You Are a Person of Influence
By Joel Osteen - May 27, 2009
I believe every individual is a catalyst for change in their environment. We all have the capacity to make a difference in the lives of the people around us. Every day, we should look for ways to become a better friend, a better employee, a better spouse or parent. We should ask ourselves, "A hundred years from now, will it have made a difference that I lived? Did I wake up every day and give it my best? Did I keep my heart of compassion open, helping others, giving, caring?" Each of us should be determined that the world around us will be better off because of us. One thing I've noticed is that when people go through difficulty, often times they tend to just "hunker down" or slip into survival mode. When things aren't going as planned, it's tempting to just settle where we are and focus on ourselves. But those are the times when it's especially important to reach out and look for ways to be a blessing to others. No matter what you may be facing in life, you always have something to give. Those seeds of kindness, compassion, and generosity are what the Lord will use to give you a new perspective, to see the world around you in a different light, and take you places that you never dreamed. What was the difference? The master stepped in. My father used to always say, "The light that shines the farthest, shines brightest at home." In other words, we need to first make a difference in our own families and communities, and that's our goal as a ministry. Since its inception, Lakewood Church has strived to make to make our community a better place simply by helping the people in it become the best they can be. We partner with many local organizations to help the homeless, orphans, widows, the incarcerated, and those who are hospitalized. Also, in addition to our many Bible classes and spiritual development programs, we have a financial ministry to help people learn how to get out of debt; we have classes and offer tools to improve families and marriages; we offer a prayer and support group for women with fertility challenges; we have groups to help with addiction recovery; we have a world class Champion's Center for children with special needs; and much more! I am so grateful to the thousands who volunteer every week to make all of this possible. I know God is honored by each person who selflessly gives of their time, talent, and resources to make a difference in the lives of others. The Bible tells us that when we reach out to others, it's as if we are reaching out and helping God Himself. We are all the hands and feet of Jesus. Let us continue His work by reaching out to others and being an influence everywhere we go.