I read an intriguing list the other day of 19 things to watch for in society that will be trending in the coming year. It was quite different than most lists that predict social movements in fashion and fads or follow pop culture and famous people.
It certainly wasn’t as silly and superficial as that stuff.
On the contrary, it’s worth paying attention to because these are trends that are impacting the everyday lives of people around the world, including you, your family and your children. In fact, the source where I found this information notes that these are major stressors in society.
Trend spotting these issues is fairly easy—as I read these, just ask yourself, “Do I see these trending up or trending down?” How would you rank our culture today on the following?
People will be, the list says:
- Lovers of themselves.
- Lovers of money.
- Disobedient to their parents.
- False accusers.
- Lacking self-control.
- Despisers of those that are good.
- Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.
- Even though they will make a show of being religious, their religion won’t be real.
Pick any one of those social indicators—are we trending up or trending down? And what is the effect on a person who portrays such a trait? What is the effect on others who have interaction with such a person displaying this trait? What does it do to human relationships when any of these factors increase? When these things increase, I think the word “stress”—or “perilous,” as it was also described—is pretty accurate in many ways.
So, where did this list come from? Believe it or not, it’s from the Bible! The author is the apostle Paul, and he was forecasting the identifying marks of society in what he called “the last days.” You might say, “We’ve always had people like that around,” and you’re right. But Paul’s point, when he said, “In the last days perilous times will come,” is that these conditions will be progressively escalating. He follows on by saying this evil will grow worse and worse, with people deceiving and being deceived. In other words, these conditions will be trending up, and people won’t recognize why. And they won’t recognize how they are being desensitized!
This is found in 2 Timothy 3, by the way. It’s a fascinating forecast (given that it was written down nearly 2,000 years ago) and, by my way of thinking, is incredibly accurate in its assessment of today’s world.
So here’s what counts for us: You can’t change the world, but you can watch what’s trending in it, and you can watch your own life. Need a resolution for 2014? How about resolving to be a trendsetter—trending away from the dangerous direction society is heading!
For Life, Hope & Truth, I’m Clyde Kilough.