You are meant to make a difference in the lives of others; you were created to have impact and influence! Influence is “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something.” (oxforddictionaires.com) Over the years one of the most significant ways I have seen people influenced is through simple kindness.
Jesus told the story of a man who was on a journey. He was taking a road known as “the bloody way” because of the many robberies that happened on that dangerous highway. Unfortunately, the man on the road was overtaken by robbers, beaten and left in the ditch to die. Several people passed by but did not stop to help – they even avoided the man. In the Gospel of Luke chapter 10 Jesus continues to describe how a Samaritan came down that road. He not only stopped to help, but he took the injured man to a place of safety where he could get the help he needed; and he paid all of the expenses.
We have probably all “passed by” people who are in the ditch of pain and hurt; people who have been beaten up by life. Sometimes we might think “it’s the government’s job to help” or “I don’t have the time or the money;” but if God puts someone on your path, He will provide the wisdom and resources to be a good neighbor and help that person.
Recently I heard the story of a little girl who was in an orphanage in another nation. She was sickly and her body was covered with sores. Week by week the girl watched as other children were adopted but she was always passed by. No one wanted a child who was sick; a child who would take more time, more expense, and more emotional stress. The little girl felt she would never have a home and never be loved. But one day a family came in and chose her! The girl grew up to marry a wonderful man and together they built a great church that is now helping the homeless and hurting people in their community.
I encourage you today to have greater influence through kindness. Take the risk, and get involved when you see someone in need. Your kindness could change the life of that individual and put them on the road to recovery. And I encourage you to find a great church home where you can bring people to a community that cares. Let’s all be good neighbors!
Co-Founder of Home Church (formerly Word of Life Church and author of 'Be A Man!"