I can remember well the California Farmer in its early days, under various names now no longer used. A hen often paid for a subscription! The farm folks of the post–World War I years read it from cover to cover. It was a very different world then—or was it? Things have changed, it is true, but mankind’s problems are essentially the same, and they can be summed up in one word: sin.
One of my most memorable experiences, shortly after World War II ended, was hearing a remarkable man speak about the new era of the atom bomb. I recall his name, Samuel Moffett, and he concluded thus: The invention of the atom bomb makes no more difference than the invention of the bobby pin as far as man’s essential problem is concerned, his unwillingness to live in faithfulness to God, and to forsake evil.
Mankind makes its own problems, and nothing in men’s environment does men as much harm as men’s own sins do. A fellow pastor, recently counseling a troubled man, found quickly that the man wanted everything in his world to change, but not himself. We cannot change our husband, wife, neighbor, employer, or anyone else, but we can, by God’s grace, change ourselves, and this is where our responsibility lies.
Few things are more distressing to pastors than such comments as this: “That was a wonderful sermon, pastor. I’m sorry my husband was not here to hear it, because he needed it.” It is always easier to remember someone else’s sin! Our essential duty is to correct ourselves, to grow in grace, and to be grateful that, whether we live in 1919, or 1991, it is still God’s world and God’s time, and He does all things well.