I believe ... ... ... that the reason that the world is in the state it is in these days is because too many people have ceased to believe.
There was a time, years ago, when people believed in things. And that belief, however true, or however tenuous, kept people focussed, either individually or collectively, and the benefit or outcome of that focus was for the good of society in general.
Wait a minute till I read that last paragraph again. You might wish to do the same. I think it is important in what I am about to say next.
You see ... in far away times, people believed in things. They believed they should work hard and better themselves. They believed in the family. Looking after their own ... wives, children, siblings, parents or grand-parents. They believed in education. They believed in country. They believed in society ... we're all in this together and all that ... only then, they truly meant it.
They believed in responsibility. Theirs as well as that of others. They knew the difference between right and wrong. They encouraged the former and punished the latter.
Some even believed in God ... many more than these days it seems. They believed in His omnipotence as Creator of everything. They obeyed His rules. Some believed in Jesus His only Son.
In them days I speak of, they also believed in the devil; for he exists all right. You can't believe in God and not believe in the devil.
They also believed in Heaven and hell. In a final judgement. They even believed in eternal life after our physical bodily death.
And then things changed ... gradually but surely ... they changed.
I don't think people believe in anything these days.
I doubt many believe in personal responsibility. Whatever happens in life it is always someone else's fault. The Government, my parents, my teachers, the education system, my health, my bad luck, God even ... it is His fault that this is happening to me ... it is never my personal responsibility.
They certainly don't believe in the family considering the increasing number of divorces, children born out of wedlock, dysfunctional families, uncaring parents and children and so on. Not forgetting of course abortions, euthanasia and the increasing number of elderly people left to fend for themselves or packed into a care home to look after them. I guess a good slogan for such homes should be "We care so you don't have to!"
People don't believe in, or know, right from wrong any more. It is all right to do this as long as I am not found out. It isn't wrong really.
They don't believe in society. There is no such thing as society, country or collective loyalty. It is all me ... me ... me ... As long as I am OK and I can do my thing my way.
Many certainly do not believe in God any more.
The tenets of life have become easy and simple. We are born. We live. We die. Period. Full stop.
There is no such thing as Heaven or hell. A God with a beard sitting on a cloud somewhere judging people. Sending some to hell; where devils with horns and tails, wielding three pronged forks, prick people in the backside as they push them into fiery furnaces. The imagery of burning fires consuming tortured souls no longer holds much credence these days.
People generally no longer believe in all that. It is stuff of folklore. Legends. You might as well believe in tooth fairies or other such tales.
People no longer consider the devil as an evil spirit intent on wreaking havoc and chaos throughout the world. They don't believe it because they don't necessarily believe in spirits ... souls. They don't even believe they themselves have a soul (spirit); how can they be expected to believe in good and evil spirits like angels and demons?
The main focus in life these days seems simple enough. Materialism. Consumerism. Comfort. Possessions. Gratification ... I'll leave you to add some more words here ...
Of course, I am not saying that everyone is behaving in the way I have described; but it seems to me that the pendulum is fast swinging towards a significant number to make a difference throughout the world.
The devil ... I guess he is silently smiling.
God, I believe, is still in control of events, and will always be. He is allowing it to happen because in a way, we have asked Him to. We have told Him, in no uncertain terms, to keep out of our lives.
Let us not test His mercy and patience too much.