A story is told how the owner of a prominent restaurant chain went to visit a pastor friend of his. In a rush to make an upcoming meeting, the men decided to stop in a competitor’s restaurant to grab a quick bite to eat. However, after both men finished washing their hands, the pastor admitted to being totally amazed when his friend grabbed some paper towels and began wiping and cleaning the bathroom sink! When asked why he was doing this, his friend confessed that he coached his employees to always leave a place better than they find it, and that he was no exception, even if that place happened to be his competition’s restroom.
The pastor thanked his friend for reminding him that the same goal should be shared by all Christians. As we consider this point, how are we as followers of Christ impacting the places and people we encounter on a daily basis? Are they better, the same, or worse off? Three habits can help us ensure our impact is a positive one:
Seek Out Truth: God reminds us that He waits for us to come to Him so that He can show us His love and help us in all He has called us to do (Isaiah 30:18). Yet, we often continue to hurry our days and leave little time to seek His help. Thus, is it any surprise when we fail to impact our surroundings in a positive way? God will open our eyes to opportunities and grant us the wisdom to seize them, when we invest the time to pursue His truth through our prayers, fellowship and study of His Word.
Take Out Trash: Doubt, confusion, disappointments and frustrations are all a part of life. None of us can avoid them, but just like trash in our home begins to stink and overflow if not removed, we too must actively remove the trash that fills our hearts and minds. Otherwise, we may begin to stink and sour all the places we go (2 Corinthians 2:14).
Live Out Time: We all have a limited amount of time entrusted to us. Therefore, how can we ensure we’re using our time to make a positive impact on others and for Christ? It may sound cliche’, but we must live like there’s no tomorrow (Ephesians 5:16). For example, suppose we knew when we were going to die. Would our remaining time be spent pursuing selfish gratifications, or invested in those we love to ensure they knew how much we cared for them? Thankfully, we can start this process today so that when our time does come, we know we gave far more than we took.
Application: “Making Hay During The Light Of Day” – Luke 10:2
Years ago in Ireland, farmers often asked their priests to pray for no rain as they began to harvest their hay. This was in hopes God would provide them the time necessary to collect and sell their crop without the interference of rain ruining its value – likewise, may we continue to pray for God’s grace and for the wisdom to invest our time given in such a way that wherever we go, we leave it better, rather than soured. Thus, supporting our role and contribution to the Kingdom harvest.