The Difference Maker (Part 1 of 3)

The Difference Maker (Part 1 of 3)

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The King will answer them,
‘Truly, I say to you,
as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,
you did it to me.’
Matthew 25:40 ESV



It’s true, you know: the only difference worth making is the difference we make as we follow the example of the Difference Maker.

So can we turn off our phones, computers and smart TV’s for a few minutes? You back there rocking to the beat – yes, you with the e-tablet tucked under your chair – turn the Bluetooth off and remove those wireless buds from your ears.

Thank you.

We all need to sit our sweet tails down, keep our hands in our laps, tones at a normal decibel, and have a serious discussion – so serious that His Own Heart is going to deal with it in this week’s post as well as the two to follow.

Because frankly, I’m tired. Of so much. Of hurt and bitterness and selfishness and pride and anger and lies and brokenness and sin…blatant sin. And of the rot that’s seeped into Western culture little by little until it is at last and indeed consuming the American people like a wildfire.

But what I’m really tired of is the misappropriated tolerance of these things in the name of social justice. And something tells me I’m not the only one who’s tired; in fact, I have a feeling that many of us – certainly the committed follower of Christ – are confused and conflicted to his or her very core when it comes to this topic.

Please hear and take to heart what I’m about to say. Handled within the context that Scripture provides, we are absolutely called to live a life of love, compassion and grace toward others in the Name of Christ and His righteousness. The problem arises, as we’ll see next week, when we move the cause of social justice away from said context of Scripture. At that point, social justice competes for the authority that rightly belongs to Scripture and a society ends up with – well – the mess that we’ve ended up with.

In the past two weeks alone, we’ve seen statues and other pieces of history defamed or demolished. In one state, a city sculpture featuring the Ten Commandments was obliterated to bits and replaced with one of Satan. In another, a war memorial was toppled. In another, an adult son killed his mother’s dog as a sacrifice to some sort of social cause. (His explanation, not mine.)

Oh, and then a group of young adults has formally formed to re-execute Jesus if– in their astute words – He does return to earth again. They’re fighting for social justice, too. No, I’m not kidding.

And the sad part of all of this is that in those same two weeks I’ve seen individual hearts and lives broken, thrown to the ground and stomped in the dust with louder thuds than the crashing of UNC’s Silent Sam statue.

All for the sake of social justice.

Listen, I fully understand – from a standpoint of experience, no less – the human desire to both make a difference for others and make a place for oneself among others. I get it. I really do. But I also know – from a standpoint of experience – that those desires only come to effective fruition when they are aligned with the authority and purpose of the One and Only Holy God and His unchanging Word. He is the Difference Maker. You and I are called simply to be His tools for makingthe difference. And when we serve His purpose well, Heliterally makes a place for us among others.

As lovingly as I know how, I say to you that social justice and, for that matter, political correctness simply will not work outside of God’s will. Wrapped soundly in Scripture, the methodology admittedly requires effort but also brings rest and joy (see Matthew 11:29-30). Apart from Scripture, it brings chaos and emptiness.

The methodology that Christ spells out in Matthew 25:40 as printed at the opening of this post starts with the simplest of steps:

[T]he King will answer them,
‘Truly, I say to you,
as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,
you did it to me.’

In next week’s post, we’ll dig into the context of this passage and the circumstances surrounding it. For this week, however, I would love for you to see for yourself the effects set into motion when you seek to make a difference in life that revolves around the Difference Maker Himself. I’ll probably never say these words to you again, but just this once, meditate this on the words of Matthew 25:40 – with no other context attached to it.

Are you with me so far? Good.

Now, also determine to make a difference this week that involves direction from the Difference Maker. The list below features 10 pairs of simple, life-affirming actions that are easily maneuvered. Choose a different pair of actions to carry out for at least five days this week, then meet me back on the blog next week. Feel free to comment as often as desired on this post to generate discussion. I can’t wait to talk with you about what happened during the week, and discover where the Difference Maker takes us from here!

  1. Give a friendly smile to someone who’s not expecting it. Give praise to God.
  2. Converse with the student or co-worker who isn’t considered “popular” by peers. Give praise to God.
  3. Give cold water to the homeless person on the curb. Give praise to God.
  4. Tell the parents eating or shopping with their disabled child that he or she is handsome or beautiful. Give praise to God.
  5. Drive patiently behind the vehicle that’s traveling slower than the speed limit. Give praise to God.
  6. Take your children to visit their grandparents, leaving all electronic devices in your vehicle, including yours. Give praise to God.
  7. Call a neighbor to look at a particularly beautiful sunset. Give praise to God.
  8. Touch base with the person you promised to call last week but never got around to doing it. Give praise to God.
  9. Hold the door for a senior citizen or let him or her move ahead of you in the check-out line. Give praise to God.
  10. Compliment a person for no reason. Give praise to God.

– Copyright 2018 Carole Anne Hallyburton. All rights reserved.

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