Difference: a characteristic that distinguishes one from another or the average, an instance of being distinct in nature, form, or quality.
A common question I hear today is, “Can one person truly make a difference in the world today?”
Great question. How would you answer that? Do you believe that you are living a life that makes a difference? If so, how are you making a difference? I’d love to hear from you.
If not, what do you believe it takes to make a difference in someone’s life? What would they want or need to make a difference in their lives? More money, a better job, nicer house or neighborhood, perhaps a newer car, warmer climate, or better leaders, the list could go on and on. What would be on your list?
Years ago, when my life was about to “crash and burn” again, God brought a counselor named John into my life. John met me at my point of pain, revealed the darkness and doubt that had always haunted my heart, and pointed me in a genuinely different direction. He introduced me to Barry, who became my mentor, role model, friend, and family. As one of his beloved sons, Barry taught me how to listen, learn, love, laugh, and live life depending upon God alone. If it weren’t for these two men, you would have never heard of me, nor would you be reading this blog.
Since then, I’ve learned that money, houses, cars, fame, and fortune doesn’t make the top ten list of things that make a difference in people’s lives. What I’ve gleaned that truly makes a difference in people’s lives is:
- To know that they are known and truly loved by one person.
- To believe in themselves again, perhaps for the first time, and that their life matters
- To restore the relationship with family and friends
- To be able to forgive themselves for their past guilt and failures.
- To have peace of mind
- To have and belong to a community of family and friends.
- To not grow old and die alone.
- To know true joy and be able to share that with loved ones.
- To encourage their children and grandchildren to follow their dreams.
- To live a life that brings honor and glory to God the Father.
These are the top 10 yearnings of the heart that I’ve heard from countless men and women. Having just one or two of these come true would make a world of difference in their lives.
So, can one person make a difference? More intimately, can your life make a difference? Yes, because what makes a difference in people’s lives is genuine, healthy relationships. Not money, not houses, cars, careers, or fame.
To make a difference in someone’s life means intentionally investing in that relationship, making them top priority with your time, attention, and heart. Our relationships with one another always have and always will be what makes a difference in the world.
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31
May God help us to listen, learn, live, laugh, and love just like him.
If today’s blog was encouraging to you, make sure you sign up to receive blogs every Tuesday and Thursday. TransformingFamilies.org resources enable you to discover and develop authentic, healthy intimacy in all your relationships.
FYI: I also provide one-on-one coaching; if you want to improve your relationships or someone to talk to, e-mail me at ‘email@example.com’, and we’ll schedule a time to connect. My hope for you is that through these blogs, references, and resources, God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed child of God.