Be Different and Make a Difference
Are you tired of sitting around waiting for things to get better in your life, community, or world? Have you ever thought about how making a difference in your surroundings might not only change the present but the future? Too often we spend the majority of our time complaining about how things aren’t going the way we want or the way we think they should but don’t really “do” anything about it. Perhaps we convince ourselves that there is nothing that can be done to change our surroundings, situations, or life, but perhaps this is the wrong way to approach things. Is it not conceivable that in order for a difference to be made tomorrow that we need to change our perspective and actions while we are waiting today?
It seems that making a difference in life begins with the belief that we can do something that doesn’t benefit ourselves. Sometimes it appears we get so caught up in ourselves that we only look out for our own number one. And although making a difference in our personal life certainly begins by taking responsibility for ourselves, it must transcend to making a difference in the lives of others. Tim Denning, a writer, said, “When your sole purpose is to believe in something bigger than yourself, you act differently.” This translation easy suggests that by being different you can make a difference, not only in your own life but in the life of others thus changing not only your perspective but your surroundings.
The Cost of Making a Difference
But making a difference comes at a cost of real action. For if you want things to change sitting around just isn’t going to work because without the action of change no difference will come to your life or anyone else’s. All too often we get stuck in the idea phase, obsessively planning for the future while forgetting about the needs of today. This type of planning is something that I am all too familiar with, as I am a planner and organizer always looking for a better way of doing things.
I love lists, calendars, and spreadsheets that outline and give overviews to tasks and events. Because of this I am enamored and intrigued with new techniques of making better lists, calendars, and spreadsheets. I can spend countless hours researching and then implementing such strategies which nine times out of ten doesn’t work the way I thought it would. And the hours of time I wanted to save in my future with this new organization did nothing but waste time in the immediate. Although planning is important to take action, it is equally important to not get so caught up in the potential outcome of the future that the future is lost. Instead, we need to aim our energy in the here and now, serving in small ways that affect the immediate. It is in this way that the present secures and makes a difference for the future.
Where Should We Begin to Make a Difference?
If we want to see a difference in our lives and the lives around us, our first mission should always begin with those immediately around us. Once we establish this mission on the home front, we can extend that purpose to reach others, making a difference outside of our immediate circle. But even if our mission never goes further than our inner ring, we still made a difference in the lives of others, which ultimately makes a difference in our own lives and surroundings.
Believers of Christ too often get caught up in the future, because the future holds such glorious things and although planning and preparing for our future is important, we can get too far ahead of ourselves. When Christ returns, the scriptures have repeatedly informed us that He expects to find us clearly working for Him. Sitting back and simply waiting for His return is not taking the responsibility that He has entrusted us with nor is it helping us grow into the life that our future holds.
There appears to be a fine balance between acting today and planning for tomorrow, but in reality, if we dedicate ourselves to serving others today by making a difference, we are setting our plan for the future. So, let us continue to move forward in our lives working and acting as if Christ is coming today. It is in this way of service that we don’t get so caught up in our future that we can’t live in the present or vice versa where we only live for today and our future falls apart for lack of planning.
Being a Doer Today Can Change Tomorrow
Instead, let us make a commitment to serve others making a difference today so that we change not only our own life but the life of others as we help set an example for the world to see. We can become the doer and show others how they too can make a difference. This allows us to shine the light of Christ in somebody else’s darkness.
As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NLT)
There are a few things to keep in mind as we set out to make a difference. It is important to remember that most of the time our action will go unnoticed as we strive to make a difference and that is how it is supposed to be. If we set out to seek attention for making a difference, we are in the wrong game and ultimately won’t make a difference. We must know that we can make a difference without ever being told so.
By helping and serving others, we don’t waste our time planning for a future for we are preparing ourselves to be ready for Christ through our immediate action of service. Living out our faith in daily practice is not only a form of worship but is pleasing to God. It is easy to see tasks that we can do for Christ in the present by starting with those around us, which might just be the people in our household or immediate surroundings. By balancing the work of service to others in the present we are planning for our future but not trying to live in the future. It is in this way that we are working for Christ being His hands and feet while we wait upon Him.
Finding the Life-Changing Balance in Making a Difference
Living a Christian life is more than simply loving other Christians, it is being responsible for all areas of our life through faith and service. Whatever we do it must be done faithfully and positively in the present for it is in this way that our future is determined both here and in eternity.
Won’t you challenge yourself to balance your life with service to others seeing the good to be done in the present day? Root your convictions in knowing that when Christ returns, He expects to find you working, doing good for others, and not waiting idly for a future of better days. Find your motivation in knowing that Christ could come today or tomorrow, but He will come. Comfort yourself in knowing that although you don’t know the future, you can make a difference today that will change not only your future but potentially the future of others as well.
Love in Christ,
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.Ralph Waldo Emerson
What are Your Thoughts?
Are you making a difference for tomorrow in your service today? Share your thoughts on how you are balancing life to make a difference in not only your life but the life of others through serving which is making a difference for everyone’s future.