Make a Difference in Your World by Living Out 10 Eternal Truths

Do you ever wish you could make more of a difference in your world? I do, often. God has blessed me with much and in turn I want to impact the world around me in a way that brings God glory and others the peace, comfort, and joy he has given me. I bet you do too. So what might help us make more of a difference?

One way is to mine the lives of those who have used their gifts, talents, and resources to change their worlds. And as we do, we can extract principles we can put into effect in our lives that equip us to change our worlds. Since today is Martin Luther King Day, I thought his life would be the perfect place to start.

An Excellent Example

Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of the best examples I know of someone who lived out the love of God, experience of grace, and knowledge of divine truth. And as he lived his life, he changed the world around him for the better.

MLK photo and quote

Image Source: Library of Congress; quote is from the book, King Rules by Alveda King.

His life was so grounded in God’s Word that he was able to stand firm against evil, injustice, and oppression, even when doing so meant risking his life and the lives of his family. He embodied Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 6:13.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.—Ephesians 6:13, NIV

I recently read his niece’s book, King Rules: Ten Truths for You, Your Family, and Our Nation to Prosper. I found it to be quite compelling and insightful. Alveda King tells the story of seven generations of her family through the lens of ten biblical principles that have guided and directed each generation. It was these ten truths that gave them courage to work for change in an unjust society, strength to overcome immense tragedies, and joy through the good and bad.

It is noted in the book that while the title “King Rules” conveys the fact that the King family was guided by these principles, these are really the rules of the King, Jesus Christ. These values endure and empower because they are eternal.
I’ve made you a cheat sheet of these ten principles. If you’d like a copy, just click the image or button below and I’ll email you a copy right away.

I’d like the FREE Cheat Sheet!

Change a Life, Change a World

While we might not effect change on as broad a scale as Martin Luther King, Jr., these same principles that guided his life can help us change things in our little corner of the world. And when we impact the life of even one other person, we are in fact changing the world—ours and theirs.

And actually, as I read of the everyday situations of his life in Alveda’s book, it struck me how living the principles in the ordinary pursuits prepared him and his brother for the extraordinary lives they led. What might happen in our lives if we did likewise?

10 Principles for Making a Difference

Alveda structured her book around the ten principles. What follows is my takeaway from each chapter and the book as a whole. I’ve also chosen a Bible verse for each principle.

1. Make Home a Priority

 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”Genesis 18:19, NIV

Home in the King family was where love, peace, honor, respect and forgiveness were modeled and lived out. God was put at the heart of the home and his truth and grace became the foundation for every decision. Each individual was valued and allowed to express themselves individually. And at the same time, an emphasis upon family unity created a synergy of strength and resiliency no individual could possibly muster on their own.

2. Serve Your Family

 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”1 Peter 4:10, NIV

Both the patriarchs and matriarchs of the King family modeled servant leadership so that those served felt safe, secure, loved and cherished. Obedience, personal responsibility, and respect for each other was emphasized as were rules and consequences that enforced those values.

3. Get a Good Education

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”Romans 12:2, NIV

The development of a strong mind and strong moral character were of utmost importance in the King family. A well educated person of strong moral character is empowered to step beyond being a follower of the prevailing culture and be a leader who follows God’s Word.

4. Guard Your Heart

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”Proverbs 4:23, NIV

We guard our hearts by living in alignment with God’s Word. Our Creator has given us his instruction as to what is best for us. When we walk in his ways, we will live lives of impact and substance. And we have the sure knowledge that when we stumble or rebel, earnest repentance will be met with mercy and restoration.

5. Defend Life

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”Psalm 139:13-14, NIV

I found this to be one of the most poignant chapters in the book. Alveda shared her own sad experience with abortion as well as the touching story her grandfather told of how he interceded to prevent Alveda’s mother from aborting her.

And whether the topic is abortion, care of the elderly or infirm, or prevention of oppression and lynching, her family insisted people not be sacrificed for convenience or preference.

6. Fight for Justice

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?“—Micah 6:8, ESV

Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from his Birmingham jail cell, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Our Lord calls us to work for justice. It is rarely a pursuit that comes easy or without sacrifice and self-denial. But we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to “ do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah 1:17, ESV)

7. Care for the Needy

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’“—Matthew 25:40, ESV

It was understood in the King family, as it should be in the family of King Jesus, that we are blessed to be a blessing. What God has given to us, we are to freely give to the poor, the sick, the hungry and the downtrodden.

One need not travel across oceans to find those in need, we have only to look about in our own neighborhood. Serve with love in such a way as to meet immediate needs. And ideally, don’t stop there. Teach, equip and empower those whom you are serving to one day become those who serve others.

8. Work for Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”—Matthew 5:9, NRSV

Alveda wrote, “It is one of our fundamental beliefs that great and lasting change can only come when accomplished with peace in view, and we have lived that value for generation after generation.” In this chapter, she shared MLK’s six principles of non-violence as well as the King Center’s six step process for non-violent conflict resolution.

At the root of godly peacemaking is action directed at eliminating evil, not the evil-doer, by overcoming evil with good (Romans 12:21). Like God, peacemakers act to bring about a new heart and a renewed mind which makes reconciliation possible.

9. Build the Beloved Community

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”Ephesians 4:16, NIV

As Christians, we operate out of the two-fold understanding that,

  1. All people are created in the image of God, and
  2. All fall short of the glory of God and are in need of mercy and grace.

From this understanding, we seek to build up unity and work against division. A vision of the Beloved Community inspires us to insure that all have dignity, safety, and the means to care for themselves and be productive members of society. As members of the family of God, we support each other and hold one another accountable with a balance of truth and grace.

10. Find Your Joy

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”John 15:11, NIV

The King family has endured heart-breaking tragedy in pursuit of these values. Yet, Alveda wrote of how their obedience to these truths provided them with joy in the midst of such awful circumstances as having their home bombed and her father and uncle murdered.

We won’t always have happiness. We live in a broken and fallen world that guarantees we will experience pain, grief, and want. Yet, because we have Jesus and we walk in his way, his joy is in us and our joy will be complete.

What Difference Will You Make Today?

Alveda King’s book prompted me to take stock of how I’m embodying these ten truths in my own life. Coupled with the soul-searching I’ve been doing as to my schedule and priorities, it has helped me realize some changes I need to make to better live in alignment with God’s way for my life.

I invite you to spend some time in prayer contemplating what values guide your life. Are there any changes you feel God is calling you to make so you can better express his values and make a difference in your world?

I’ve made you a cheat sheet of these ten principles. If you’d like a copy, just click the image or button below and I’ll email you a copy right away.

I’d like the FREE Cheat Sheet!

Your turn: What empowers you to make a difference in your world and the lives of those with whom you relate? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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