You Can Make A Difference

What would our life be like if we had someone who believed we were important enough to invest in?

Someone to come along side us in our journey of faith; a wizened traveler to help us navigate the mine fields of life; a trusted guide to help us scale faith’s rugged slopes and rejoice with us when we reach a peak.

Does such a person even exist?

So many of us long for a mentor who will help us make sense of life, of God. A confidant who’s slow to judge and quick to listen. Someone who won’t nit-pick our theology when we’re mid-meltdown. One who allows us to struggle through the fragile faith growing process–while encouraging us in it.

Oh, the supreme gift of someone of whom to safely bounce dreams, doubts, and fears! How many times I have wished for it, hoped and prayed for it.

And then God called me out.

“I’ve heard a lot about what you think you need, but what about those who need what I’ve given you?”

“What? But Lord, what do I have to offer?”

The riches and resources I’ve provided for you: Your experience with Me, your knowledge of Scripture, your life experience. I want you to offer love, support, encouragement . . .  Just as I have given to you, now you give to others, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over . . . Luke 6:38 NIV

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m myopic. I wade around in a pool of my hopes, my needs, my troubles and forget there’s life beyond my backyard—a whole host of people in need. I’m not talking about evangelism, orphans, and missions, most of us contribute something to help alleviate those needs. I mean the struggling Christians in our midst.

All around us they live and work and struggle—alone: That discouraged family member, that new Christian, that twenty-something fighting to hold onto their faith, that lone soul sitting next to us in church.

And we don’t see them.

But God sees and He wants to call us out.

Today.

Right now.

Yeah, I know it seems overwhelming, too much, more than we can possibly juggle. Shoot, I barely made it through last week’s schedule, but I wonder what would happen if we came along side someone who needed encouragement. What if we had the courage to ask God to show us one person.

Just one.

Not for a once or twice shoulder-pat-and-prayer, but someone for whom we will provide encouragement for a season. What a challenge. 

What a privilege!

You can make a difference. It’s called mentoring and discipleship. Sounds intimidating. Seems time consuming, but you don’t need to set a formal schedule. You don’t have to be a professional counselor or need a theology degree. You don’t even need to buy a workbook.

You just need to be willing–

–willing to share your life and the insight God has given you. Whether you share in bits and pieces or chunks doesn’t matter. What matters is that you do it. Over coffee. At the park. On the phone. Whatever.

I know, because I’m doing it. And I’m reaping the unforeseen joys of:

  • A new friendship
  • Reenergized faith
  • Spiritual growth in my own life

So, think about it. Or better yet, pray about it. Who knows? You just may be the answer to someone’s prayer.

What hinders you from investing in others?

Featured photo by Autumn Mott Rodeheaver

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Comments 12

  1. I agree. Some times we’re so busy looking at the forest, we can’t see the individual trees. Those people in our own sphere of influence that need a word of encouragement or a helping hand. Good words!!

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  2. Love this! I’m naturally task-oriented, so it’s easy for me to focus on the immediate task in front of me rather than the people around me. Great reminder!

    1. Thanks, Ava. You comment spoke to the administrator in me! About ten months ago, God knocked on my door with a new Christian in desperate need of one-on-one discipleship. Though I didn’t have the time, energy (I was ill), or money for all the driving involved, my husband and I both felt God’s clear call so I stepped out in faith…and He’s been blessing my socks off ever since! As I mentioned in another comment; you can’t ever out-give God. 🙂

  3. Bethany, Wonderful message and so true. I agree, finding the time is tough but what a blessing, for God’s glory, to simply give. I’ve always believed the worst difference is indifference. Excellent post! In Christ, luke

    1. Thanks. 🙂 We cannot out-give God, that’s for sure!

  4. Excellent article. I have been praying that I could be used in just that way. I know I’m lonely up here and maybe there is someone else feeling the same way — we could encourage each other. And I could share my life with them.

    1. Perhaps you are up there and “lonely” for just “such a time as this.” God always has something great waiting for us. I’ll be praying for you!

  5. Good blog, Bethany. I love being involved in discipleship,mentoring, pouring into another person. Makes life richer, fuller, and more complete…and abundant! HHmmmppphh, “novel idea”! Abundant life is what we were promised, who knew it would involve pouring ourselves into another in order to receive it! Thanks for all of your “pouring”!

    1. You are a great example of one who pours herself into the lives of others. Many could benefit from YOUR insight on the topic. And I love how you pointed out the connection to the abundant life Jesus promised.

  6. Good article Bethany. It was similar to what I was reading today in Psalm 139, God surrounds us, hems us in, takes care of us and like you said, we should care for each other. There is someone who needs words of wisdom, words of encouragement, true friendship, etc. out there right now waiting for you to act and share what God has given you this day and each day.

    1. Good words, Harriet. Words of wisdom from a woman who I know lives it out. Thanks for sharing your life with so many. I know you’ve made me feel loved a time or two!

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