Make an Impact, Pay It Forward

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When you are young, you have big dreams. Some realistic, while others seem out of reach. Regardless of your dream, you can have an Impact on those around you. I particularly remember a movie that I watched as a young child called Pay It Forward. Although the ending of the movie left me in tears, the overall message has stuck with me until this day. In class, 12-year-old Trevor McKenny was challenged to think of something that could change the world and put it into action. This spawned the idea to Pay It Forward: repaying good deeds through a chain reaction of three good deeds to three new people. If you watch the movie, you will see the mighty impact of this idea.

It all starts with an idea. The idea that change is possible and that regardless of who you are, you can make an impact. In the Bible, we also have been given a challenge. We are called to share the Good News of the Gospel and love our Neighbors. In Luke 10, Jesus is asked the question “Who is my neighbor?” and He went on to tell the parable of The Good Samaritan. Verses 33-37 go, But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” There is a similarity between Jesus calling us to love our neighbors and the concept of pay it forward.

You don’t have to set out to change the world, or even a community. All it takes is actively showing love to your neighbor. Everyone you interact with, everyone that is around you, is your neighbor. The words we say and the actions we do, however big or small, are able to change and make an impact on our world.

As the movie concludes, there is a conversation between Trevor and his teacher, Mr. Simonet. Mr. Simonet touches Trevor’s shoulder and says, “Hey, you did good work. Look at me, I'm proud of you, Trevor. I'm proud of you. And anyway, for what it's worth, I'm grading you on the effort not the result.” Looking up at him, Trevor responds, “I don't care about the grade…I just wanted to see if the world would really change.”

And the world can really change, but only through Jesus Christ will we see Everlasting change. Although uncomfortable circumstances may arise, Christ will empower you!

Don’t let your fear of rejection or failure stop you from loving your neighbor.

Bekah Mead