There's an acronym that we use at our house. It’s been around for a while but is used more in different seasons of life. It has recently resurfaced in our family. Each morning I see my 10-year old son before he goes to school or I go to work (yes I have an 8-5 job that’s not pastoring). Before one of us leaves for the day (for school or work) I tell him to “go MAD today”. Then I ask him why he can MAD today and he responds, “because I am awesome!”. It’s a great moment each morning that I hope he takes with him for the rest of his life. Why? Because MAD has a meaning.
MAD, in our home, stands for Make A Difference. I want to encourage my kids to be the change that they want to see in the world. Let’s face it...this world is full of hate, selfishness, pride, and anything else that disconnects us from others. We have built a culture of “taking care of #1” (ourselves) without regards to others. It is sad to see this run rampant today when there is so much more that we could do as humans. This is not to say that we should not take care of ourselves...we should...even Jesus got away to spend time with the Father on his own (Luke 5:16).
There is so much around this phrase of Make A Difference that it can be easy to say, “not possible for me”. With our perceptions of influencers being social media rockstars on YouTube, FaceBook, Instagram, or whatever it is. I catch my 10-year old wanting to watch YouTube so he can watch some other kid playing a video game...when did this become the norm? Then the perception becomes that these people are the real influencers and no one else can make a difference. But Jesus tells us differently. If you are a follower of Jesus, he specifically says that you are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16). John tells us that God is light and that there is no darkness in him at all (1 John 1:5). Step back and think about that for a moment. God is light, you are the light of the world...you are the difference maker!
God placed within us the power to make a difference IN THE WORLD! Marianne Williamson said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” While this is true, we have to remember that this light is from Christ, not ourselves. The moment we believe the light is from us is the moment the light begins to fade. Stop to think of this. Darkness doesn’t even really exist, it’s not a self-sustaining thing. If you think of why a room is dark it isn’t because darkness just came in. It didn’t overtake the room. It’s because there is no light. Darkness is the absence of light. If light exists, darkness does not. Darkness requires light to be extinguished to exist. In that, if we would truly allow our own lights to shine in our own God-given way then darkness would have no place to be...thus no darkness.
In John 12 Jesus states his mission to the people...to you...to me. He says that he came as a light to the world and everyone that believes in him would not remain in darkness (John 12:46). So if darkness does not exist then why are people's hearts dark? There is no Jesus...in their life or those around them. No one is shining their light for them to see it.
Where do you get your light? Your joy? Your love? Is it from Jesus? If so, are you shining on the land around you or keeping it to yourself hidden under a basket? What keeps you from shining your light in a dark world? If you believe in Jesus you should not be in darkness because your love, joy, peace, purpose, passion...the list could go on...comes from Jesus...not from you. It’s time to attack darkness and shine a light on it!
So, go out today and tell doubt, guilt, shame, inadequacy, and any other negative self-talking to shut up. Jesus created you to be a difference maker! He made you awesome!! Be His ambassador and Go MAD today!