How Do You Change the World?

Chaplain Gary Yarbrough, Director of Pastoral Care
Shelby Baptist Medical Center

I’ve heard it said that if you want to change the world, you do it one person at a time.  So, where do we start?  With a coworker, a family member, a friend or an acquaintance?  You may already have someone in mind.  Let’s get started.  After all, who knows how to do things better than us? Right? Well, let’s not get too hasty!

Consider the following quotes: “When I was young, I wanted to change the world.  I tried, but the world did not change. Then I tried to change my town, but the town did not change.  Then I tried to change my family, but my family did not change.  Then I knew: first, I must change myself.” (author unknown). Gandhi said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”  Tolstoy wrote: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”[1] Jesus said:  “Why do you look at the splinter that is in the other person’s eye, when you fail to notice the log in your own eye” (Matthew 7:3).

Each day, I have the awareness that God is still working on me.  As a disciple of Christ in the 21st century, I want to have a teachable spirit. I want to be like the clay in the potter’s hand (Jeremiah 18:1-6).  God is still melting and molding me. There are times when it seems as if He has to start all over again.  Sometimes I am too quick to speak instead of listening to the lament or concern of the other person. How do I allow God to take control of a situation, instead of me?  It has taken me awhile, but I know that God’s way is always the best way.  I can’t be afraid of the refiner’s fire when I know that God’s desire is to complete His work for me, in me, and through me. 

Prayer:  Lord, yes, You are the potter and we are the clay. Melt us, mold us and re-create within us the people you would have us to be with your love, grace and tender mercies.  Amen. 



[1] To Heal A Fractured World, p. 250

Stay connected to Baptist Health System through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, & Linkedin.