Causes bring effects.  Actions bring reactions.  What we plant produces a harvest of the same kind of product.  Our actions and teachings all bring consequences.  Think of how many things we have set out to change for the better in society in your lifetime that had great intentions and imagined wonderful results, but no one imagined the unintended consequences that came with it.  So often it has been the case that the cure for the problem or sickness has been worse than the disease or we have cured one problem to bring on ten others that are just as bad or worse.

I can remember when President Johnson was pushing his plan for the “War on Poverty”.  It seemed like a wonderful idea.  Who wouldn’t want to get rid of poverty in the country? If we could rid this nation of poverty then we could start eliminating poverty around the world.  There is no doubt there is plenty of food to feed the hungry around the world.  There are plenty of natural resources around the world to meet the needs of the people.  So the war on poverty was launched.  I was a young man when that war started and I can’t tell that there is any less poverty today than there was then.  I certainly see many more people living off government checks and far fewer people who are capable of working actually doing so now.  We have developed a whole culture of people that never think of any means of making a living except what they can do to get a bigger check from the government.

Did President Johnson and those who helped him have good motives?  I believe they did. But the unintended consequences have been horrible in many ways.  We are quickly reaching the time when over half the population will be receivers instead of producers.

The sexual revolution in this country that has certainly reached around the world had some noble ideals behind it when it was in its infancy.  There is no question that women were being abused in some ways that needed to stop.  But who in their right mind would look at what has happened in the world and think that things are better now?

People cried out for freedom and that pornography didn’t hurt anyone, that prostitution was a victimless crime and that what went on in the bedroom was no one else’s business.  So pornography has grown like a wildfire out of control.  Has it helped women to gain respect in the world?  Certainly not!  Instead in far too many cases a wife can never satisfy the cravings of the husband who has used the pretend world of porn to gauge what sex should be like in the home.  Has the sexual revolution helped with teen pregnancy or single parent families with a mother trying to raise children alone?  You would have to live in a cave where you never saw the world around you to think such was the case.

In each generation our views seem to become a little more tolerant of deviant behavior in the sexual world.  Today the big push is to legalize gay marriages.  I wonder what the push will be five and ten years from now.  Do you suppose that it will somehow stop right here?  Has it ever stopped at any point?

I thank God regularly for the freedoms we have in this nation.  But I also realize that freedom brings responsibility.  When parents become so self centered that they can’t think of anything but their own pleasure their children suffer and society as a whole is injured.  When we become so centered on the children that they are the center of the whole family and we act as though every child is the prince or princess of the world how do we really think that is going to end?  When every child grows up believing they are privileged and that every person they meet should be telling them how good they look and how wonderful they are and how the world should listen to them, what are we thinking will be the result?  Petted, pampered children become soft, narcissistic adults and spend their life pouting because people just are treating them the way they deserve.

Responsibility is a word that needs to be pulled back out and relearned in all aspects of society.  It should be a common theme at home, in the church, on the job and in school life.  As we try to adjust to a society where a twenty five year old still acts like a sixteen year old we are reaping the consequences of bringing up a privileged society.  A child should be given responsibilities according to their ability and age from the time they are toddlers until they are on their own.

Every person is responsible for their own actions.  It isn’t someone else’s fault.  You aren’t being mistreated.  If you want things to improve then quit whining and start changing some things where you live.  Society will only be changed for the better when we determine to make things better and different in our home no matter what is going on around us.  Instead of trying to keep up with the fabled “Jones” we need to determine to be the mature adults we would like to see our children become in the years to come.  The do as I say, not as I do attitude isn’t working.  It never has worked and it won’t ever work.    The world isn’t against you.  But you can change the world one person at a time by taking personal responsibility.

About leoninlittlerock

Preaching minister for Central church of Christ in Little Rock. Author of over 20 books including: When a Loved one Dies, Spiritual Development, Skid Marks on the Family Drive, Challenges in the church, To Know Christ and A Drink of Living Water.
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