By: Cara McLauchlan
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden … Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
Do you believe you have the power to change the world? The truth is you do, and it starts right in your own back yard.
When I read Mother Teresa’s simple words, “Love begins at home,” I knew she meant something big. This got me thinking about changing the world, starting with my own heart.
Ironically, love did not begin at home for me as a child. I desperately longed for what Mother Teresa talked about – a home filled with loving hearts. Instead, my parents’ violent fights were devastating. I remember my dad’s shouts waking all five children in the middle of the night so we would write thank you notes my mother forgot to send. Scared and not able to spell well, I thought if I could get it right, my mom and dad would be happy again.
I prayed the same prayer each night that God would somehow make our family whole. I wanted a happy ending, like on T.V. and in movies. I didn’t want battles that left my mom in a checked-out stupor and my dad vacating.
All I wanted was the security of knowing that two people still loved me despite the fact they couldn’t love each other. I never found it. In that brokenness, I came to find the only truly perfect love in God. With all my parents’ imperfections, they gave me the greatest life lesson: the world will always disappoint, but God’s love never will.
If we each looked to our sphere of influence to see how we could radiate God’s love, we could unleash amazing change. Think about it. If we broadcast God’s unfailing love to our schoolmates, neighbors, communities, church family and friends, we see that we really do have the power to change the world. It all starts with our decision to be a beacon of Christ’s hope.
Completely and wholly loving one another like Jesus Christ loved us. This kind of love changes everything: loneliness ended, brokenness healed, encouragement for passions and gifts found. We might even save the world. At the very least, we will save ourselves.
Changing the world doesn’t have to be huge. It can be quite simple – starting with your own heart and right in your back yard.
Dear Lord, show me how to share Your love in my own circle. I pray that You will fill my heart so that I can be a beacon for You. Open my eyes to my opportunities to be a light for God. Show me how I can change the world for Your benefit and for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ponder: 1 John 4:12, “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” (NLT)
Apply: Think about the people God sends across your path at school, work, church, or in community activities. Ask God to show you how you can share love with them. Take a step outside your comfort zone by loving or serving someone in a surprising way. Whether it’s offering free childcare for a mother in need, volunteering at a church cause or cleaning up your neighborhood, you can be a change agent for Jesus Christ.
Read: Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris
Share: What people come across your path on a regular basis? How can you radiate God’s love in your circle of influence?
© 2010 by Cara McLauchlan. All rights reserved.
A Division of Proverbs 31 Ministries