Faith, Social Issues and Purpose
The recent killings of nine Christians in their church touched me deeply and profoundly and prompted me to finish this piece. As I listened to reporters and guests on news shows, they often expressed amazement at how the families could forgive the one who took the lives of those they loved. I got the sense that the behaviors of the families were somehow abnormal to some of those who were reporting the news, but to a believer, it is what we are called to do and so much more.
These types of comments and the loss of lives reinforced to me the importance of living in the purpose God has given us. It also is a reminder that time is precious and limited. We must be a light in the dark places of the world. The best way to let our lights shine is to walk in faith and do the things God has placed on our hearts, to be in service to others, and to make a difference where ever we go.
There are many areas we could be impacted by walking in faith and doing the things God has called us to do. Oftentimes people think that purpose has to be demonstrated on a large scale, but this is not always the case. Instead, purpose can be shown in smaller, more meaningful ways. It can be a smile, hug, a kind word, or a garden that people can enjoy. As a social worker, I have seen people at some of the worst moments in their lives. I have learned that there is value in just taking the time to listen to people and offer them hope during these times.
Your Service Is Needed
Matthew 25:38 (NIV) epitomizes what it means to serve. The verse reads, " For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger, and you invited me in."
The world needs our gifts, talents, and passions. People are waiting and needing to be blessed by what God has uniquely created you to do. People need your songs, books, organizational skills, patience, hospitality, and friendship. The things that make you who you are, there is a person who needs to meet you so that they can be blessed, and you in return will be blessed as well.
Some Information And Ideas On What To Do
What Are Some Social Issues? Homelessness-Poverty-Racism-Crime-Education-Environmental- Mass Incarceration-War-Mental Illness-Health-Abuse-Addictions-Education and many, many more.
How Can You Serve In One of These Areas? By using the gifts and talents, God has given you to make a difference.
Where To Start? First, start right where you are with the people around you by showing love, kindness, and, where necessary, forgiveness.
Pick an issue that stirs your soul. Find out where you can volunteer in your community with an organization that works to combat that issue. If you can't find an organization, start one. Perhaps God has given you the dream to create a non-profit or ministry that addresses the issues you care deeply about. Concerned about education issues? Adopt a school that has suffered due to budget cuts and donate supplies every month. There are so many ways to live your purpose.
Look At Your Gifts and Talents
- Are you a writer, artist, singer? In what ways can these be used in service to others?
- Maybe God has given you an amazing ability with communication skills. Use your voice to speak out against injustices you see in the world around you.
- Perhaps he has told you that He wants to use your compassion and love for people to serve those that society deems as unworthy. Remember, Jesus often was around those that most considered to be undesirable.
- Love children and books? Could God be calling you to somehow combine the two and pour them into the lives of children?
Pay Attention & Listen To God
Is your God-inspired dream a business? A missions trip? Is he telling you to go back to school for your degree because it is a part of your purpose? Is He filling you with witty ideas to solve some of our society's pressing problems, but instead of sharing them, you are keeping them to yourself? What has God been saying to you?
As I finish writing this, I am reminded of my grandmother, who passed away many years ago. She used to babysit children in her town for free so their parents could work. Even though these parents were employed, my grandmother knew they did not earn enough money to pay her. My grandparents were not financially wealthy. Instead, their wealth came from living a life of faith and obedience to God. My grandmother saw a need and did what she could with what she had to serve others. While she was not compensated with money, she was blessed in other ways, including having a reputation for being a Christian woman filled with love for God and others. That's priceless!
Dr.King asks, what are you doing for others? How would you answer this question? Send me an email; I would love to hear from you.
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