Did you think about it? Is it possible to make the world a better place? Is it worth trying to live a life that is fully invested in the happiness of others? What’s in it for us? And should it matter?
It should matter. It affects all of us, and all of our surroundings. It infuses light and life into the people that we are invested in. And through them it spreads further. There is a ripple effect in what we do. A kind word to someone who is having a rough day could change their lives…and it takes little effort from us.
But what it does require is a willing heart. It might not take effort, but it won’t be effortless unless we are genuine in what we do. When we have a heart that is invested in the happiness of others, it changes us as well. What we end up seeing in our surroundings is a reflection of what we are giving out.
A frown will reflect a frown.
A smile, a smile.
A kind word, a grateful heart.
We have the power to change things, and people. For better or for worse. So, do we leave people in a better place when we go? Did we listen? Did we affirm? Did we give them eye contact and a smile? Did we ask genuine questions and then listen to the answers?
Jesus always left a place better. People were healed, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. There might have been chaos in His wake sometimes…but it was because He was invested in speaking the truth to the people breaking God’s laws. He taught us that what we have in ourselves is what we give to this world. If we are full of bitterness and gossip, that is what we give out. If we are genuine and care for each other…that also will come out wherever we are….and to whomever we interact with.
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Luke 6:43-45 NIV)
Do we reflect the heart of Jesus? Does the community that we interact with come out believing in God’s goodness, or His judgment?
He has promised us a better place, and this is something that I cling to. (“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:2, 3 NKJV) But while here on earth, we have a commission, one to bring His word and love to others. We are to invest in others, and see His love spread from country to country and generation to generation.
He noticed people. He loved people.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34, 35 NIV)
Let’s invest in leaving a better place, wherever it is we go.