“You act like it’s you against the world, but it’s really you against yourself.” – Unknown
I grew up loving alternative culture, which I still consider to be my favorite genre of music, art, and style. What’s fascinating about alternative culture is the many sub-cultures that exist within the genre, particularly in music.
Emo. Grunge. Punk. Industrial. New Wave. Indie. Gothic…The list goes on and on…
As with all art and culture, the alternative scene has been taken to the extreme more often than not. One of the most destructive attitudes and ideas that was embraced within this culture – particularly with disgruntled youth of postmodern society – is that the world hates us and we’re on our own. If you would like to get a better understanding of this culture, please visit your nearest Hot Topic (you might just find me in the Star Wars section).
Before you start thinking, “Well, Andrew, I’m a business professional, athlete, pastor, honors student…I am not like those people”, please check yourself. Those of us who struggle with greed, pride, and selfishness (that includes everyone) have all bought the lie that says the world is against us and that we just need to look out for ourselves.
Example: the culture of business professionals. Back-stabbing, power-grabbing, ladder-climbing, corruption, greed – all are acts reflecting a heart that says “the world is against me and I need to look out for number 1”. The only difference is that they don’t have purple hair and a Ramones t-shirt.
We are at war, but not with one another. We are at war against a dark spiritual force that seeks to destroy us, often by sowing seeds of self-doubt, self-hatred, pride, self-worship, and self-condemnation. We are all born into a sin-sick world, vulnerable to lies and deception from our true enemy. We were never meant to hate or worship ourselves. We were created in the image of a loving God who died for us, even when we were at our worst!
“There’s no such thing as ‘those people’; there’s only people.” – Derwin Gray
You are not at war with the world (aka – “those people”). People do exist who care about you, even if you haven’t met them yet. The fingerprints of God mark every soul, including yours. Jesus calls humanity to love one another, even if we don’t always agree with each other.
What if we began seeing the image of God in each human being we encounter, rather than seeing our enemy?
What if we stopped destroying ourselves, filling our hearts with despair and self-loathing?
Wouldn’t it be incredible to start believing in better things, both from ourselves and others?