Compelled and propelled

I’m sure most of us would look at Mother Teresa and people like her and think we could never be like that; we could never be so saintly or make such a difference in the lives of so many. Maybe not, but the tragedy is that because so many don’t think they can, they don’t even try.

But Mother Teresa didn’t set out to become a saint or a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. And she didn’t start out ministering to multitudes of the poorest of the poor. She just saw the need nearest to her and responded.

God is in the business of using ordinary people in ordinary circumstances to show extraordinary love. It all comes down to Jesus’ rule for living, which He expressed a little differently on a couple of different occasions: love God foremost and love others as much as we love ourselves,1 and treat others the way we want to be treated.2 If we try to live that way, one decision, one action, one conversation at a time, it won’t change the whole world overnight, but it will change our worlds—our own lives and the lives we touch.

The apostle Paul, in explaining the life of service that he and other early Christians had adopted, said, “The love of Christ compels us.”3 That same love can also propel us. The more we put God’s love to use, the more it grows, the more it becomes a part of our reactions, and the more it is seen in our actions. This was the secret to Paul’s success, and Mother Teresa’s—and it can be ours.

This issue of Activated is dedicated to all those who daily give unselfishly of themselves for the love of Christ’s sake. Though you may be unsung in the world today, God knows and sees.

  1. See Matthew 22:37–40.
  2. See Matthew 7:12.
  3. 2 Corinthians 5:14