You can’t always make a change, but you can always make a difference (Luke 19:7-10).
This is the message that came to me after I learned I’d be moving churches this year. You see, there are things at my current church I know need to change. These are things that would catapult the members into fruitful ministry. Some of them would entail major changes to the way the church thinks and acts. Others would be minor changes that we would all look at and say, “Oh, I can do that.”
And they’re all things I thought I could change.
As I’m beginning the transistion to a new church, however, I realize I did not facilitate those changes. That’s not to say we haven’t made fruitful changes, but I was ready for some of the more challenging issues. Sure, there are probably a number of reasons why I couldn’t, and I know it’s not all about me. Still, I’m leaving knowing there’s still work to be done that I wasn’t able to do.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. We were able to do some great ministry in Shiner (At the time I’m writing this, there’s still just over a month of ministry left!). I’m proud of the connections I was able to make and the way things were going. I know I couldn’t make all the changes I wanted, but I also know I was able to make a difference.
Change is hard to come by. Someone once knew the truth when he said, “Everyone wants change, but nobody wants to change.” Think about your family life, your community and the world we see on TV everyday. I’m not sure it’s healthy to believe you will be able to make every change happen. But no matter how difficult circumstances may be, we can always make a difference. Make one difference, then you can move to another. Before you know it, a few differences stacked toghether may equal a change or two.
When Jesus told Zaccheus he wanted to dine at his place, something about the little tree climber changed. He immediately recognized something he had to do. He offered to repay anyone he had cheated, to make a difference. Let’s be honest, as an ancient tax man, there’d be plenty opportunity. Now, there would have been those who would have gladly taken him up on his offer. Of course, there were those religious folks who were still complaining about the kind of company Jesus was taking. There wasn’t anything Zaccheus could have said or done to change their minds. Still, he committed to make a difference.
Sometimes that’s all you can do. And it’s enough! So, don’t be frustrated by your inability to completely change things. Committ to making a difference when and were you can. I promise you, it’ll add up to something.
What changes are you trying to make right now?