"Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
"At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone" (Titus 3:1-8, NIV).
We do not get the full story from what we read in the newspaper, hear on the radio, or watch on the television. In the news media, we tend to get the ugly side of life. We see the problems, the evil, and the heart-breaking stories in heavy doses. The news is real, but it is only a part of what is going on in this world.
Throughout the world, people are being impacted by the Spirit of Christ. How many people are seeing the injustices and doing something good about them because of trust in God? How many are stepping up to abusive people in order to protect innocent victims? How many are learning to honor their parents despite their failings? How many are helping people in need without any fanfare? How many are extending forgiveness and seeking reconciliation with people who have been estranged from them? How many are deciding to embrace sexual purity? How many are extending mercy and friendship to people who have made a scandal out of their lives? How many prayers are being said by men and women who genuinely care about someone who is in trouble? How many are sharing the reason for their hope despite the risks of rejection or opposition? How many are keeping their promises despite the difficulties?
How many people have been changed by the mercy, kindness, and grace of God? How many are eager to do good in this world because of their hope in Christ? We may never know the numbers, but we see many of them all the time. Let's look for them, allow them to inspire us, and look past them to the God who motivates them to do good.