You are created to make a difference, a positive difference, with everyone who crosses your path. You are a masterpiece…“created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us (you) to do.” (Eph 2:10 NIV) The world, your world, needs you to be a positive difference maker. They need to see the masterpiece that God created you to be!!! He created you to make a difference. I wrote about this powerful truth extensively in my book Life Palette. In this blog let’s look at 6 simple ways you can make a positive difference from my book:
1. Show respect to others.
While it may not be the cultural norm, the Bible teaches us to “respect everyone.” (1 Peter 2:17) You may think, “Peter didn’t know the people I have to deal with.” Remember, you will reap what you plant—and the harvest of your life is revealed on your life’s canvas. Disrespect will show up as a color that doesn’t belong. It will take away from the color harmony God is painting into the masterpiece that is you.
2. Respond to those who are rude by being polite.
It’s natural to want to retaliate against those who are offensive to you. However, to truly make a difference you have to respond different. Make being polite a part of your Life Palette. When you’re rude, it’s as though you’ve thrown a big blob of black into the middle of the canvas of your life that has no business being there. Romans 12:17 says, “Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.”
3. Be grateful, not demanding.
You’ve chosen to take on the character trait of Jesus and serve others, yet there will always be times when you are being served as well. How you respond to others when they serve you reveals your character. “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” (Luke 6:31) As a pastor, I like to take prospective leaders for the church to a restaurant and see how they treat the person serving them. Anyone can be rude and demanding, but only those who are living life as a masterpiece will consistently choose to be grateful and understanding.
4. Speak the truth in love.
Ephesians 4:15 says that as you speak the truth in love you will be “growing in every way more and more like Christ.” The relationships on your Life Palette will have greater success as you focus on the “in love” part of that verse. Someone may pride themselves on always speaking the truth (or persistently speaking their mind). However, the key to this relational principle is the “in love” part. If you needed a surgery to remove cancer from your body, a sharp, smooth scalpel would be preferred to a serrated kitchen knife. Both would have the same result, but one would leave a smaller scar and cause less damage. The same is true of how you speak the truth.
5. Show grace to those with whom you disagree.
Don’t be judgmental just because you don’t see eye to eye with someone. In Romans 14:12-13, Paul gives insight into this principle: “Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.” The focus of this principle is how you respond to those in your life that make choices you believe are wrong. You should always speak in such a way to help them grow, develop, and change, but never beat them over the head. Jesus said, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” (Matthew 7:1-2)
6. Choose to forgive.
When you feel you’ve been wronged or hurt, forgive. As you choose to forgive others, it will allow you to live your life in freedom. Follow Jesus’ example. Hear His words from the cross about those who were crucifying Him: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) The color of unforgiveness will destroy a masterpiece. You will never be asked to forgive anyone more than you have already been forgiven by Jesus.
Next Steps – Begin To Make A Positive Difference Today.
Be generous with these 6 ways to make a difference in your life. Jesus said in Luke 6:38, “The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Take some time today and consider how you can apply each of these steps today. This will change your life – home life – work environment – neighbors – kids – the choice to make a difference will be a powerful decision for you to live life as the masterpiece God created you to be.