Making a Difference

Pray to start

Ask God to show you how you can make a positive difference and pray that He would help you to take the opportunities He gives you.

What do you think?

In what ways can you make the world a better place?

Making a difference

It’s very easy to moan about things that are not right in the world and in our lives, but it’s far better to do something to change the situation.

Let’s think about poverty for example. World leaders make big decisions that affect people’s lives such as whether to go to war or not, what international rules there will be on trading between countries, how much money to lend to poor countries and how they must pay it back. As well as this, many other leaders are involved in corrupt governments that take money from the poor people in their countries.

All of these things can make us feel as though we can’t do anything about the unfairness of poverty. We can feel helpless, which often leads to us not bothering to do anything to change the situation.

But rather than looking at what we can’t change, what happens if we look at what we can change?

We buy food to eat. We can look for the Fairtrade Mark to make sure the food we buy helps the people living in poverty who produce it for us. We can try to buy more locally produced food rather than fruit and vegetables that have been grown in countries a long way away, meaning that lots of fuel is used to transport them to our supermarkets, leading to climate change.

We buy clothes to wear. Many of the clothes we wear are made in factories in poor countries where the people who work there have no rights. They are often treated like slaves and forced to work for little pay. You can investigate how ethical different shops are by buying a copy of The Good Shopping Guide here.

By sponsoring a child you are making a difference. Not only in that child’s life and to their family and community, but also to the country where they live. Many of the children that have been sponsored through Compassion have gone on to be great leaders of their communities and churches, and others work for the government of their country, making things better for the people in their country. Whatever plan God has for your sponsored child, He will use them to make a difference for Him.

What the Bible says

‘Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

‘After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.”

‘His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

‘The man with two bags of gold also came. “Master,” he said, “you entrusted me with two bags of gold: see, I have gained two more.”

‘His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

‘Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.”

‘His master replied, “You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

‘“So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”’

Matthew 25:14-28

A thought

In this story the master was happy with the servants who had used what they had to make more. Rather than sit around and do nothing, they invested the money they had been given and made more. The master was angry with the lazy servant who had done nothing with what he had been given.

God has given each of us gifts and talents that we can use to make a positive difference to other people. Never feel as though you can’t make a difference and change things, because you can! God has given you unique and special gifts that will help you in your family, school, church and friendship groups to make a positive difference for Him.

If you’re not sure how, pray and ask Him for some ideas.

Why not…

Make a list of ways you can make a positive difference in the next week.

Look at the Take Action ideas.

What could you do to make a difference to the child you sponsor? You could write to them, raise money for a gift for them or their family, pray for them or tell people about them and encourage others to sponsor a child too.

Below are some prayer cards you can stick on the wall near your bed, put on the fridge, or use as bookmarks in your books. You can put them anywhere you like to remind you to pray to God for your sponsored child. You can make a difference through praying to God.

Prayer

Thank you for allowing us to make a difference in different areas of our lives. Please help me to make a positive difference over the next week so that through my actions I can display your love and make others smile when they might be feeling sad.