While browsing Facebook a few days ago, I found myself mindlessly scrolling through the comments of friends, when one comment in particular popped out at me. In response to a breaking international crisis, someone wrote:
“I feel helpless”
The comment seemed so small; it seemed as if it dangled alone on the page. I could almost hear the writer’s tiny, muted voice speaking those words. By contrast, the next comment was a long, venomous rant of an “armchair politician” who, without holding office, seemed to believe he knew all and had all the answers. The last comment offered up yet another petition to sign; one which, unfortunately, didn’t go anywhere, reach anyone, or change anything.
Social media’s endless reposts of deaths, horrific acts of violence, unjust arrests, and injustice in the courts have left many of us feeling as if the past 50 years of progress was only a passing dream. Feeling powerless, we’re allowed to blow off some steam on our favorite pages and websites. We sign off at the end of the day, only to return to new problems the next day.
That helpless feeling may be a sign that it’s time to make a change. Looking for a way to make a difference in the world? Here’s a list of six steps you can take to do your part now:
- Ignite your purpose. As long as you’re alive, it’s never too late to discover and manifest your purpose. We all have one; it’s why we’re here. Using your talents to make the world a better place is the key to true success in life (Ephesians 1:11).
- Do good. A recent study has revealed what the bible told us all along: that kindness and benevolence actually have a positive effect on our health and life expectancy (Proverbs 4:21-22). “The best way to get rid of bitterness, anger, rage, and jealousy is to do unto others in a positive way”, says Stephen G. Post, PhD, a professor of bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
- Go back to church. The church is like the body: it’s a living, breathing organism which relies on hearts, minds, and all of its members not only to work, but to thrive, to flourish, and to move forward (1Corinthians 12:12).
- Connect with a ministry (1 Corinthians 12:27, 28). Plug your gifts and talents into a ministry. The church needs fresh new ideas to give it a new life and light. And if there isn’t a ministry that matches your purpose, start one!
- Start a movement. Contrary to the world’s report, some of the most progressive people you may ever meet in life may be sitting right beside you in church.
- Change the world. The world’s issues are moral ones; for that reason, true lasting, fundamental change begins in the church (John 15:1-15).
So, are you ready to “be the change you want to see in the world?”[i] Or are you content to stay at home sitting in front of your computer, “pointing a finger” at the misdeeds of others, and hoping that progress is only a click away? Are you using your gifts to strengthen a ministry? Or are you using your words to tear one down?
Don’t be left behind – change starts with you. It’s time for all of us to get moving and do our part. Real change doesn’t come by just pointing a finger – but by engaging the entire body of the church.