This post is part of a series of posts that began from a seminar I attended in which singer/songwriter Sara Groves challenged us not to waste our spiritual buffalo, to consider the end to which we are grooming our faith. If you’re stopping by in the middle of this series, you may want to read this, this, this, and this.
I know it’s not practical for all of us to travel to Brazil or Uganda or Papua New Guinea (though I really do think we should pray for and look for opportunities to travel to another country to serve because I think we learn so much about God when we see Him at work in another country and culture).
But, I know not all of us will travel to another country. And that’s OK because I believe that our realm of influence begins inside our home and expands from there. So, as we begin to think of practical ways to share our spiritual buffalo, let’s begin inside our own homes.
As we feed ourselves spiritually and begin to grow, we should begin to impact our own family members. As I learn and apply God’s Word, my children cannot escape my influence. They will see the change in me and, in a domino effect, they too will be changed. Along with my husband, I am the greatest influence in their lives right now. What opportunity I have for good! So my goal is to nurture my children, to be so filled with Christ that He overflows from me and pours onto them.
But my influence does not end at my own front porch. I am part of a neighborhood and part of a community and as such, I have many opportunities to share my blessings. My next-door neighbors on both sides of my home are widows. There have been many times in the past 13 years that I have not been the blessing to them that I should have; but there have been a few times when our family has served these women. Honestly, the friendly calls and waves and hugs from my children have probably been the biggest blessing to our often-lonely neighbors. We’ve taken food from time to time and we’ve done a few acts of service; but when I think about it, we have most blessed them when we’ve given to them from our wealth. And we are wealthy in children, in family. If I want to share with my widowed neighbors from the blessing God has given me, then I will share family with them, I will invite them to be part of our family.
How can you bless your neighbors? What do you have to share with them?
Next, we move from our neighbors to our community.
I want to be truthful with you right now. I have not impacted my community in all the ways I could have. I have missed opportunities, and so I am sure I have missed blessings. Now I want to tell you something else. I am choosing not to live in guilt over that. I have apologized to God, admitted to Him that I know I missed out on being His hands and feet to the people in this town. And I’ve asked Him to fill me up with His Spirit and open my eyes to the opportunities each day. And I start over again. I want to do more this week than I did last week, more this month than I did last month, and more this year than I did last year. I know I cannot do this alone, and I know this isn’t about me at all. I need to be filled with God’s Spirit so that I can have something to offer.
So that brings me to this question — what do I have to offer? What do I have that someone else in my community may not have? A home? Maybe I can practice hospitality and invite people to my home. A family? Maybe I can visit or invite to our home a widow, an orphan, someone who is living far away from family. A car? Maybe I can drive a disabled person to a doctor’s appointment or to the grocery store. A relationship with Jesus? Maybe I can share Christ’s love with others and introduce them to the One Who has changed my life.
As I think about impacting my community for good, as I think about sharing from my abundance, I first must figure out what I have to share. And then I can ask God for opportunities to share what I have.