Most people would be skeptical of the claim that it is possible to change the world. After all, the world of today is pretty complicated. Doesn’t history show evil, injustice, and sin are intractable and constant?
I’ve talked about this very question any number of times. And in each case I said, yes, we can change the world. But most people would expect a pastor to engage in some idealistic cheerleading designed to fire up the troops. In other words, pastors are expected to say such things.
The truth is the Christian side of us wants to believe we can change the world while the pragmatic side believes that that no matter what our efforts, we can’t permanently and fundamentally fix the world and change the human heart. But, making a contrast with James Bond, the Christian does not have to save the world singlehandedly, because Jesus gives us the church, and thus a family and a community of believers. So collectively we can make a difference. But what we do as individuals as part of a group is what makes all the difference.
Because the only way to change the world is to change individuals. Changed people, in sufficient numbers, will produce changed neighborhoods, changed campuses, changed communities, changed cities, states and nations. And yes, in a very real sense, a changed world. Jesus Christ is the only One who can change people from within. We can help to change the world by introducing people to Jesus Christ. And we can point people to Jesus in a variety of ways.
The fact is we can and do change the world in both small yet significant ways. The truth is I believe we underestimate just how much we can change the world by our actions.
Let me give you just a few examples of how you can change your world by what you do personally in your life.
If you are a father or a mother, make your children the most important priority in your life and build your other commitments around them. Only God knows the true benefit to Him and to the world from your investment in their lives. If married, be the best husband/wife you can be. Demonstrate your commitment with both your integrity and your love. Good examples impact others and have the potential to change their lives.
If you love God, ask God how to love your neighbor. Ask yourself what in the world today most breaks your heart and offends your sense of justice. Decide to help change that and join with others who are committed to transforming that injustice. Nothing promotes change like action, like people getting involved.
Lastly, belong to and to share in your local church. Because the more we are part of His family, which is the Church, the stronger we are and the more we can live to change the world.
There are others I could list, but I think you get the idea. Finding the relationship between what you do and how it can help change the world is the best hope we have for real change. And remember being part of the church will strengthen each of us to change the world.