When I read about yet another official in a place of public trust being found guilty of wrongdoing, my first inclination is to despair. I think, “People are worse than ever before.” Then I get it all back in perspective. It’s not that people are worse—the news coverage is just better.
One writer said about youth, “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners and contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love to chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their household. They no longer rise when the elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers.” So what’s new? That was said by Socrates in 400 B.C.
People are basically the same in all ages. No better, no worse. We do have better coverage today. That means that almost all evil is immediately known by everyone. The cumulative effect of this can be overwhelming.
The thing that makes a difference in people is not the centuries nor even our cultures. It is Christ. He alone is able to break through all the pressures and patterns and make us new people.
The Bible says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). When people commit their lives to Christ, they are changed. When enough people are changed, our world will be changed.
Apart from him, the coverage may get better, but the character will stay the same.