“…if anything matters then everything matters. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, my purposes are accomplished and nothing will be the same again.”  ? Wm. Paul Young, The Shack

Does it take someone like Bill Gates to make a real difference in the world? The founder of Microsoft is worth more than countries. For example, Bill Gates is worth more than two Kenyas, and three Trinidads. Bill Gates is now engaged in the process of ridding himself of over $28 billion in the hope of improving the lives of others less fortunate than himself. When you hear stories like this, it’s easy to feel as a plumber, or real estate agent, or soldier, that you can’t do a whole lot to fix the problem of poverty. It takes the uber rich like Bill Gates to make a real difference. That is not true. God calls every believer to help solve the world’s problems, and one ordinary person’s life can actually make an extraordinary impact on the world. 

You can make the world a better place through your life even if you are not uber wealthy or a person of influence. When you rely on God to help you impact the world, His power will start to work through you in your neighborhood, city, state, and everywhere else you go. You would be surprised at the impact your life can have on those around you.   

The first thing we need to do is change our mindset from heroism to love. You don’t have to be a superhero in order to make a significant positive difference in the world; you simply need to love people who need love. We, as Americans, look for significant or dramatic ways to help people that would be newsworthy and make a difference on an epic scale, rather than simply make a habit of inviting God to work through us.   

The second thing is we depend too much on formulas. Life is not a formula. For example, we think that to achieve X requires us to do Y. To help the poor you need to give them a few dollars – the universal formula for poverty. The simple truth is there are no rules of engagement. It is simply first, experiencing God’s love and then serving others with that love. Serving others with love can and will take many forms. Our goal should be to discover our own unique way to contribute. So ask God to help you figure out what you’re most interested in doing, and what you do best. Then use that information to discern which opportunities to serve are best for you to act upon. Impacting the world for the better is much more about who you are than it is about what you do.

Pray about what you do before you do it. Pray and ask God to show His perspective to better see the needs around you. Pray and ask for God’s compassion and God’s love for people so that you’ll consider them more important than yourself. Then pray for God’s power to do something about the needs around you.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is one need that you are personally passionate about meeting in people?
  2. What are your abilities and gifts that could help make a difference in the lives of people around you?
  3. What are some of the obstacles that prevent us from getting involved in the needs of the community around us?  What can we do to overcome them?
  4. When you think through your passion, your abilities, and your experiences, do you have any creative ideas on how to get involved in the un-churched community around you in order to help the poor?