You can help create a pandemic. A new strain. What kind of impact would you like to create? I’m talking about the kind of impact that can be spread over the entire world.
My children will not remember the words of wisdom I’ve passed along over the years, nor will yours remember the good advice you’ve given. However, etched in their minds and planted in their hearts is a permanent picture of who you are and how you’ve lived before them. –Dorothy Kelley Patterson
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. –Winston Churchill
OML Day 28: Footprint – Leaving a Lasting Impression
While attempting to decrease our environmental footprint, we should strive even harder to increase our spiritual footprint. We each need to seek ways of making a positive, lasting impact on the lives of others. We need to think about the kind of impression we are currently making and intend to make and leave behind.
The authors share a story on spiritual priorities converging with practical application. A campaign was being held at their church regarding a shortage of shoes at their Houston homeless shelters. Many made contributions of blankets and food but few realized the desperation for warm, sturdy shoes. So, at the end of a service, the authors shared their vision of how they all could make a huge difference in just one weekend, and asked all who felt led to take off their shoes, leave them up front and walk out in their socks or bare feet and feel the pavement many homeless people experience every day. They collected over 4500 pairs of shoes that day and solved the shoe shortage problem in Houston for many months.
This is the kind of impact each of us can make every single day. If we want to make a lasting impact for those who follow, we simply have to love God, serve others with what we have to give and treat others with love and respect. It all goes back to the golden rule–one we should all live by: Treat all others the way we wish to be treated.
We have all chosen poorly, made mistakes and hurt those we love most. We can choose to ignore what we’ve done and try burying it, but that doesn’t get rid of it. Only God can take it away. He can cleanse you and remove your stains. That’s what his forgiveness does. He takes the stain as red as crimson and makes you as white as wool. And if he’s willing to forgive you, you must forgive yourself, as well. Along with that, you must pay it forward. Forgive others.
What good does holding a grudge do? I ask myself this all the time, since I’m so good at holding them. It keeps your guard up against those who have and will try to hurt you, sure. It protects your heart to not trust again, but it doesn’t protect your soul. Talking to me here. To let down your guard and let them in is to love them as God loves them, as God loves you. He does not hold barriers between him and you. He has his arms wide open and invites you in to them every minute of every day, no matter what you’ve done to hurt him and you’ve done plenty. Still talking to me.
Let us drop our fortress walls and invite people in to our hearts, no matter how or what they’ve done to wrong us. Give them endless chances because God gives us endless chances and that’s what he calls each of us to do. Love and accept others as he loves and accepts them, and you. Ok, God, I’m listening. I hear ya. In the Bible, it explains that one sin is not greater or lesser than another. Sin is sin, no matter what the sin is, and we are not to judge others for what they’ve done. We are not better than them. We are not better than anyone. Think about it. We have all sinned and fall short of God’s standard. But we can ask forgiveness and work hard every day to improve our ways of living and loving and serving.
He loves that murderer the same as he loves me. One way or another, we pay for our sin on this planet, whether we serve jail time or not. And if we don’t correct our ways while we are still here, we will most certainly be paying for it when we reach the other side, whichever side we choose. It is a choice, you know?
You choose the kind of person you wish to be on this planet and to whom you pledge your allegiance. If you belong to God and Jesus, you live your life by a certain standard and when you screw up, as we all do, you make it right. If you play for the other team, well, you are choosing to spend your eternity burning. Not really a hard choice.
So many people do not understand what it means to call yourself a Christian. It’s only a lack of information and lack of intelligence. Being a Christian does not mean you are better than anyone. Being a Christian means you admit that you are a sinner, as we all are, whether we admit it or not. Being a Christian means you are weak, as we all are. It is admitting that we love Jesus and God and that God sent his son, Jesus, to die for us on the cross to save us from our sins, that all we have to do is believe in him and what he did for us, to try to follow his ways of loving, forgiving and serving, and we will have the next life in Heaven from which we came.
I say “from which we came,” because we came from God. We were created by God, and Heaven is his home. God wants us to all eventually come home to him. He gives us the choice. If we are truly Christian, it’s not enough to just believe. If you do believe in Jesus, then you live your life by the Jesus Code, which is explained fully in the Bible. You know what’s right in your heart.
My motto I’m trying to live by daily: Live today as though you’ll die tomorrow. In other words, love unconditionally, forgive immediately, laugh fully and let your guard down completely. Allow others to love you deeply and miss you terribly. Do everything you can to serve others now. Spread your love over as many as you can as though it’s a pandemic. Love and accept others the way God loves and accepts us, no matter what.
Only God’s grace can allow us to let go of past hurts and forgive others. Only his grace can motivate us to ask others to forgive us. The more we put the practice of grace into our lives and share it with others, the greater legacy we will leave behind.
Make this Friday Eve spectacular! Share grace. Help someone. Share your heart and don’t be afraid to be who you are. Love you. *hug*
It’s a rather lengthy one today, huh? Sorry ’bout that. Got carried away. 😉