The other day I was reading my Bible when a thought that had absolutely nothing to do with what I was actually reading popped into my mind. It was, to me, profound yet simultaneously simple: the changes I would like see in my life as a result of my Christian walk have to begin with those closest to me.
If I want to be more kind and patient, that needs to begin with my husband and kids. Yes, it’s great to be kind and patient with the slow, aggravating cashier at Wal-mart or the guy who pulled out in front of me in traffic only to proceed to drive much slower than I’d like to be driving. But, honestly, am I honoring God if I am kinder to strangers, than to my family?
Don’t get me wrong. I believe I should be kind to friends, acquaintances and strangers and doing so is honoring to God, but probably not so much if I’m not also treating my own family with kindness and respect. I pray that others would see Christ in me, but the people who should see Christ in me most often should be my family.
I thought of ripples on a pond. When you toss a pebble into a pond, the ripples don’t begin at the far edges of the pond and work their way in; they start at the source and work their way out.
Christ is my Source. I am the pond.
The pond cannot affect changes on its own. All the changes for good have to begin with Christ, changing and working in me. Then, the ripples can begin to work their way out and affect those around me, beginning with those closest to me.
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. – Proverbs 14:1
It is my prayer that I would be the wise woman, rather than the foolish one, and that my ministry would begin with those in my most intimate circle of influence – those whom my words and actions are shaping and affecting far more than I realize most days.