When we think of change or fresh starts, our goals are usually personal. We want to make a difference in our own life. Albeit we want change in a positive direction, that direction still focuses on us as the central theme or recipient of the positive change.
No one plans to change for the worse, right? You don’t make New Year’s resolutions to stop exercising or to spend more money. Even when I focus on others, the resolution is still all about me. I will serve more this year. I will be more generous.
I think as Christians we are meant to make a difference for others. I have heard many pastors reference focusing on what breaks God’s heart. We should care about those things and put our effort into serving or helping in those areas.
What Breaks Your Heart In The World?
Recently, Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church said it a little differently. He asked us to consider what breaks our hearts. What is something you are very passionate about, and how can you make a difference in that? When he made that challenge, so many things floated through my head. Yes, poverty, orphans, violence, drugs, atheism…there were so many. It really is hard to prioritize.
And, then I started wondering in what way I could make a difference. Because, of course, the first thing he said was not to make excuses:
I am only one person.
My efforts won’t make a dent.
I only have minimal time and resources.
He shot me down immediately.
As Small Business Owners, How Can We Make A Difference With Our Business?
I started thinking about my business and how this is where most of my time and resources are tied up. If you are a small business owner, your time and resources probably are, too. Therefore, how can we make a difference through and with our business?
I don’t know the perfect answer for you, but I started thinking about it and here are some ideas that may get you thinking:
- Excellence – We can help people through our products and/or services. Many of you already have businesses that help others. By doing excellent work or making excellent products, your products or services can make an even bigger impact.
- Employ – We can help people through employing others. Providing jobs and opportunities for other people not only helps others to feed and clothe their families, it gives them the opportunities to help with their time and resources, too.
- Community – We can share the time of our staff and ourselves in community involvement or service.
- Giving – We can share our resources with people, causes, and the church. Giving is important. We should support our local churches, but if God is blessing you financially, your giving can have an impact in a ministry already addressing the world issue that breaks your heart.
- Love – We can love others – staff, customers, vendors. We can be the church in our everyday life to help bring the light of Christ into our everyday world.
- Lead – We can provide leadership, strategy or a helping hand to a ministry or cause that breaks our heart. We don’t need to wait for someone else to lead the charge. As a small business owner, you are a leader. This is an opportunity to use this gift God has given you for an even greater impact on His Kingdom. But, it is okay to jump in and just help when needed as well.
- Shine – We can live by our Christian values and hopefully shine a light on Jesus. This has the opportunity to do more than change the world, it shows the world Christ.
- Gospel – We can share our faith actively. People finding salvation in Christ is the most impact we can make on someone. Of course, God doesn’t need us, but He wants to use us to reach people.
- Pray – We can pray fervently and consistently for others and the area we hope for change.
- Do – And even though we are just one person, we can do. We can adopt an orphan, take care of a widow, feed the hungry, go out and evangelize the name of Jesus.
Sustaining an Outward Focus
Over the years, it is difficult to maintain focus on God’s Kingdom, helping and loving others, and basically getting over one’s self and looking outward. I started out that way. My mission for Crossroads was to help others find God’s will for their life. To me, this encompassed several things:
- Telling people about Jesus, so they could find God.
- Helping others to know that God cares about their whole life–personal, business, relationships, etc.
- Working with others to help them to find God’s path for their life and business.
- Helping business owners grow a successful business on a foundation of their Christian values.
Ultimately, I know that God’s path is the best path for us all. More importantly, I know that being in a relationship with Christ is the core of a believer. And our purpose is to follow the Holy Spirit, so that we can be more like Jesus, glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Finding Christ at the age of 36 changed my life, my family, my world. At that time, I committed my heart to always helping others to find Him because it is helping others to have the only True Life.
I don’t know where I would be, or where my family would be, without having found Christ as Lord and Savior.
So, the one thing that breaks my heart more than anything is knowing there are so many that do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior. The one thing that I am passionate about is helping others find Christ, know Him, and follow Him…because it is the way to true life…for eternity.
How about you? What breaks your heart? How can you make a difference for your passion in the coming year?