Here are five ways you can exercise it:
- Stop ignoring the evil you encounter. The older I get, the easier it is to close my eyes to poverty, pain, injustice, and evil. I can order my life, so that I am never put in a position of seeing anything unpleasant. I can look without seeing. I’m continue to pray daily that “God gives me eyes to see and ears to hear.” You can’t be a change agent if you don’t perceive the needs around you.
- Stop over-thinking your response to it. I have an author friend who has a policy about giving to homeless people. He told me, “Every time I used to encounter a homeless person, I would go through all kinds of mental gyrations. If I give money to this person, will they just use it to buy alcohol or drugs? Why don’t they just get a job? Maybe it would be better if I offered them some work rather than just give them money?”Then he read the words of Matthew 5:42, “Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.” He then decided to make a deal with God. Now, whenever he encounters a homeless person or a beggar, he gives them all the cash in his pocket. Sometimes that’s two dollars. Sometimes it’s a hundred. Regardless, he decided to stop over-thinking it and start living the Gospel. The money he gives is his gift to God. While I may not be able to do everything, I can do something. And something is usually better than nothing.
- Stop complaining about your lack of resources. Erin couldn’t get the school to give books to her students. So, she got a second job and bought the books herself. The students wanted to bring Miep Gies, the Dutch woman whose family hid Anne Frank and her family, to the school to lecture. The school didn’t have the budget, so the students held a series of fund-raisers to come up with the money.What’s my excuse? No matter what my station in life is, it’s easy to think I don’t have enough resources. My guess is that even Bill Gates feels inadequate in the face of the needs he encounters. Resources are never—and I mean never—the problem. The biggest challenge is simply my will to act.
- Start asking, “What is the right thing to do?” Let’s face it. The world needs heroes. It needs people who will be courageous and act on principle. But where can we find such people? Maybe the answer is closer than we think. The truth is it can start—and must start—with us.God has providentially put each of us exactly where we are. We need to ask, “Why am I here?” “What does God want me to do in this situation?” “What is the right thing to do?”
- Be in the moment and act. I can’t afford to wait for my circumstances to be perfect. I will never have enough experience. I will never have the resources I need. I need to stop whining and just do it! Someone else is waiting for a hero. I may be the best opportunity they have. I may be their answer to prayer.
So, you may not be able to help everyone. But you can help someone. You have more power than you can imagine.
Here are stories about people “Doing Something” in their world this year.
- Walmart Gives Back: Huge Gift To Catholic Charities To Reduce Poverty
- Cable Companies To Offer $9.95/Month For Internet To Poor Families
- Community College Of Philadelphia Creates Center To Help Black Male Students
- “Courageous” Calls Men Of Honor To Stand Up In New Movie
- What You Can Do To Support Black Marriage?
Also On WCHB-AM: NewsTalk 1200: