I read a book some time ago titled “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell and it was a real eye opener. In it, he defined a “tipping point” as “The moment of critical mass. A threshold. A boiling point.”
A tipping point is that instant or action that changes the course of things. Some examples might be the boiling point of water where it changes state from a liquid to a gas. A sillier example could be the point in a cricket game where the crowd gets a Mexican Wave circulating the stadium.
These are examples of tipping points and the essence of these is the point at which something changes leading to something new or different.
Sometimes we don’t know what the tipping point might be, especially when it comes to human emotions or psychology. Mass riots are a good example where something “snaps” and crowds change from normal individuals to an unruly mob bent on violence, mayhem and looting.
In the book the author looks at the change that took place in New York City under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Violence was rampant with constant gang battles, muggings and murders on the streets. People were apathetic and would simply turn a blind eye to these things, not wanting to get involved for fear of being caught in the violence. People were bashed, women raped, property destroyed all in the sight of others, but no-one would even admit to witnessing these horrors.
Mayor Giuliani instigated a major crackdown on crime in the city. He took a no compromise approach and instructed city police to enforce every law, regulation and city by-law to stop crime.
But the tipping point came from a most unusual source. Along with his other crackdowns, Mayor Giuliani instructed the city transit system that no train would be permitted to operate if it was sprayed with graffiti. All carriages that were defaced were taken offline and repainted before going into service. Every time graffiti artists struck again, the carriages were removed and cleaned up.
He did not want to “reward” those who chose to deface public property by allowing their graffiti to even see light of day on the tracks.
And the war on graffiti had a remarkable effect. People began to show some pride in their city. They began to clean the streets and not litter. They reported crimes. They assisted police. But it was this small act of the war on graffiti that was the tipping point that made all the difference.
Today we see the world in a mess. Violence, terror, drugs, the breakdown of morality and a complete disrespect and disregard for authority. Overcoming these things is a nightmare for governments because the forces of evil will continue to flourish while there is something in it for them.
If this is to change, there needs to be a new “tipping point.” This will not necessarily come from government, but may come from a fed-up public. Individuals prepared to stand up for what is good, right and true, and not allow evil to have precedence in their own sphere of influence will have a profound effect.
There is the “Power of One” needed to begin a revolution. Just as Jesus began a revolution that has lasted 2,000 years and is getting stronger, regardless of what the media may say, a revolution of Christ is needed once more. And it will come.
The time is coming soon when a spiritual invitation from God will be sent out to all nations, peoples, tongues and tribes to come to Christ and accept Him as Lord and Saviour. Your role and my role in this is to be the catalysts of change, working with Christ to start the “tipping point” that will lead many to salvation.
Like the parable of the mustard seed in Luke chapter 13, verses 18 and 19.
18 He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?
19 It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches."
A tipping point is like a grain of seed, just the smallest of things that grows into a movement. And like the mustard tree it becomes strong, secure and able to stand in all conditions so that people take shelter in it.
God’s kingdom is the same, for in it we have security in the knowledge that He will lead, strengthen and protect us. So make a stand. Stand for what is right. Stand up for Christ when called to do so and know that your action may be the tipping point for others to follow and come to know Jesus Christ and His salvation.
Since retiring from work, John Lemmon now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, online and offline, answering God's call on him to “Speak to my people.” John and his wife Colleen travel all over Australia and you will often find him playing guitar or ukulele outside their caravan somewhere in the Great Outback. You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his Christian Bible study blog (freegiftfromgod.com/blog).
John Lemmon’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/john-lemmon.html