Monday, July 13, 2009

Content or Complacent?

The Bible presents contentment as a good thing. It is something learned, though, and doesn't come naturally. Paul once received a generous offering from his friends in Philippi, and in thanking them said, "I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances" (Philippians 4:11, The Message). The operative word here is "learned." Contentment doesn't come easy when there's much to complain about and a lot you would change if you had the power to do so.

There's also something that looks like contentment but isn't. Complacency is ugly -- it's not resting in the Lord, it's snoring! While contentment is desire under surrender, complacency is desire under siege. A. W. Tozer said,

Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must

be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He

waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so

very long, in vain.

Are you content or complacent?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Be A Difference Maker!

Leadership expert John Maxwell says that the average person influences 10,000 people - either for good or bad - in the course of a lifetime.  That means all of us are difference-makers.

Miss Amy Whittington would certainly qualify as one who directly and indirectly influenced thousands of people.  At age 83 she was still teaching a Sunday school class in Sault St. Marie, Michigan.  She learned that the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago was offering a seminar to teach people how to be more effective teachers.  She literally saved her pennies until she had the necessary money to buy a bus ticket.  She rode the bus all night to attend the seminar to learn new methods and procedures so she could do a better job.

One of the professors, impressed with her age, enthusiasm, and the fact that she had ridden the bus all night to attend the seminar, engaged her in conversation.  He asked her what age group she taught and how many were in her class.  When she responded that she taught a class of junior high school boys and there were 13 in the class, the professor asked how many kids belonged to the church.  Miss Whittington replied, "Fifty." The professor, astonished that this little lady taught over 25% of the church youth, responded, "With that kind of record we should have you teach us how to teach."  How right he was!

People who are already good at what they do are far more likely to work at getting better than are those who are marginal performers.  What kind of impact did Miss Amy Whittington have? Eighty-six of those boys she taught in her Sunday school class through the years ended up in the ministry! Can't you just imagine the thousands of people she directly and indirectly impacted for good?  She truly was a difference-maker. 

You are too ... so make it a "good" difference!