About the Author

Holley Gerth is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, counselor, and life coach. Her newest release is The Powerful Purpose of Introverts: Why the World Needs You to Be You. She's also wife to Mark, Mom to Lovelle, and Nana to Eula and Clem.

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  1. I wonder if changing the World might also begin with allowing God to change me, to change my heart, to soften it and deepen it, to renew my mind, to focus it and strengthen it AS WELL as starting with the person right in front of me. I am a recovering legalist and it’s in recognising His grace in me that stops me sliding back into those legalistic ways.
    Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to stop and reflect again this morning. Bless you xx

  2. Please excuse my poor English, should have read it through more carefully before I pressed ‘publish’
    Sorry

  3. “Justice starts with the person right in front of you.” This sounds almost too easy, and yet, showing love and justice to those closest to me is so hard on the difficult days. This is an area where I need to seek growth. Thanks for this timely reminder.

  4. I love love love this…you spoke profound truth with simplicity …that is a gift….and yes..justice starts with the person right in front of you…I think that maybe when we are faithful ….showing mercy and compassion in the small ways …right In front of us…our compassion and mercy to the oppressed ..orphans and widow might just be a more authentic walk of love. I am taking this with me today..thanks

  5. This post spoke to me today so clearly. Loving others right In front of us ~~So true, if we want God to use us to change the world, then we need to let Him use us to change our corner of the world….change our hearts. A great way to start my day!

    • That is a great quote: “if we want God to use us to change the world, then we need to let Him use us to change our corner of the world….change our hearts.” Amen, girl!

  6. Thanks so much Holley!
    Actually today I needed these lines! My work is filled with ill people, suffering from many diseases. Sometimes they are kind and happy and sometimes they are really angry about everything and anything in their life. And I’m the one who is been touched hardly by all the pain and all the angry and depressive feelings. It’s hard to be the quiet and lovely woman, always smiling and being gentle. Even if it seems to hard to be hold. Your words inspired me in being their sunshine in the dark.
    Thanks so much!
    Be blessed!
    Rosie

  7. I too, am brought up short by your words. Sometimes, it feels easier to love those who are “far away” than the ones right in front of us. Thank you for the reminder to look at those right in front of me with mercy and compassion. Love truly is the most powerful weapon.

  8. God bless you: Proverbs 10:6 “Blessings are upon the head of the uncompromisingly righteous the upright, in right standing with God but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. “

  9. “Justice starts with the person right in front of you.” Yes!

    BEcause love casts out all fear – The widow, the orphan, the friend on the end of the phone – fear of injustice, fear of rejection, fear of what is in the darkness of loss. When we love well, we bring the love of the Father that casts out all fear.

    Very thought provoking post, Holley. Good Job. <3

  10. First of all, I loved the graphic and your words that brought me here to read this today. Then I was just stirred deeply in my soul over the message. So often the people I am surrounded by get so caught up in their causes – civic, political, missions, personal pet projects – well, frankly at times it gets nauseating to me. I see them ignoring their closest companions and procrastination is prevailing regarding long-standing issues hurting their relationships with family and closest friends. In the end we all suffer, though the words “I love you” are exchanged in these wounded relationships. Still, they continue on with their causes, and it grieves my spirit…makes my heart cry out in prayer. Maybe I’m guilty of this too, knowing that things that bother us often reflect our own shortcomings. I hope if that is the case, that I am getting better at loving those right in front of me and surrounding me. Thanks for helping me to consciously consider if how I am treating or responding to someone today is hurting them or loving/healing them!

    Okay, I was about to submit this and was suddenly realizing that I am reading a book right now that ties in with this, but for marriage relationships, especially abusive ones in which the person who claims to or is supposed to love you is causing the wounds and hurts you suffer. It is “Love Without Hurt” by Steven Stosny, Ph.D. As I am reading it, it is helping me to heal, and maybe there is someone else out there reading your post today that needs to know about it too. I just felt compelled to reference it here. PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR…and heals justly.

    Bless you, Holley, and I thank God for the blessing you are!

  11. WOAH,I got to tell you..you lifted my spirits today! Beautifully stated . I have never commented on any of your posts. However, that quote about “justice starts with the person right in front of you” is so powerful. It is one I hope I never forget.
    Lately , as I have watched the changing news, I admit to being depressed about the State of our Union and how we treat the least amongst us..Today, and with this post, you have not only lifted my spirits, but I know I need to make a plan and act to make a difference in my corner of the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! May God continue to give you words of wisdom that help to inspire and encourage others.

  12. Your writing seems to be an answer to my prayers and yet still praying for clarity from God. Why do so many of the people in my world, seem to have no desire to integrate a personal relationship with God. Let alone come and worship in community. How can I best touch their hearts? I wrote a blog this week that I can see over 150 read. Yet I never know where they are at on the journey. People hold that relationship so private. I am so touched by God’s abundant love and mercy I can’t keep it down.

  13. love this. recently experienced this with people close to me. it felt unfair to let them “get away” with treating me badly (out of fear), but my reacting in love broke down walls and invited healing in. i am so grateful i was given the opportunity to live through that! now i see that jesus-type love is an action word. not a feeling.

  14. Holley,
    So beautiful your writing. It confirmed something I witnessed the other day, may we all open our hearts to those God has put in our path, /change begins today and it begins with me. Living mercy and compassion in the midst of its absence brings with it the hope of salvation for another.
    Blessings

  15. Holley,
    I had a conversation with a friend at lunch and she was telling about a couple who had been in her church who had hit a very rough time in their marriage. When it became public, instead of people loving them, they ostracized the couple and many got angry with my friend because she refused to shun them and continued to love them through the reconciliation and healing of their marriage. Then I come home and read your post. Wow!

    Someone once told me that Christians are often the first to kill the wounded. How true. We don’t want to extend the same grace and mercy that our Father has given to us. Your words reminded me of the Susan Ashton song from her first album, “Beyond Justice to Mercy”. Powerful words we need to remember.

  16. You are such an inspiration! Especially when you are willing to share with us without makeup, shower, etc. To know, really KNOW, we are loved is such a gift. Love You!

  17. Holley,

    Loved the picture and the post! It can be hard to love those in front of you. Sometimes they do and say things that hurt, but we must be the light and forgive them–even if only in our minds or to God. Once we learn to love justice and everyone we come in contact with then and only then can we go out and love the fatherless, homeless, widow!

    Great thought provoking post! πŸ™‚

  18. Holly, your words are always so timely in my world. Thank you for this. It’s so true, changing the world really does start with changing our world, our little world with children and spouses and friends and family. Our community, then spilling out to “their” community. God bless you sweet child of the most high, as you go about your day changing your world.

    Janelle