You don’t have to look far to see that there are many problems and challenges in our world today. Maybe you feel overwhelmed and wonder how you can make a difference.
The truth is, changing our world starts with changing us! As individuals and families who love God, we must be willing to take responsibility for our part in our world. We cannot point our fingers at everyone else and blame them for the condition of our world; blaming doesn’t bring change or improvement.
When we realize that we can’t change others, only ourselves, we come from a position of choice and strength. We can make different choices to have a different outcome. And we each have our part; for example, in the book of Nehemiah in the Bible, the Jews were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and were responsible for the portion of wall near their homes. Likewise, we are each responsible to build our lives and families for God’s glory and for improving our world. If each of us does our part, it won’t be long before our world changes for the better!
1. Be Faithful
This may sound simple, but is it? Be full of faith, not doubt! Be full of faith, not fear. Be full of faith and belief that God is who He says He is, and that He’ll do what He has said He’ll do.
God is faithful to the end; He’s eternally faithful, and He’s looking for His people to be like Him. Compromise has never impressed anyone, but faithfulness is honorable.
Be faithful to your family and your spouse. Be faithful at your job and to your church. Be faithful to those in spiritual authority like your pastors. Be faithful in reading your Bible, praying, giving, serving and being a Christian example to your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Be faithful to the Word of God, and be faithful to keep your word.
God is looking for people to be faithful to Him and His Kingdom because we cannot represent Him to this world if we lack faithfulness. Remember, if we can be trusted with little, we can be trusted with much (Luke 19:17). Have you been faithful in the little things so that God can entrust more to you?
2. Be Selfless
Selfishness is rampant in our world today, leading to broken families, abuse, and disregard for others. When people are self-centered, all that matters is what they want, and they ignore the needs and feelings of others. Self-importance often destroys marriages and other valuable relationships, sometimes so severely that reconciliation is almost impossible.
Jesus was the perfect example of selflessness when He died on the cross to forgive our sins. He said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Jesus practiced what He preached; He selflessly gave up His life to save the lives of sinners. He was focused on bringing glory to His Father and bringing salvation to mankind instead of what He wanted for Himself.
And let’s be honest; who likes to be around a selfish, self-centered person? It’s not an enjoyable experience, is it? Philippians 2:3 teaches, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”
We must fight self-absorption by choosing to honor and serve others instead of ourselves. Make it a priority to put the needs and welfare of others before your own; in so doing, you will honor the Lord.
Listen to a 5-minute audio message on the topic, “Am I a Self-Absorbed Christian?”:
3. Be Generous
Generosity is something this world needs more of, and it’s also another way to be selfless. But I’m not just talking about being generous financially. All around us are people who are hurting, discouraged and afraid. We can be generous with our love, encouragement and faith. Sometimes, generously offering a smile or hug can completely change someone’s world.
Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”
When we refresh and encourage others, we can’t help but feel encouraged ourselves. Being generous with our affection toward others, donating towards others’ needs, or doing something kind for someone are acts of generosity and selflessness that in turn bless us.
Being generous with our time and attention toward God is perhaps the most important. We cannot forget that God is a jealous god (Deuteronomy 4:24) who doesn’t want to share our worship and devotion. Be sure to generously honor God with your time, energy, finances, talents and dedication.
4. Be Spontaneous
As we go about our daily lives, it can be easy to just go on “auto-pilot” and neglect to notice situations and people around us. Instead, be in tune with the Holy Spirit, ready to do what He wants you to do and say what He wants you to say.
Jesus demonstrated this over and over again during His ministry. He was open to the Father’s leading, from making mud to put on a blind man’s eyes to praying for His friend to be raised from the dead! We must decide on purpose to pay attention to those around us and to listen for the Spirit’s direction.
After all, we are His hands, His feet, and His voice to the world around us. Be ready to bless someone, to give money or a listening ear, to mow a lawn or offer a ride, to speak life and hope; be ready to obey God to change the world around you.
5. Pray Fervently
Prayer is, of course, perhaps the most important thing we can do to change our world. Whether we need to see some things change in our family or workplace, our school or government, prayer is the foundation for that change to happen.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God said, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Notice that this is an “if-then” statement. IF we, the people of God, will do our part (humble ourselves, pray and seek God, and turn from sin), THEN God will do His part (forgive and heal).
And how should we pray? James 5:16 says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
If we want to see big change in our world, then we must pray with passion and zeal. We cannot whisper puny prayers; our world is in desperate need of hope, peace and love.
God responds to strong, passionate prayers, so let’s petition Him in righteousness and with humility to change our world.
~ by Jennell Houts
To learn what makes prayer effective, read The 7 Keys to the Lord’s Prayer