One more thought on the problem with people before I expound on my solution:
I have noticed that we never need to convince ourselves to do the wrong thing. No one needs to suggest that I rip off the overpriced corporation or steal paper products from my employer or ignore my husband when he's talking (or I just don't feel like listening) or not stop to help the person on the side of the road. In fact, it's quite easy to choose to do the selfish, what's-in-it-for-me thing.
Instead, we spend most of our time trying to control our bad thoughts/impulses and actually do the 'right' thing. This, to me, is proof that not only are we, the people, the biggest problem we face in this world but that we also are not able to do anything to get ourselves out of our own mess. Because, as I mentioned previously, a great many of us don't actually care to overcome our selfish leanings and those of us who do, still fail a great deal of the time. Because it's hard to always do the right thing.
This is where the solution becomes such great news. We need someone else to take care of the problem of us. And that someone is Jesus.
I've just lost some of you who hate that name, or, more likely, hate anyone who wants to associate themselves with him. So I must first apologize for all Christians everywhere, including myself. Because we love a perfect God but don't do such a perfect job of imitating him (see my previous post on the problem with us, being people and all). But bear with me for a moment --
Forget that you hate Christians and churches and church history and maybe even God. All that aside, most people concede that Jesus was pretty cool. Perfect, in fact. The kind of guy that everyone liked - except for those ultra conservative, self-righteous, religious leaders of the day. Jesus liked to buck the system and push buttons. He had all the power and authority in the world and used it to serve people. Like crazy possessed people who cut themselves and dirty diseased leprous people and questionable promiscuous women and mixed race outcasts and even the very enemies of the Jewish people. Jesus is the example of complete, selfless sacrifice and fearless giving.
So, imagine the world if everyone acted like Jesus.
No one would be alone.
No one would go hungry (Jesus liked to feed people, even making alot of wine so they could party hard at a wedding).
No one would abuse the power or the resources entrusted to them.
We would take care of the beautiful creation that Jesus' dad made.
We would feel safe - physically and emotionally.
We would celebrate.
But let me be clear - because of that whole human problem, that I-can't or won't-always-do-the-right-thing problem, I am NOT saying that the solution is to imitate Jesus. I am saying that the solution IS Jesus.
Jesus lived the life that we can't (in our own strength or will). And he said that anyone who gives up his/her life for him - anyone who is willing to admit that he can't make the world (or himself) better on his own and hands his life over to Jesus - that person will have new life. A life fueled by the spirit of Jesus, which was powerful enough to raise him from the dead and can now work the same kind of miracles in the human heart. Because only a miracle can change us from selfish fearful people into sacrificial bold servants. With Jesus, we don't have to worry about who will take care of us because HE is; we don't have to hold onto our stuff (time, energy, emotions) because he generously provides everything we need.
When hearts change, people change. And those people can change the world because they are no longer living for themselves, but for the one who got them out of their mess.