Way back in the beginning (or sometime soon thereafter), God made humanity in God’s own image. And then God looked at us and declared us good.
And that works as something we just say, right? But we look at the world around us and we see so much hurt, so much heartbreak, so much struggle, so much injustice, so much pain . . . and we see the part that we have played in it and it becomes a little harder to believe that we are good. We look in the mirror and sometimes we don’t like what we see. We tell ourselves all these little lies — that we aren’t good enough, that our mistakes and failures define us and that we could never be good — and the more times we tell ourselves these lies, the more we start to believe them.
And yet, God still says we are good. That we each have been created as reflections of a good and loving God — a God that gave each one of us things that make us unique and wonderful and amazing. That we are loved just as we are — and that despite what we may think, we are good.
And that matters.
Because you make a difference in the world around you. The things you say and do and the choices you make impact the people around you. And for all the things we do that can cause hurt in the world, we have infinitely more capacity for good. Humanity has always been bettered by one person’s good — by one person looking at the world around them and deciding to try. To try to be better, to try to make a difference, to try to be the one to change the world for good.
As Christian people, we are called to make a difference in the world around us — to make the world look and feel a little more like heaven. And if you’re like me and you sometimes feel like you wouldn’t even know where to start, here’s a place to begin:
9 Love should be shown without pretending. Hate evil, and hold on to what is good. 10 Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other. 11 Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic—be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord! 12 Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home. 14 Bless people who harass you—bless and don’t curse them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying. 16 Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status. Don’t think that you’re so smart. 17 Don’t pay back anyone for their evil actions with evil actions, but show respect for what everyone else believes is good. 21 Don’t be defeated by evil, but defeat evil with good. (Romans 12:9-17, 21)
So today — try. Try to be the good in someone else’s life. Try to make a choice that makes life a little better or easier for your spouse or significant other or the guy one cubicle over or someone on the other side of the world. Try to save the environment or try to take on the injustice in your community. No matter how big, no matter how small, no matter how much you might doubt that your good will actually make a difference in the world, just try.
Because your good might just be what inspires someone else’s good. And their good might inspire someone else too. And little by little, good by good, difference by difference, we just might change the world.
Associate Director of Youth Ministries