Sunday, April 19, 2009

Difference Makers

I’ve always been interested in ‘difference makers’. You know the people I’m talking about, don’t you? They’re the people who make things happen in little and small ways. We notice them.

Some difference makers are evil people. They live in the dark dungeon of ego. Their gifts and talents are considerable but when push comes to shove they choose to be less than they were created to be. They die rich but impoverished. The are remembered but not mourned.

I’ve been observing difference makers of another stripe for a long time in the hopes of becoming one myself. They are the legacy builders. Their impact makes our world and lives a better place. We count on them. And I’ve discovered some things about these men and women.

These difference makers live with a sense of intentionality and integrity that goes against the cultural grain.

Difference makers, like this, work hard, relish play, aren’t afraid to be introspective and genuinely believe that ‘people matter to God’. They instinctively seem to know how to bring out the best in people even in the midst of trying times. They try to maximize their God given gifts and talents. As a result they are a force for good in our society.

Difference makers keep mentally, emotionally, physically, relationally and spiritually sharp. More often than not the decisions they make are based upon well chosen values rooted in an authoritative source. And they are driven by those values even to the point of looking odd in the midst of a trendy culture. They’re not afraid of the truth and will stand up for it.

In a world filled with people who want to take the most obvious shortcut difference makers build bridges and tear down walls. It takes work but that kind of work is worth the price it exacts.

The world is filled with forgettable people. Difference makers are missed when they aren’t involved. There’s a hole that needs to be filled. Without them there’s often a vacuum of trust and heartfelt service.

I’ve discovered that difference makers are known for their deep commitments. When you find someone making a difference you almost always find someone who deeply desired to be a responsible decision maker, to living life with vision and purpose. Difference makers want their lifestyle to match their rhetoric. Watch them with others and you will see someone who treats people with dignity, civility and respect. They are empowering, synergistic team players.

A person isn't born a difference maker. He or she needs to be taught, mentored, and held accountable. It is a life long process of being guided by noble principles that spur the development of foundational skills, perceptions, and habits.

For those of us who have faith being a difference maker starts with humbly acknowledging the truth about ourselves before a great God who loves us like mad. We turn over the life that rightfully belongs to Him and ask that He molds us into a person who looks more and more like Jesus. He makes the real difference. Our life takes on meaning, purpose, and intentionality. We start to love and care in ways we never thought possible. Our life begins to count in ways we never imagined. It’s a good way to live. We make a difference because God is making a difference in us.

1 comment:

Elyse K said...

"We make a difference because God is making a difference in us." --

Keep reminding me of this when I am tired, burnt out and in "I-
don't-care" mode!

from 1 John 4 from the Message "God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us."