What do you do about Crisis in the world?

Overwhelmed by all the crisis in the world?  You’re not alone.

[Intentionally NOT placing a PICTURE HERE!]

As human beings, we all share the reality of living on this “grand terrestrial ball” and our response to these disasters, atrocities or out-right acts of evil in this world have a profound impact on each of us.  As a missionary I have witnessed up close, how people deal differently with these things.  I don’t have clinical names for these responses though I’m sure they exist.  I also don’t claim to be a scholar of any kind.  At most, I would say I am a kind of practitioner in the field, though I can tell you that there are several common responses that I have become accustomed to seeing.

To help, I thought I might share these to coach people through the storm of all the global news that constantly brings us wave after wave of stories of the evil happening all around us. My hope is that we won’t let ourselves get taken down by the barrage of bad news but rather that we would feel called to rise to the occasion or even perhaps find your true reason for existence!

Here are EIGHT common ways that people often respond to the news of global crisis:

  1. Self-Protection
  2. Blind Eye
  3. Angry at Injustice
  4. Unable to Function
  5. Sadness & Depression
  6. Indifference
  7. Increasing Hatred
  8. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!

  1. Self-Protection

Pull in and take care of me and mine. Bar the windows, lock the doors. Hoard my wealth and keep to myself. Look out for number one and let everyone else go.

This is the height of selfishness and it only works until you’re on the other side.  Eventually we all have needs and when it’s our turn we quickly abandon this approach and condemn those who would live this way as if we didn’t do it.

 

  1. Blind Eye

I don’t see it on purpose because I don’t want to think about it. I don’t watch the news because I don’t want to be confronted with this information because It makes me feel bad, guilty, sad or something else. Out of sight, out of mind.

You can only ignore or deny something for so long. At some point, it comes to your door and you can’t hide from it any longer. Ignoring something doesn’t help the problem, in fact it just gives the problem more time to get worse.

 

  1. Angry at Injustice

I can’t believe it! I can’t believe that no one is doing anything! This is terrible. Why haven’t I heard more about this? Why doesn’t our church care? Why hasn’t our Pastor said anything! Why isn’t our president taking action?  This is wrong!

We feel better with a fast, visible, emotional response of horror or shock but it often doesn’t lead anywhere. When emotions subside, we get back to what we were doing before but we feel better knowing that at least it bothered us and we convince ourselves that we’re good-hearted because of our reaction.

 

  1. Unable to Function

I have no words. I don’t even know what to do. This is just too much to handle. I can’t even do everyday things now because of the effect this news is having on me. It feels like I am shutting down emotionally if not also physically.

The virtue of this response is that at least it’s honest and deeply affecting you. The problem is that it doesn’t produce anything helpful or worse, it actually robs you of where you are at present and creates new problems in your life.

 

  1. Sadness & Depression

I am constantly gripped by sadness over this situation.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  My heart is broken and I feel consumed.  I don’t think anyone understands or that anything will change.  If anything, this will probably just keep getting worse.

Again, at least you are grappling with the reality of the problem.  You haven’t shut down but you are still just turning inward and letting the problem take you down.  You are letting your emotions control you instead of the other way around. You could be making a difference but instead you are being side-lined.

 

  1. Indifference

I don’t care. It’s not my problem. It doesn’t affect me. Why don’t they just change their circumstances. Why don’t they just get a job…or move…or stop complaining about their problems. We all have problems, what makes theirs so special?

This is emotional blindness. This is the response of a person that can’t feel. It would be better to have a bad emotional response than this indifference. This is a picture of a person without love. This person is in trouble personally and doesn’t even know it. They have forgotten what it is to be human.

 

  1. Increasing Hatred

Amid the problem, I’m looking for my opportunity to gain.  I want to exploit the situation and see what I can get from this.  If you can’t beat’em, join’em. I’ll get mine while I have the chance even if it’s at the expense of other people.

It’s hard to believe but there are people out there like this. There are people who have stopped loving and have simply let hatred take over and have it’s way. Even Jesus spoke of this happening in the end times.  Matthew 24:12 says…”Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold

 

  1. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT

All I know is that I can’t sit back and do nothing! My conscience won’t allow it! I must take action even if it’s only me.  Even if no one ever knows I did it…I need to make a difference.  

These are my kind of people! People that refuse to stand by and let evil things happen! For these people there are options but they’re almost always grouped in FOUR categories:

  1. PRAY – By calling on the Almighty God in faith to do His work in the lives of others! Without doubt this is the first and best answer and really isn’t exclusive because most of us can pray while doing other things as well.  However, make no mistake, if prayer is all you can do it is the mightiest of weapons! Check out these verses that stress this reality…(2 Chron. 7:14, Eph. 6:8, 1 Tim. 2:8, 2 Cor. 1:11)
  2. GIVE – By making donations to organizations, ministries or missionaries that you know and trust are doing what they say they’re doing, you accomplish several things.
    • You provide for those help structures to even exist and represent you in places that you can’t physically go for one reason or another.
    • You provide the actual resources to distribute in the areas where they are needed physically and/or spiritually.
    • You invest financially in an area that becomes important to you and you are changed in the process as you participate in the change.
  3. GO – By going to a place, whether short-term or long-term you take an irreversible step that changes your life. You can never “un-see” certain things and you become marked by your experiences. Going to a place as an answer to a problem is an incredible way to respond that does profoundly impact both you and those you visit. The big determining factor is the “what you do” and the “how you do it” but the physical step of being there is undeniably powerful especially if it is for Jesus Christ.
  4. ADVOCATE – By speaking on behalf of others that either have no voice or can’t get an audience with others you become a powerful representative in their place. You can speak for the crisis itself to generate awareness or you can speak for the those that are there helping in the midst of the need that others may not know about.   Many ministries and missionaries need help with publicizing what they are doing. This can be done by organizing events, photography, petitions, leading prayer groups or just simply using your social media responsibly.  However you do it, you can make a surprising difference just by advocating for others!

 

I have shared this, not trying to persuade people toward helping one organization, ministry or another but to hopefully reminding people that everyone can and should do something. That whatever, God puts on your heart to do, you should treat is as from Him and respond to it with all your might. Spend yourself in this life living for the Lord and He will not waste what you have given Him to use! There is no better way to live!