Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
For all of the benefits derived from the digital world, this space doesn’t always lend well to conversations. Many times it’s a one-way conversation. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I’m just saying it’s a real thing. And if we think about change happening through dialogue, we should probably assess where the most effective dialogue takes place. It tends to be in real life. No matter what technology tries to sell us, there is nothing that replaces human-to-human interaction. If there was, long-distance relationships wouldn’t be so tough.
When we think about the story of Adam and Eve, we usually focus on them being kicked out of the garden and thereby losing their ability to live forever. They disobeyed and now they knew sin. But let’s also remember that they lost their face-to-face interaction with the Creator. They were physically separated from God.
When Jesus came to this Earth, for a moment, a version of that communication was restored. Through His teachings and his actions, Jesus showed people how to live a righteous life. He didn’t just talk about spiritual reformation, He lived it. He recognized that each issue brought to Him was deeper than the outward symptoms. With all of our complexities and demands, Jesus still valued each interaction because He knew its ability to inspire change.
What blocks change?
Pride is often a strong deterrent of change. It’s the playground in which ignorance thrives. Some people solely rejected Jesus based on their need to be right. It’s no different that today. People will reject change simply because it is change. Yet Christ set an example that could not be ignored. Through love, consistency, and honesty, He sparked a revolution of spiritual change.
Today, Jesus may be portrayed as a soft light that looks like a hug, but scripturally He was the epitome of strength. Jesus was flipping tables, restoring ears, healing the sick, and putting the Pharisees in their place while knowing He would be betrayed and have to face death. It takes strength to live a life that inspires selfless change. It takes faith to carry on with your mission, even when so many around you doubt your message.
Taking our impact more seriously.
Christ’s example also reminds us that the domino effect of our actions should be taken more seriously. We should not only think about the impact of our actions when it involves something severe, like a life being taken. There is more than one way to kill a soul, and all of our hands have some amount of blood. We are responsible for the choices we make in our day-to-day lives. Comments such as – I’m having a bad day, because I’m your parent, let me tell you about my past, and you know I’m not good at that, aren’t good enough reasons to give people less than our best. They aren’t good enough reasons for us to accept less than your best either.
Now let me be clear, I’m not saying that our expectations get to define others’ capabilities. Every expectation cannot be met. Yet, an effort can always be made to do better than what was previously done. It takes effort to overcome challenges and shortcomings, but it also takes effort to show patience and mercy. So respect someone else’s effort, and respond accordingly. It will be our actions that inspire true change, not just our words.
As we seek to grow in this life, we have to understand that clarity comes with degrees of pain. Clarity highlights our self-created, bottomless voids, and asks us to take a hard look at who we’ve become versus who we thought we were. It beckons us to leave the past where it is, and challenges us to view our present and future from new angles.
As we gain clarity in thought, we make way for clarity of heart. We come face-to-face with some of the true sources of our pain that stem from pride, stubbornness, selfishness, and covetousness. In our desire to change the outward, never forget to start with the inward. To know and share love is to understand that it is more than a feeling, it is an action. There comes a time when we must ask ourselves if we are really willing to make a difference. If we are, let’s make sure we remember the human-to-human component. It’s the most important one.Print This Devotional