It was my last college piano lesson after four years with a professor who was easily one of the most influential people in my life. At a time when I had zero strength left to believe in myself, she spoke to me with a kindness and compassion that (on more than one occasion) brought me to tears.
As I gave her a farewell gift and card, we both cried and hugged and cried again. I stood from the piano bench and started towards the door. I turned back to her for one last smile and in my jokester Sam voice said, “well, here I go to change the world.” She grinned and said softly,
“Remember Sam, you only have to change one small part of it to make a difference.”
Since that day, her words have been stuck in my head like a beautifully crafted melody.
I don’t know about you, but I am on this planet to make a freakin’ difference. I am not content to sit around and watch Netflix and play video games every day when there are billions of hurting and broken people desperate to feel alive.
Yet, if you’re like senior in college Sam, you might get caught up in thinking you have to do big crazy things to change the world. And that simply isn’t true.
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You’ll have to be ruthless in your pursuit. The world will try brain wash you over and over and over that you are here for yourself – to buy shiny things and pursue pleasure above all else. Still, those of us who have found a way of living in Christ know that loving God and loving his people will give you more joy than you ever knew was possible.
Still, those of us who have found a way of living in Christ know that loving God and loving his people will give you more joy than you ever knew was possible.
So what the heck are you waiting for. Let’s change this world people!
“Well Sam, how are we going to do that?”
Holy sweet potatoe, I thought you’d never ask.
1. Read Your Bible.
The first step is to study the man who had the greatest impact on changing this world that ever lived – spoiler alert: his name is Jesus. If you want to be a pro, you have to study from the master. His words, his actions, his demeanor, his attitude.
If you struggle to get into the Word check out my post [10 ways to fall in love with your bible]
2. Get Involved with Young People
The greatest and most immediate impact you can have is to invest in someone younger than you. Nope, your job isn’t really to fix them or give tons of advice, it’s just to be there and be in it with them. “I’m here. I’m crazy flawed and so are you, but even if everything else gives way, you always have me.”
Start small – invest in your family or neighbors. Maybe teach Sunday school or join a mentoring program. The Boys and Girls Club of America is also an awesome resource. Our kids are hurting and confused and they need us to love them like crazy.
3. Pray Dangerous Prayers
Ask God to break you heart for what breaks His. I guarantee if you keep praying that prayer, you will become fueled with an unshakable empathy to make a difference in someway, for some crazy important cause.
To read about my journey with this prayer, [Check out my post – The Most Dangerous Prayer You Can Pray]
4. Rock Some “Random Acts of Kindness” Wherever You Go.
You will never know the impact of one kind action that brightens someones day, who in turn, smiles just a little quicker and brightens someone’s day.
Need some ideas? Check out the 26 Random Acts of Kindness I did for my 26th Birthday or the 30 days I spent helping someone every day during the How Can I Help Project.
5. Take Care of Yourself
While on the surface this one might sound selfish, it is actually the most selfless thing you can do. When you eat well, sleep well, exercise and make healthy decisions, you will feel better and have a much greater capacity to love and serve God. Put on your own oxygen mask so you can help the rest of the plane with theirs.
6. Be Frugal so you can Give Recklessly
There isn’t a material object in the world that feels as good as helping someone and expecting nothing in return. If you have debt, focus your energy and paying that off as fast as possible. Avoid pointless purchases and impulse buys. Feeding a hungry child is 1,000 times more important than upgrading your iPhone.
7. Love Your Family Well and Be a Good Friend
Everyone needs a home base, a group of people who are always in their corner and can help them when the storms come. Help mow their lawn, shovel their driveway, drop off a random thoughtful present. When others feel loved and cared for, their lives are more joyful and free to serve the people in their atmosphere.
8. Quit a distracting and/or “Churchy” activity.
This is one I struggle with immensely. God has been teaching me the last few years that in order to truly make a difference in the world you have to be available to the people you love. If every hour of your schedule is packed, you don’t have time to help people on a dime. Quit something that merely keeps you busy.
9. Always Choose Positivity (especially online)
Never complain and never do so on social media. Yes seriously. Use your influence to spread positivity and hope. Share the hope we have in Jesus. Never post a negative or aggressive comment. Build people up over and over and over. Never tire of doing good.
10. Read Great Books.
For me at least, the inspiration comes in bursts and disappears into the monotony and disappointment. Combat the low with books that encourage and uplift you on this crazy journey towards a life lived Recklessly Alive.
[Check out my two book lists 8 Christian Books that will Ruin Your Life (for the better) and 12 Christan Books that Will Rock Your World]
11. Let People See Your Transforming, Messy, Imperfect Self
As one of my favorite quote says, “we have never arrived.” We are ALL in progress all the time. We are all striving to improve our lives, that’s what makes us human. Stop taking the easy route and always answering, “good” and choose let someone your spirit’s morning breath. People need to see that Christians are as flawed as anyone, but we have a perfect God who encourages us and helps us rise again and again.
12. Dream Big Dreams and Chase them.
People are inspired by someone who has big goals and works to achieve them. Cancel your Netflix and start working on something incredible – something that will leave a legacy long after your gone. Mine is to finish my book and get it published. I would be honored if you would subscribe to my weekly newsletter or like my Facebook page to help me chase this dream.
Well, there you have it. 12 ways you can change the world starting now!
What would you add to this list? What are you doing to change the world? Leave a comment below – I would LOVE to hear from you.
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Check out these songs and more in my Spotify Music Playlists.
These two songs can be found in my playlist, “Difference Maker.”