Read Habakkuk 1:1-4
1 This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.
2 How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
but you do not come to save.
3 Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
who love to argue and fight.
4 The law has become paralyzed,
and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
so that justice has become perverted. (NLT)
Lots of Christians think the world is in pretty poor shape. They agree with Habakkuk. Violence, destruction, argumentation, injustice, all are clearly visible. We may hope and pray that people turn back to God and amend their ways so the world will be a better place. Again, Habakkuk would nod his head in agreement.
But before we point too many Christian fingers at an unchristian world, we need to note that the prophet was not writing about the world at large but about the people of God who lived in Judah at the time. He likely knew all about the wickedness of the wider world, but he focussed here on the wickedness amongst his own people.
We can quite rightly cry out to God about our out-of-shape world. However, as we do so, let’s realise we may have a mess in our own backyard. Can a judgemental church offer grace to the world? Can a conflicted church offer peace to the world? Can a hypocritical church offer integrity to the world? Can a passionless church offer purpose to the world?
By all means lament the state of our world. But let’s seek to be part of the solution to the problem rather than part of the problem.