Tag Archives: be positive

Making A Difference 

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.


When I get to speak to new employees at work, one of the things I like to tell them is that their location or workgroup should be different because they are there. I want them to understand that wherever they go, things should change because they are there. I then explain that they have the ability to affect things positively around them or negatively. Ultimately it’s their choice on what kind of impact they’re going to make. 

You and I should live our Christian lives with the same philosophy. Our church should be different because we are there. They should be more vibrant and welcoming because we set the time for others to follow. Our work place should be different because of the spiritual influence we carry with us. Our coworkers shouldn’t know we are Christians because we are always preaching at them, but because of our actions. They should see Jesus in us.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippian church, he spoke to them about the effect their conduct had on others and their perception of Christianity. In Philippians 1:27 he said, “Live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ” (MSG). He knew that how we live in our day to day lives can either add to people’s perception of Christ or detract from it. He wanted our attitude, our actions to be a credit to the Message. He wanted our lives to lead others to Christ.

Think about the world you live in. Who are the people you come into contact with daily? Do they hear one thing coming out of your mouth and see something totally different in how you live? We’ve all heard the phrase, “Actions speak louder than words.” It’s time we applied that to spiritual things. It’s time our behaviors reflected the mind and attitude of Christ. Paul put it this way in Philippians 2:12-13, “Live in responsive obedience… Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation… That energy is God’s energy” (MSG). 

We need to live in responsive obedience. We should also be more energetic in our lives. Let God’s energy flow through you today to someone else. Don’t be a person who is always negative and sees the worst in every situation. Be the person who sees the best in situations and creates a positive atmosphere. People want to be around that person. People notice when someone is that way. When they ask what makes you different, you have an open door to share a faith that your actions have backed up. Go out today and make a difference wherever God leads you. 

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Live Expansively

I had a conversation with a coworker recently about doing good for others. I told her that I believe each person has a void that needs to be filled. I can choose to put something positive in it or let them go about their lives and run the risk of someone putting something negative in it. I told her that I do my best to put positive things into other people’s lives whenever I have the chance. She replied, “My mind doesn’t think like that. I don’t think I really have anything to give so I don’t look for those opportunities.”

I assured her that she has a lot to give and that she needs to be more generous with the abilities she has. I’m afraid that so many Christians think along the same lines she does. They believe that because they’re not in front of a lot of people, they can’t make a difference. They think that they don’t have anything to give or offer others. They let the lie of “I’m a nobody” keep them from doing good for others. That’s just not true. If you are a Christian, you have everything and need to give it away freely.

The believers in the Corinthian church were falling for the same lie. It frustrated Paul because he knew better. In II Corinthians 6:11-13, he told them, “Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way… Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! (MSG)” The only limits your life has when it comes to affecting others are the limits you self impose. Your life is bigger than you think. It’s far grander than you can imagine. It just seems small because you’re living it in a small way.

The way to open up and live a bigger life is through giving what you have. It can be the smallest of gestures that create the biggest impact. On one of my trips to Haiti, I was humbled as I watched one of our teenagers give a cup of cold water to a paralyzed orphan. All of the other kids and teens were out in the fields playing. She recognized that this child couldn’t go out there and also that they were thirsty. She left the “fun” in order to spend time with one who couldn’t be like all the other kids. That’s living expansively. She got a glimpse into the idea that she had something to offer even if it was a cup of water or a conversation.

Jesus gave us the example of true servanthood. He taught us how to invest in the lives of others through listening, sharing and giving. He knew that living an open and expansive life starts with giving of yourself. When we recognize as verse 10 says, “We own nothing, and yet we have everything,” then we will stop seeing our lives as small. We will start to see them as large, God created lives and begin to serve others in a way that points them to the cross. Your life has meaning. Your life is not small, so quit living life as if it were.

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