It seems to me that most of us have a deep longing to make a difference in the world – that our journey through should leave a foot print of some kind that makes the world a better place. We want to leave legacies, to have a bench named after us, for someone to recognise that because we lived the world is a better place. Why do we have this inherent desire to change things for the better? I think it has more to do with measuring our own significance than it has to do with the difference we make. Perhaps we are scared to live and die being unnoticed and un-lauded.
While I believe that following Jesus makes a difference we often over sell the difference we can make. We are challenged to feed the poor and care for the oppressed, but God does not promise us results, He just tells us to do it.
Matthew 25:36-40 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Jesus tells us to cloth the naked, feed the hungry, visit the imprisoned, but He doesn’t promise us results. Often we get demotivated in helping people as it feels like some are lost causes, wasters, people who don’t want to help themselves. Jesus doesn’t call us to judge, he merely calls us to help. We are not called to decide who is a worthy cause, who is worthy of our help, who really wants to change. We are just called to love consistently, generously and graciously, even if it doesn’t make a difference.
Lord, let me not seek difference making as the fanfare of my life, but rather let me seek to be obedient to you, because I love you, even if it never makes a difference that anyone will notice.