Doing My Little Bit of Good

Doing My Little Bit of Good

Our world is filled with tensions, hatred, abuse, violence. Even if we don’t see it in our own backyards, we can sense it all around us. It rears its ugly head everywhere, even when I click on a #motivation hashtag hoping for words of encouragement and instead find political rants.

We know the antidote to all this strife is God’s message of hope, restoration and forgiveness, but the world is so big and so messed up that I often wonder how I can possibly make a difference.

That’s when I remember that we serve a sovereign God who chooses to do his work through imperfect, everyday people. Like me. Like you.

So I choose to believe that my efforts to live according to his purposes DO make a difference, whether I see it or not.

Here are some suggestions for doing our small part to bring hope and healing to our angry, hurting world.

Pray

  • For our leaders (whether or not we like them or agree with their policies).
  • For the victims and their families.
  • For police, fire fighters, EMTs, aid workers, ER staff, etc. All those who must face the grittier realities of life on a daily basis. Whenever you hear a siren, take a moment to pray for both the victims and those responding to the crisis.
  • For wisdom and courage to speak life and truth into the lives of hurting neighbors and coworkers.
  • Ask God to help you see THEM (whoever you have trouble loving) through his eyes.

Choose to extend grace

  • If you are like me, you like to be right (and you want others to know it). But sometimes loving others means keeping our thoughts to ourselves, even when we know we are right. Deciding to surrender our ‘right’ to be right can do wonders for strained relationships.
  • Be a model of politeness, even when others are rude.
  • Whenever possible, speak, write, and post words of encouragement rather than complaint or criticism. Choose not to get caught up in rants, gossip, or other verbal attacks on others.
  • Pick your battles. I remember how important that mantra was while raising children. Many times it helped me extend grace rather than criticism to a child’s choice of clothing, music, or some other “gray” area of daily life. It holds true for other areas of life, too. People will do and say things we find annoying—maybe even morally wrong—but unless we’re their boss or their mother, it might not be our job to correct them.

Get involved

  • Volunteer to serve others through a local church, ministry, or other service organization. Not sure where to start? Try VolunteerMatch.org.
  • Show your interest and appreciation to others who are doing their part. Make a point of asking your friends to share stories of their service experiences.
  • Decide to be more intentional about the relationships in your life. If you value strong family relationships, make sure you are giving priority time and energy to them.
  • Don’t discount the influence that modeling healthy family dynamics can have on your children’s friends, or your own friends. When I was a naïve high-school student, I wondered why certain friends hung around my house so often. Now I know it was because their own homes were very dysfunctional, and they craved the love and peace I took for granted. Thirty-plus years later, some of those friends still send my parents cards telling them how much their simple acceptance made a difference.

What other ideas do you have to do our small part to make the world a better place?

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34,35

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About Lisa Betz

Lisa Betz writes from an empty nest perched on a wooded Pennsylvania hillside. When not volunteering at the school, church or library, she writes about life, both now and two-thousand years ago.

Comments

  1. What great suggestions, Lisa. Loved every one of these.

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  2. Thanks. And wouldn’t you know it, the sermon on Sunday was about this very sort of thing. Doing a good turn at every opportunity. I guess I’d better live up to my words. 🙂

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  3. This weekend my grown son filled me with so much joy as I watched him extend grace. It was obvious the restaurant didn’t have enough help (the scheduled workers decided to take Labor Day Sunday off). Our waitress was overwhelmed. She served, she cleaned tables. Everything was served late, and she couldn’t keep up with all the dirty tables. We ended up with entrees and no side dishes!
    As my son watched other patrons yell at the server or walk out in a huff, he was filled with compassion. While I also felt badly for her, he took things a step further. Before we left, he handed her a 50% tip and thanked her for her gracious attitude on a stressful evening. She nearly cried. He made sure she knew her job was worthwhile and appreciated. Not only did he bring her joy by extending grace, our entire party left feeling joyful as well. When you see someone’s bad day get better, you get happy, too!

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  4. WOW! What a great story. Thanks for sharing. If only more people did this sort of thing regularly.

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  5. Laurie Driesen says:

    Wow, how practical! Thanks for your post!

    [Reply]

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