The good report

The inspiring editorial on the facing page points out numerous high points of worldwide progress in 2015. While there are serious challenges facing mankind, oftentimes fear and media hype make it seem that danger and destruction surround us at every turn. The editorial points out, however, that 2015 was “the best year in history for the average human being to be alive,” according to Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, a Washington think tank. From elections in Myanmar (Burma), to increased global female literacy, to a decrease in violent crime in the United States, much good was accomplished in 2015.

Reading this editorial, I was reminded of Paul’s instruction: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

What a remarkable instruction: “Think on these things.” Which things? These: truth, honesty, justice, purity, loveliness, things of a good report, virtue, praise. What an uplifting list of “things” to think on—not material objects or gains, but spiritual qualities and their evidence in human thought and experience. All of these qualities are expressive of God, good, who is Spirit itself. When we “think on these things,” we are giving active gratitude to our creator, God. We learn in Genesis 1 in the Bible that our all-good, all-powerful, all-loving God created us in His image and likeness (see verses 26, 27)—which is to say that we are created perfect, whole, and good. Gratefully acknowledging this spiritual good becomes an effective prayer for healing, one that naturally and actively promotes further progress in our own lives and in the world.

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Guest Editorial
Church is what the world is looking for
March 14, 2016

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