Ripple Effect

Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy once said, Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. In your ten months interacting with My One Word, I hope youve come to terms with the notion that you cant do one (impact the world) without the other (personal transformation). Youve undoubtedly seen and charted your own progress with this experiment and know God is the only one capable of changing the hearts and minds of human beings. Our only job in the process is to surrender to Him and put ourselves in a position where He can use us.

Our journey together has been like the preverbal ripple effect. The first circle that formed in the water was ourselves. By being intentional with our One Word, an aspect of Gods heart began to be rooted in our character. This wave trickled out and caused us to have a better attitude, different perspective and a hope that change was indeed possible. Then in October a change of current took place and created a ripple that at first caught us by surprise. Last month our focus was pouring into the one individual we find most challenging to love.

Now in November it is time to extend our reach even farther. Whether we realize it or not, God has given each one of us a sphere of influence and the capacity to make an impact in these places: your family, your friends, your neighborhood, your work place, your city and the greater community beyond. The question this month is how can My One Word make each of these places a little bit better?

I know that task seems overwhelming and has the ability to take us out of our comfort zones. All of us, to some degree, like to be left alone. After all, it takes enough effort trying to manage ourselves without having to think about the greater good of others. Yet, we know that we can never change the world if we go about life only wondering what is in it for me.

The good news is God has already given you a weapon to use to achieve this goal and its something you already know very well. In fact, youve been living with it for the last 11 months. Think about the word you selected and youll discover that its meaning is really not of this world. Generosity, Gratitude, Hope, Trust, Faithfulness, Honor, Kindness, Compassion, Gentleness. You have already armed yourself with part of Gods character thanks to whatever word you picked.

The great command, to love our neighbors as ourselves, is not just a nice way to live. In fact I think our future depends on it. We are not made to live as individuals or to simply be consumers. God calls us to help create a community of love and hope. My sincere hope is that your one word has changed your life. But now, here in November, it is my hope and prayer that your one word will help change the world.

  • Read Ephesians 2:10. What steps are you taking to position yourself for God to use you through your One Word? Would you say that you are being a good steward of your word?
  • Based on what God is doing through your word, where can you begin to affect positive change in the places that you have influence? What are some practical actions, which are expressions of your word, that you can take in the upcoming month to make this change a reality?

Are you looking for a way to keep your word in front of you all year long? Register for a My One Word account! One of the key features of a MOW account is an online Word Journal that allows you to capture your thoughts to reflective questions like you see above. You can go back at any time to read your completed journals to see how God has been moving in your life through your word in 2011.  If you already have an account, the questions from this blog have been posted to your Word Journal log in to your account to start your Word Journal today!

  • Jessica Long

    Just wanted to take a moment to say, Thank you. This website has been a great inspiration to me and I greatly appreciate the time and effort put into it.