Am I Making a Difference?
“Am I making a difference?”
Have you ever ask yourself that question? Have you ever wondered if you are making an impact in whatever situation you are currently in the midst of?
I know I have.
And I have heard a countless number of others over the years ask the same question. Those on mission trips. Volunteers. Pastors. Loving friends and family members. All concerned about someone else. All of them concerned about whether their attempts at helping are actually helping anyone or doing anything.
For anyone involved in ministry, in any form, this question has most likely entered our minds at some point. Especially when battling poverty. How do we attack poverty? How do we best help someone in poverty? How do we not get taken advantage of? How do we actually help free them from poverty?
Two of the best books I have read in recent years address these questions: Toxic Charity and When Helping Hurts.
Toxic Charity (written by Robert Lupton) focuses on ministry among the poverty in the United States while When Helping Hurts (a collaboration by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert) takes a more international focus. Both wrestle with the question of making a difference. And both question our individual ability to “save” someone.
The truth is that we can’t save everyone. Actually, the unfortunate reality of life is that we can’t ‘save’ anyone. You can help them, but only they can change themselves. And only Christ can truly save them.
When working to address poverty, our goal should not be to ‘save’ people but to remove every obstacle in their way to escape from poverty.
The same goes for any life situation. We can do our best (and we must do our best) but, at the end of the day, our goal should not be success. Our goal should be obedience. Obedience to the movement and leading of God. Trust Him with the outcomes, and focus instead on what is 'ours to do.'
So what is yours to do? What are you feeling led or called to do?
In the words of Nike: Just do it.
Knowing that your impact is not measured by the outcomes, but by what you are willing to sacrifice and invest in a person or in a situation.
Don’t aim for success, aim for obedience.