Pay It Forward

What if someone told you today that the way you live now will impact your future? That your decisions today will affect tomorrow? That the way you treat others today may be how you will be treated the rest of your life? Would you begin to live differently? Would you overlook moments in your life that could impact others?

If you are reading this, you have a life. The world we live in continually shouts that the life each one of us has is solely about “us.” Thus, the world says we must take advantage of everything we can get hold of and let the playing cards fall where they may.

What this world doesn’t tell us is that those possessions – money, fame, and your Toyota you got a hold of – will not enter the casket with you. I believe we each have the privilege of using God’s resources, placed briefly in our care, to impact His kingdom on earth and the people around us. Each one of us should all work hard to be brilliant beautiful billionaires (just kidding) – because there is nothing wrong in having BIG money in and of itself, but you miss “living” if the money has you.

It never fails, whenever I go to the store with my dad, “Pops,” we always find the coolest toy, product, hat, or sneaker that we want to purchase. As I roll this awesome product to the checkout counter, I imagine all the fun we are about to have with it over the next couple of weeks. Yet, when it’s time to pay, I always pause with a smirk frozen across my face and slowly ask “Your money or my money?” You see… if it is my money, all the images in my head of having fun this weekend are squeezed out as I picture the pain my bank account will have as it drops in value. But if it is “his money,” I tend to get generous, and might even try to persuade him to throw in an ice cream cone as we leave.

In actuality, it should be flipped around because my money is “HIS (God’s) money.” I have been blessed with good health, a fun job, wonderful people surrounding me, and much, much more so that I can be  more than generous with what I have been given. I am sure you have a lot to be thankful for, too.

When are we going to stop living for ourselves, but actually “live” with a better purpose in mind?

It doesn’t always take money to “live.” We have all been given a talent/talents. Some talents are quirkier than others – like the lady I saw the other day that could bend a frying pan with only her hands! haha Yet, we all have a gift we can use to impact others. It might mean … waking up an hour earlier to help a brother out, or taking a step out of your little bubble, comfort zone to approach someone to cheer them up, or simply making them smile.

You will quickly find out what your talents are or are not. I found out my talent was not in singing when every time I started flowing to a tune in the car, my girlfriend would change the song just so I wouldn’t know the lyrics and would stop singing. So serenading my neighbors might actually cause more hurt than encouragement to them.

Yet, everyone has something that could add a little bit of God’s sunshine into someone’s life. Matthew 7:14 says, “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you…”. If you want people to forgive you, then initiate the process of forgiveness. If you want joy, begin by being a joy for someone else. If you want to be loved, begin loving others. Yes, even if they are unlovely.

It starts in you to get the ball of blessing and encouragement rolling – who knows, the ball might end up back in your court. Why not be the leaven that causes bread to rise or the people of your community to smile?

This past week I challenged myself to break a language barrier and see if actions actually do speak louder than words. My objective was to simply see how many people I could make smile. Whether it was a goofy dance, an almost-like orange, or a ticket to my upcoming game, I was fortunate enough to be able to capture just a few of these smiles on camera to inspire you to keep the ball rolling. If you like the video, please share to others to see how big of an impact “together” we can make.

What if someone told you today, that the way you live now is the way you will be treated the rest of your life? Would you begin to live differently? Would you overlook moments in your life where you could impact others? Pay it forward because kindness has no language barriers.

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