Take a moment and think about the people who positively impact you. Even those we knew long ago continue to impact us. Their wisdom, encouragement, and display of extending forgiveness give us strength and hope.
Take a moment and think of people in Scripture who impact you.
* Joseph’s brothers sold him and considered him dead. Decades later, when Joseph was a prominent leader in Egypt, his brothers came to him (not knowing who he was) during a famine asking for food. Joseph told them who he was and impacted his brothers by graciously extending forgiveness and providing for their families (Genesis, chapters 37-50). His example encourages us so when circumstances are difficult, God can use them for good (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28).
* Paul was a Pharisee and persecutor of Christians. Then, his life was radically changed by an encounter with Christ. As a result, he authored several books of Scripture that teach us how to live faithfully for Christ.
* Jesus is our ultimate example of positively impacting the world. He impacted the disciples when He humbly washed their feet (John 13) and told them to follow His example. Their testimonies impact the world by spreading the gospel. Christ’s life, death, and resurrection impacts us today by giving the gift of eternal life.
Take a moment and think of ways you impact others. We actually impact others more than we realize.
* We make an impact when we pray for others. It is a joy and a privilege having opportunities to pray for people, sometimes quite unexpectedly. An acquaintance at work or a friend may share personal struggles or ask for prayer. Occasionally, even people we have not thought about for years can pop into our mind; and we can pray for them.
* We make an impact when we listen to others. Being intentional about building relationships means we may have to sacrifice our time to listen to someone share their hurts or fears. A gentle, listening ear can do wonders for someone who needs a friend. One recently shared an experience at a doctor’s office–she just knew she had to give an encouraging word to someone facing difficult news. When we take advantage of these opportunities, friendships are strengthened and blessed.
* We make an impact when we respond with grace and love. Ephesians 5:1-2 says we are to follow Christ’s example and exercise love, compassion, and selflessness as Christ did for us. What an incredible, yet challenging, example for us to follow! What an impact we can make on the world around us!
Our Faith Connection Challenge: When someone comes to mind, say a quick prayer asking God to bless them for whatever they are facing. What other ideas do you have about impacting your world? Practice one this week, and be blessed!