Making a Difference

How can we become people who make a difference – as our lifestyle? I’ve heard from many who are being challenged in this area. One person recently wrote and said:

It’s easy to write that check, donate old clothes or drop off canned food on the way into the Bronco game. But at the end of the day it was still heavy on my heart to do more. We tend to get so caught up with ourselves and as a result we pretend to ignore that there is suffering within our community. My “Outlook” schedule was way off. I was making too much time for me and not enough time for God. I see that now. I see that through my personal struggles that I wasn’t holding up my end of the bargain. I now work first for God. By doing that my fear as subsided and my basket remains full.

So how do we build this lifestyle?

Mother Theresa likened herself to being a pencil in God’s hand, able to be used at any time in any way He wanted.

John Wimber referred to being change in God’s pocket, able to be spent by Him at any time.

Saint Francis de Sales said “You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.”

So it is clear we become something by habitual practice, whether good or bad. We become people who make a difference by training ourselves to respond to God’s compassion.

If you can respond to lack or adversity in your own life with generosity, you can start building this habit.

We’ve worked on this by trying to give whenever we are in need. It is so easy to freak out, pull back and worry when you are facing huge needs! Giving not only breaks the power of fear, it puts us back in the traffic of what God is doing (loving and serving). It is a practical way to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”

A key is to give generously without any strings attached. Sometimes that means giving in secret. Sometimes it is impossible for it to be in secret, but our motive is not to be noticed or appreciated for it.

Extravagant giving should be in every area, but especially the area you are most in need.

  • If you are in need of love and understanding, spend extra time listening to someone.
  • If you are in need of companionship, be a great friend to others, caring for them in a way they would appreciate it most.
  • If you are in need of mercy, receive it from God and extend it to others.
  • If you need a job, do what you need to do, but in the meantime consider serving somewhere for free with the skills you have.
  • If you are in financial need, keep giving your first and best (tithe) to God. Then look to give a gift that really stretches your faith as God directs.

God said we should test Him in this area and see if He will not provide for us. What a wonderful promise. What a crazy counterintuitive plan for dealing with our needs 🙂 Giving opens up our hearts and reminds us that everything we offer to God is a gift anyway.

So where can you begin, or where can you respond? Maybe God wants to use the area of your need to make a difference in the lives of others…

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