January 9, 2018

How to Make a Big Impact on Others

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 9, 2018

By Shana Schutte

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15:8

When I lived in Colorado I had a lovely friend named Judi who had the gift of making others laugh. We spoke to one other in English accents which often caused her husband to wonder if we had lost our marbles. We giggled our way through lunches, telephone conversations, and work breaks. Judi was also an encourager who liked to talk about the deep things of the Lord. These two characteristics of silliness and seriousness matched me perfectly, which is perhaps one reason we were such great buddies.

One morning, Judi’s husband, Jim, called to say that Judi had been rushed to the hospital. When I arrived, she had already run away with Jesus. A brain aneurysm had quickly taken her life. At her funeral, a small crowd gathered, but Judi’s impact had obviously been great. Person after person came to the podium to say, “Judi knew how to make me laugh” “I could always call Judi if I needed someone to talk to” and “Judi was such an encouragement to me.” I was reminded of Matthew 25:23 which says,

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

If measured by worldly standards, Judi’s life would not receive a high score on the success-o-meter. She wasn’t wealthy, an executive, and she didn’t have a list of letters behind her name highlighting her degrees. Judi was an administrative assistant; she was also a great friend and a loving wife—and I am sure was unaware that her life touched people so deeply.

In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers wrote, “The people who influence us the most are not those who detain us with their continual talk, but those who live their lives like the stars in the sky and ‘the lilies of the field’ – simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold and shape us.

If you want to be of use to God, maintain the proper relationship with Jesus Christ by staying focused on him, and he will make use of you every minute you live – yet you will be unaware, on the conscious level of your life, that you are being used by him.”

Judi’s story and this quote from Oswald Chambers are important for all of us because we all want to make an impact. But to do so, we have to stop defining success by worldly standards. When we forget that the foundation of all lasting influence is authentic relationship with Jesus, we get disillusioned and feel like failures when nothing could be further from the truth!

Relationship with Christ is the foundation for lasting and great impact that we most likely won’t realize we’ve had until we get to heaven.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

 

Prayer

Lord, help me to always remember that as I stay close to you, you will use me to glorify you and bless others in ways I can’t see.

Application

Think about one or two people who have impacted your life in a big way. Call them and let them know how they have influenced you and tell them thanks.

Related Reading

Philippians 2:13; Philippians 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 10:31

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You make a difference just by being you. #WisdomHunters #YourLifeMatters

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