"You shall know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free"
Publisher / Editor:
Paul Hayden

What Kind of Impact, Impacts You?

May 1, 2023

Here's an example of a difference-maker who made a difference for her boss.

A Church secretary takes a call. The caller says, "Is the head hog at the trough there?" The secretary says, "Please, sir, do not refer to our pastor as the head hog of the trough. That is very insulting." "Oh, I'm very sorry. I meant nothing by that. It's just a local phrase we use in the part of the country I come from. The real reason I called was to donate $50,000 to your building fund." The secretary says, "Hold on. I see the 'Big Oinker' coming through the door right now." Now, there's a friend.

In times like these, it’s easy to be influenced by movie stars, television stars, sports figures, and media heroes. You know which big names in big lights capture your imagination. Many try to emulate their heroes without even knowing them. But is that wise? Is who you see from afar really who they are? Are your heroes really heroes in real life?

Readers, here are some questions to ask yourselves. You don't have to answer the questions. Just read the questions, and you'll get the point.

  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
  2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
  3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
  4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer awards.
  5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
  6. Name the last decade's World Series winners in baseball.

How did you do? The point is that very few of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are not second-rate achievers. On the contrary, they are the best in their fields. However, most of their achievements are forgotten after the applause dies and the awards tarnish. Mostly, their accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. Let's see how we do on this one. 

  1. List a few teachers who aided and eased your journey through school.
  2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
  3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
  4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
  5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Was this an easier quiz to answer? The lesson here is the people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most headlines, the most money, or the most awards. They are not far away heroes. They are the ones who cared for you and were involved in your life. Some people talk to you in their free time, and others free their time to talk to you. Learn the difference.

Let me give an example of a real difference-maker. Her name is Amy Whittington. I read about her in a book entitled Something to Smile About by author/speaker Zig Ziglar. People like Amy don’t just touch you; they change you by elevating you. They make you feel better, act better, live better, and relate better.

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

One of the professors, impressed with her age, enthusiasm, and the fact that she had ridden a bus all night to attend the seminar, engaged her in conversation. First, he asked her what age group she taught and how many were in her class. She responded that she taught a class of junior high school boys, with thirteen in the class. Then the teacher asked her how many kids attended her church. Miss Whittington replied, "Fifty." The professor was astonished that she taught more than 25% of the church's youth and asked Amy, "With that kind of record, we should have you teach us how to teach."

What kind of impact did Amy have? Eighty-six of those boys she taught in her Sunday school class through the years ended up in ministry. Think of all the thousands of people, directly or indirectly, touched by Amy’s students. I imagine almost every boy would recall Amy as a difference-maker.

Caring involves relationships, and the right relationships lead to real ministry, influence, and impact in people's lives. That's why God put all the "one another" verses in the Bible. God knows long-term, caring, and real and tangible relationships are powerful transformational agents that affect people for the rest of their lives. God designed it that way. That's why God calls us friends. (John 15:15)

God has helped me up close and personal, and He wants to help you too! God is a real Difference Maker in your life. In our lifetime, each one of us influences countless numbers of people by word and deed – either good or bad. We are 'difference makers.' Be the change for the better.

“Hey, 'ain't' it good to know that you have a friend?”

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Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com