Changing the World from the Inside Out

For many years I have loved to read and collect quotes from all sorts of people.. famous and not. A while back I read this quote from Mahatma Gandhi:
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
For many of my earlier years I would have embraced that comment - my life was all about impacting the world.. making a difference.. being someone! Then one day I gradually came to that same realization that Solomon did in the third chapter of Ecclesiastes:
What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.
Lets take a look at his words point by point:
  • Each of us have our own roles to play in the world.. no one is insignificant;
  • Our work in itself is a thing of beauty;
  • We are bigger than what we do.. there is a sense of eternity in our heart;
  • God's ways are beyond our intellectual capacities;
  • Our response to God and life is to rejoice and do good;
  • The simple things like food and work are God's gifts to us.
So often we people of faith, like Gandhi, embrace an arrogant and self-important view of ourselves thinking that we are God's gifts to the world when in fact the simple things of life are His gifts to us. We often seem to live out tired cliches like:
"If it is to be, it is up to me."
The truth of the matter is that even God the Son could do nothing on His own. Consider this:
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.
I think that lasting change can only come from the an inner heart level.. only when we are changed from the inside out. In a sense Gandhi was right.. we have to "be" changed on the inside by the Holy Spirit.. but we do not have to embrace a philosophy says that somehow being is all about outward acts and appearances.


  1. I've been thinking about the verse "Unless the Lord builds the house, the labourers labour in vain"... It's ultimately Him who brings about good and we can partner with Him with the work he gives us. Good thoughts.


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