If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.
When the world says: Be afraid.
Jesus says: Fear not, for I am with you always even until the end of time.
When the world says: Why do you believe in the magic man in the sky? It’s all a big made-up fairy tale.
Jesus says: Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
The World says: An eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.
Jesus says: Do not resist an evil person.
When the world says: You’re not welcome here in this country.
Jesus says: I was a stranger and you invited me in.
When the world says: You're a worthless whore and we're going to kill you.
Jesus says: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Where are your accusers? Neither do I accuse you. Go and sin no more.
When the world, the Taliban, al-Qaida, the GOP, the media, Homeland Security, your cash flow, and hundreds of friends and neighbors say: "Be Afraid."
Jesus says: Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
When the world says: Give CEOs exuberant salaries and profits while not rehiring the unemployed.
Jesus says: What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul.
When the world says: We won't let homosexuals have equal rights
Jesus says: Whatever you want others to do for you, do so for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
When the world says: If you feed homeless people we will arrest you.
Jesus says: I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.
When the world says: What? You're unemployed? What a loser! There must be something wrong with you. Quit leaching off of society!
Jesus says: Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
When the world says: Look out for number one. It's a dog eat dog world.
Jesus says: Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
When the world says: Take care of your own business.
Jesus says: Buster, your business is taking care of others in need. (Paraphrased)
When the world says: You're beaten. Go ahead, give up, and die.
Jesus says: Lazarus, come forth!
When the world says: You are worthless.
Jesus says: I love you so much that I will lay down my life for you.
When the world says: The sky is falling.
Jesus says: Only when you least expect it. (Paraphrased)
When the world says: You're broke and you can't pay your bills
Jesus says: Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
When the world says: Perhaps you should seek satisfaction in the ways of the world.
Jesus says: The Kingdom of God is within.
When the world says: God helps those who help themselves.
Jesus says: I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
When the world says: WAR!...
Jesus says: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
When the world says: Who is my neighbor?
Jesus says: Which of these men was a neighbor to the wounded man?
When the world says: God told me to run for office.
Jesus says: Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
The world says: I’m better than you. You are unworthy.
Jesus says: The last will be first, and the first will be last.
When the world says: Love only those who are worthy of love.
Jesus says: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
When the world says: Look at what a good Christian I am!
Jesus says: When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.
When the world says: Love money.
Jesus says: Love God and your neighbor, even your enemy.
When the world says: It's MY money!
Jesus says: Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.
When the world says: Greed is good; altruism is bad and all people need to take care of themselves.
Jesus says: If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.
When the world says: Keep walking. He just wants to buy drugs or liquor.
Jesus says: Give to everyone who asks of you.
When the world says: Follow me.
Jesus says: Follow Me.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 10 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. … Do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”
Romans 8:36-39 assures us “Just as it is written, ‘For your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
In Numbers 21:8-9 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived. In John 3:14 Jesus said, "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up."
When we stay focused on Jesus, we won’t be harmed by the poisonous snakes of this world. I’m not going to agree with what the world says anymore. I’m going to agree with what Jesus says. What about you?
(Post submitted by Charles Toy who is a founding member of The Christian Left and a Featured Blogger).