Times are hard and getting harder and many people out there are really hurting. Unfortunately, this has caused many to become cold hearted as people seek to survive this economic crisis. But if there ever was a time for all of us to show more love than ever it is in 2009.
The following are ten really good reasons why we all need to have much more love in 2009.....
#1) Job Losses Are Exploding To Frightening Levels
The U.S. economy lost 598,000 jobs in January. Just think about that. Over half a million jobs GONE in one short month.
These job losses are hurting real people. Do you know people who have lost jobs? We do. We know parents that are trying desperately to support their children who have now lost their jobs.
Instead of hoping that you won't be next, why not help your neighbor? Can you imagine the crushing despair of trying to support a family and losing your job and not being able to find another one? If there ever was a time to love your neighbor it is now.
#2) Racial Hatred Is On The Rise
It would be nice if the world was beyond this kind of thing in 2009, but it seems as though recent events have caused a huge upsurge in racial hatred not only in the United States, but all around the world.
The truth is that there are new headlines almost every day about one racial group hating another racial group. But it just isn't the headlines. Wherever you go on the internet it seems as though people are making hateful comments towards one racial group or another.
Can't we all decide that we are going to love people no matter what they look like or where they are from? We are all in this together, and if we don't learn to love one another we aren't going to make it.
#3) Foreclosures Are Soaring
Foreclosures in the United States increased by 81 percent last year.
An 81 percent increase in one year.
That is a whole lot of people being forcibly kicked out of their homes.
I can't imagine the pain and frustration that someone in that situation must be going through.
It is time to open our hearts and our homes to relatives and friends who need a place to stay.
The reality is that the United States has never had a foreclosure crisis of this magnitude, and there are some really hurting families that need our help.
#4) Devastating Hunger Is Gripping Much Of The World
But it is just not people in the United States who are hurting.
All over the world there are people who are starving every day.
1 billion people in the world go to bed hungry every single night.
Every 3.6 seconds someone starves to death and 3/4 are children under the age of 5.
More than 2.8 billion people, close to half the world's population, live on less than the equivalent of $2 a day.
More than 1 billion people do not have access to safe water.
About one-third of all children in the world under the age of five suffer from malnutrition.
How can you justify your blessed lifestyle and not ever give anything to ease the hunger and suffering of these millions on the other side of the world?
#5) The Elderly Are Being Abused
A stunning new report has revealed that more than 90 percent of nursing homes in the U.S. were cited for violations of federal health and safety standards last year. The same report found that inspectors received 37,150 complaints about conditions in nursing homes across America last year, and the investigators were able to personally verify that 39 percent of those complaints were valid.
The reality is that our elderly are being abused instead of being cherished as a national treasure.
Even many of those who are not being abused are being neglected.
When is the last time you made a trip to a nursing home? When is the last time you made a point to spend time with some elderly relatives?
Tonight there are millions of seniors who would love a visit from someone like you. Shouldn't we make 2009 a year when we take better care of our elders?
#6) New Orleans And Other Neglected Areas Of The United States Are Being Ignored
Did you know that some areas of New Orleans STILL have not been rebuilt after all this time?
In the "greatest country on earth" a situation like New Orleans can persist for YEARS and still the government does not fix the problem.
It is a national disgrace.
But New Orleans is not alone. There are a growing number of areas around the U.S. that have been hit by natural disasters or hard times and have just been left to rot away.
Just ask someone who has been to certain areas of Detroit. There are some places there that look like a war zone. People there are hurting bad.
Does anyone care?
#7) Child Abuse Is Rampant
It is estimated that there are over 60 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today.
The truth is that America has become a very sick and perverted nation, and child sexual predators are running rampant.
MySpace representatives and law enforcement officials say that approximately 90,000 sex offenders have been identified and removed from MySpace recently.
And did you know that there are actually about 400,000 registered sex offenders in the United States?
It has become a scary world for our children, and too many of them have been hurt by sick people.
#8) Homelessness Is Rising
The economic collapse has caused a sharp rise in the number of homeless in America.
It's not just people sleeping on street corners either.
Due to the huge number of foreclosures, tent "cities" have been popping up on the outskirts of major cities all over the nation.
The truth is that there are more people in the United States without a decent place to live than ever before.
#9) Veterans Are Hurting
Many, many American veterans are really hurting.
They have been asked to do too much for too long and the strain is catching up with them.
For instance, the rise in suicides among U.S. combat soldiers is absolutely stunning.
Those who do return are greeted with no jobs, a sinking economy, inadequate medical care for veterans and a nation that doesn't go out of their way for them.
If you know a vet, 2009 is a great time to help one.
#10) People Are Scared
Even those who still have jobs and still have homes are scared. Many of them don't understand what is going on and they are worried about the future.
It is time for all of us to bad together and to take care of those in need. Even if it is just a smile or a word of encouragement it might be enough to help someone get through a tough day.
Also, a great way to beat fear is to reach out and help others. Our own problems begin to look smaller when we meet someone who has REAL problems.
Personally, I think that the instructions in James 1:27 are very appropriate for our times.....
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
There are a lot of people hurting in 2009.
There are a lot of people who could use your love and your help.
Decide to make this a year when you will love more people than ever.