Making an Impact for Life

An old saying goes, "Only one life will soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last." The Bible says something very similar. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven" (Matthew 6:9-10).
Making an impact with our lives requires focus and direction. If we focus heavenward, longing for God and making our life count for Him, we will not only make an impact in our lifetime, but we will make an eternal or everlasting impact as well. On the other hand, if we focus on living for ourselves and set our sights on this world only, we reduce our impact to temporary and short lived.
Several keys help us to maintain the right focus and create a lasting impact with our lives. First, God's word emphasizes the importance of doing our best all the time. "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Colossians 3:17). In other words, can we sign God's name to whatever we say and do? If we call ourselves Christians, that’s what we need to do.
The second key involves our performance as unto the Lord. "Whatever you do, do it with all your heart as for the Lord" (Colossians 3:23). We should think of God as our primary audience, and perform and live wholly for Him. We must constantly remind ourselves that God is always watching, and think of that as a good thing.
The third key to making an impact for life has to do with attributing credit. All the credit for what we do or achieve on earth goes to God, not to us. Paul writes, "...therefore glorify God with your life" (1 Corinthians 3:20). To glorify God means to lift him up and not ourselves. Never hesitate to openly thank God and recognize Him for his help.
Fourth, we must become life-long learners. Resolve to never stop learning. This makes an incredible impact on others! We should always seek to grow in our personal lives and spiritual lives. When the process of learning stops, we become stagnant and stale. 2 Peter 3:18 says, "...keep growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." This growth process should never stop. Not only does this apply to our spiritual life, but to all other aspects of our lives as well. We can accomplish this by continuing to ask questions, reading, and listening alertly in order to pick up things we didn't know.
The final key focuses on building our reputation and character one decision at a time. How we conduct our lives makes an impact on the lives of others. Remember, we develop our character over a lifetime of decisions, but only one wrong turn can tear that to shreds. Human nature suggests that the 'one' mistake often takes precedence over a lifetime of good. Proverbs 22:1 tells us that "a good name (character) is more to be desired than great riches." That goes against the present-day tendency to focus our attention on material things and not so much on developing character.
So, as we always do our best, living our lives before the Lord, giving him the glory and credit, and striving to learn while focusing on building character, our lives will make a lasting impact—and that is what we strive for.

Roger Martin