The world needs to change. It doesn’t change unless YOU play your part. The world is divided, hateful, unjust, ugly and uncertain. It’s time to look at your heart and be the change!

The current events have caused people to become anxious, scared, depressed, and angry. You name it. If you look within, have you added to those emotions? Or have you been at peace? Are you worried about yourself? Or are you putting others before your own needs? Are you finding ways to pray and become better? Or are you finding yourself gossiping, bantering and provoking wrath on social media?

The last few months took a toll on me and I will no longer allow the fear and worry takeover. It’s time to spread joy, hope and love. You can be the change.

Here are 4 action steps we can take to make this world a more loving, just, peaceful and beautiful world: Having the same mindset as Jesus, Be in good company, Let the word dwell inside of you, and Let your actions speak louder than your words.

1. HAVE THE SAME MINDSET AS JESUS.

Having the same mindset as Jesus is such a hard concept and can be a daily struggle for me. Desperate times can call for desperate measures. With this shut down I watched many people fear for their lives (this included me). Many people canceled unnecessary expenses. Some people even decided to cancel their membership to FMU. This stirred up all kinds of emotions in my heart. I was on a crazy roller coaster ride of ups and downs. Many people came out of the wood work and donated, sent us grocery money, cards, encouraging words, prayers. However, I was focusing on the cancelations so much I lost sight of the beautiful blessings God was providing.

First, I became angry. How could people cancel on us? We have worked so hard to get here. Why would they want FMU to close permanently? Why couldn’t they spare it to help us out? We just had a baby! They must not care about FMU.  Then my emotions quickly switched to pure sadness. I felt like I was going through a divorce with more than 1 person. It was brutal. Is this JUST a workout to people?  Is this really not a family after all? What did I do wrong? Do people not like us anymore? I thought if I was better at serving and loving people they wouldn’t have wanted to leave.  It seemed like I would just be getting over my sadness and wake up with hope, only for it to happen all over again. It felt like my purpose of serving and loving people just got ripped away from me.

Then I felt like I woke up one day with a huge slap in the face! A good slap. One of those LOVE tap slaps. The LORD was stirring up peace and love in my heart. He had better plans for me. He WOKE me up. The feelings I was having before were not of GOD. Only Satan can creep in when you are most vulnerable and make you feel things that aren’t true. When we are at our weakest, Satan will stop at nothing to make you fearful, anxious, angry, hopeless and depressed. I was being selfish, worrying about myself, the gym and our own personal needs that I forgot to be JESUS.

Having the same mindset as Jesus means you put others before yourselves. “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care —then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” Philippians 2:1-4 MSG

I especially love this verse because of how pertinent it is at this present time. Agree with each other, love each other and don’t push your way to the front. I don’t think it literally means AGREE with everyone. It’s great to have different perspectives. I think we need to dig deep and love each other and respect that not everyone will have the same opinions, morals, and values as you. To love one another we need to push away those differences and be Jesus.

Be the one to take care of other people, love them and put them first. Do it sacrificially even if it has no benefit to you. Start asking what you can do for others. Instead of wondering how something benefits you, start wondering how it will impact others. “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13 NIV

Reach out to people and let them know you care. Offer a hug. Send a letter, text, email to encourage and lift up one another. Make a meal or send a grocery card to someone in need. Be a voice to listen. Be empathetic and understanding because you never know what someone might be going through. Jesus came to the earth to serve, not be served.

“Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.” Matthew 20:24-28 MSG

Love and pray for people even when they hurt you. You can pray for them even from afar. The world needs Jesus. Until he comes back to save us, we need to be the best representation of Jesus to the world. Its not about you but it starts with you. Be the Change.

 

2. BE IN GOOD COMPANY.

The Bible says “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 NIV.  In the Old Testament, an iron blade was used to sharpen another blade until they both were sharp. Sharp enough to be the best and most efficient working tools. If we aren’t sharp, we are dull. In order to be our best selves, we need to be sharp. Sharp not just for ourselves but for others.

This holds true to our everyday relationships. We should be in a constant state of pursuing accountability from other believers. We all have relationships; spouses, coworkers, family and friends. Some people have a larger network of relationships than others. But how many of those relationships are REAL and GENUINE? We really need to look closely at the ones who make us sharp. It might feel good to be a part of the pack, but could it be for the wrong reasons. Do they gossip? Is life always about them? Do they use positive language? Do you feel like they strengthen your faith? Or is GOD not even a part of their vocabulary? Do they see the glass half full or half empty? Are they supportive, encouraging and positive or do they instigate arguments? Is your relationship superficial or do you have deep meaningful conversations? Relationships can be like food. They can either be medicinal, nourishing your body and soul or they can be poisonous causing all sorts of toxicity.

I am willing to bet many of you have watched your child’s behavior change dramatically after spending the day with a friend. Maybe they picked up a new “word” or behavior that you know they didn’t learn from you. I am also willing to bet maybe you have thought twice before letting them play with that friend again.

As adults, you would think we would be able to discern who we associate with in that same manner. Our behaviors are directly affected by those around us. There are studies revealing that people tend to conform to others’ opinions and behaviors. They have a huge influence on what we say, think and believe. We lack the ability to change peoples’ hearts. That is Gods job and completely out of our hands.

So, maximize your time with the people that will sharpen you, seek HIS kingdom, elevate your faith, and help you navigate this world in a biblical way. God tells us in Matthew, to go out and make disciples of all nations. If we aren’t the most effective working tool for Christ, then how can we lead people to HIM?

 

Part 2, coming soon…..