We all know that there is an infinitely long list of things wrong with the world. It feels like we just can’t catch a break.
Thankfully, Gen Z is super passionate about justice. Social media makes it easier than ever to be aware of inequalities and wrongdoings.
But it can often be overwhelming. When we look at the world around us, there’s no denying that there’s SO much wrong with it. As an enneagram one, if I’m not actively doing something to make the world a better place at least once a week, I start to feel like I’m not doing anything meaningful. The problem is, I’ll be serving in one capacity and still get upset (and rightly so) about everything else going on in every other area that’s wrong and unfair.
We know that the world is fallen, but we have to let that despair inspire us into action. God calls us to “learn to do what is good [and] pursue justice” (Isa. 1:17). When your girls are weighed down by what’s going on in the world, push them to use that sadness to spur themselves into serving others. Each one of us has the ability to make the world a better place for other people. If you’re a girls leader, your girls already see your passion for giving back to others through the time you volunteer to spend with them!
Encourage your girls to find what they’re passionate about and pour themselves into serving wholeheartedly in that area. For me, I love volunteering with foster children and anti-human trafficking ministries. There’s a long list of areas to get involved in: homeless shelters, food pantries, social justice initiatives, organizations that fight for equalities for women and racial justice, immigration organizations, animal shelters, disaster relief, hospitals—you name it. Remind your girls that God will use them wherever they decide to dedicate their time and efforts. Consider finding a common passion your girls have and committing to serving once a month after or before small groups.
Still, it’s hard when you start to feel good about making a difference in one area just to open Instagram or turn on the TV and see things falling apart in so many other areas. Jesus warned us that this world will never be as it should be: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:15-17). Just taking one step to serve others is doing the will of God and helps us combat the feeling that we can’t do anything about the tragedies that surround us. He sweetly reminds us that we can take heart because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
It’s okay to be sad when things are unjust and wrong. Thankfully, we serve a God of justice who gets angry about unfair situations, too. Our God “executes justice for the exploited…raises up those who are oppressed and … loves the righteous” (Ps. 146:6-8). When things aren’t as they should be, we can find solace in the fact that God is righteously angered by injustice, too.
The truth of it is—we can’t fix it all. No matter how much we try, we’re not going to be able to fix every single thing that’s going wrong in the world. As frustrating as that is, we can rest in the fact that we’re doing our part and making a difference one life at a time and that Jesus’ hand is sovereign over it all.
Make an effort to foster an environment in which your girls feel comfortable sharing when they are discouraged by different things happening in the world. There’s definitely a time to mourn when tragic events occur, but it’s also an opportunity to show love to others. God is known for taking what the enemy meant for evil and using it for good (Gen. 50:20). When it all feels too much, commit to taking action. Encourage your girls to add what’s weighing on them to their daily prayer list and think of ways they can take steps toward righting the wrong. We can’t do it all, but we can pray that God would use us in little ways to make big differences.
Brooke Hill is a recent Baylor University grad who lives in Nashville, TN. She joined the Lifeway Students team as a content specialist after graduating and is excited to contribute to equipping churches with content to help students love Jesus more. She’s led student small groups since she was a freshman in high school and still loves it today! Brooke enjoys finding ways to serve in her community, reading a good book, marveling at God’s creation through traveling, and a cozy night in with some yummy pizza.