We’ve each been given a gift to make an impact for good in the world around us. And naturally we try to make the biggest impact possible. But often we do this by jumping ahead of ourselves rather than letting our impact ripple out, starting with those closest to home.
The early disciples were instructed to tell people everywhere about Jesus, all the way to the ends of the earth. But they started where they were in Jerusalem. And this is a good model for us to follow as well.
In our quest for a large-scale impact, we should not overlook the very ones God has placed in our homes, neighborhoods, and local communities. Of course, aspects of our mission might inherently be focused on those outside of our local circle. But we risk building on a sandy foundation when we don’t bring our gifts home first.
A rippling impact suggests our focus should first be on the lives of those closest to us, and then ripple out accordingly. This means not only creating the space for our wife and kids to thrive, but also considering the lives of our friends, neighbors, small groups, and those throughout our local towns and cities. From here we can then start exploring how to expand our reach to larger circles of influence.
For example, we care for our immediate family before our extended family, local issues before global issues, and our neighbor down the street before those hundreds of miles away. To be sure, we weigh the significance of various concerns, but generally it’s still best to start at home and then work our way outward. This ensures we’re not neglecting our responsibilities to those around us even as we seek to maximize our impact.
In the end, make a difference in the lives of those closest to you first. And then let your impact ripple out from here.