I'm surrounded by people who want to make a difference. They are ready to act. To sacrifice. To make a difference in others' lives.
One sad truth that I often bring to their attention is that MAKING A DIFFERENCE CAN MAKE YOU BITTER
We see a need. Our hearts break. We commit ourselves to doing something about it. We realize we have gifts that are perfectly suited to meet the need. We start the work and begin to make sacrifices. We then turn around and realize no one else shares our passion.
What's wrong with them? How can they just walk on by? How do they live with themselves? They're so selfish. They're wasting money and resources on things that don't make a difference and won't last!
Those are the things we say to ourselves.
To make matters worse, no one notices, much less rewards, our sacrifices. We're not serving for our own benefit (we hope). But it would sure be nice to be thanked and recognized for our hard work.
The result? We feel alone and unappreciated. This leads to bitterness.
A long time ago, a man named Peter had a conversation with Jesus. Jesus revealed to Peter that he (Peter) would suffer greatly as he carried out the mission that God had for him. Peter's response to Jesus was, "What about him?"
The "him" was John. John was also a follower of Jesus. Peter wanted to be reassured that John and the other followers were going to struggle and suffer as he would.
Read Jesus' reply to Peter...
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?
You must follow me.” (John 21:22)
Each of us has his own life to live. We were created on purpose with a purpose. Each of us has unique opportunities to fulfill his purpose. Each of us has his own mission to complete.
WE CANNOT GET CAUGHT UP IN COMPARING MISSIONS
It will only make us bitter.
Your life is your life. Your mission is your mission. You were created for it. Even if no one shares your passion or rewards your sacrifice, it is your plan!
My life is my life. My mission is my mission. I was created for it. Even if no one shares my passion or rewards my sacrifice, it is my plan!
Yes, together we are stronger. Yes, we were made for community. Yes, life is better when our stories collide and our lives intersect. But in the end...you are accountable for your own plan. I am accountable for mine.
Make others' lives better and don't allow your life to become bitter.