The One Question You Must Ask Yourself
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.(Philippians 2:4 ESV)
I remember sitting down over thai food with my friend Brad. We ate and talked, both of us at a crossroads career-wise. We traded advice and opinions, both of us hungry to hear an outside perspective from a trusted source.
As we talked, I asked a simple question. I thought it was innocuous and I just threw it out there in between bites of pad thai.
“Did you impact more people this year than last year?”
Brad’s face changed. He thought hard. And the question changed the course of Brad’s career – and for that matter, his life. God has done huge things through Brad’s answer to that question.
You see, we probably don’t need to change our jobs – we need to change the way we do our jobs. YOU are the issue at hand here, not your job. So this is an exercise in introspection.
What is the legacy you want to leave? Your funeral is coming. So what is the return – the impact – your years on earth will have for other people? If we value comfort, our life will be worthless. If we value impact, our life will be worth it.
God forges character in the furnace of a strenuous life. He impacts others through others. And this is an adventure worth living.
Your legacy may be to hit homeruns to the glory of God. Or clean houses. Or preach sermons. Or build orphanages. We are all different parts of the body of Christ – we can’t all be hands.
What happens to a muscle when it stays idle? It shrivels up and dies. It ceases to become useful. In the same way, as God has made each of us for a purpose, we must exercise our talents if we want to be useful. And that may be utterly terrifying. It certainly involves risk. But God will handle the rest.
Start with your legacy. What is your desired impact? Now let’s back into what today should look like. If you want to have X impact, what steps (1, 2, 3…) do you need to take to get there? Which ones can you take today?
Joy is in the striving for impact.