Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so
that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive
To many people
in the ancient world, wealth, power, and social standing were viewed as gifts
from the gods. However,
Jesus said if you want to experience real blessing, use what you
have—money, time, skills, energy, resources—to help others. The best way to
make life better for yourself is to make life better for someone else.
In everything I did, I
showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering
the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to
receive.” (Acts 20:35)
These words from Jesus, mentioned
by the apostle Paul in Acts, are far more radical than they seem at first
Here are four steps you can take
to make a difference in the lives of those who need you.
Study Jesus’ example.
Note how different versions of the
Bible translate John 10:10, which records one of Jesus’ most famous statements:
“I have come that they may have
life, and have it to the full.” (NIV)
“My purpose is to give them a rich
and satisfying life.” (NLT)
am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more
version reveals an important nuance to Jesus’ purpose. His mission was (and is)
to help people find their purpose through the following ways:
Helping them recognize their worth
Encouraging them to reach their full potential
Giving them opportunities to succeed
Meeting their needs
Lending a hand in overcoming obstacles
and deed, Jesus demonstrated not only his love but also his willingness to
help. More to the point, he showed his followers how to do likewise.
When you’re in a public setting,
whether it’s work, church, school, the gym, the supermarket, or a city street,
pay attention to the people around you. Take notice of their situations. Allow
their emotions, feelings, and needs to register with you. Learn to empathize
with others by taking in as much information about them as possible.
The greatest gift many hurting
people can receive is a listening ear—someone who cares enough to enter their
world, find out what’s troubling them, ask questions, and get involved. Make a
habit of striking up conversations with those you don’t even know. If you show
genuine interest in what they say and who they are, you may earn their trust
and become privy to their areas of need.
Find creative, effective ways to meet people’s needs.
If you have the means to do so,
volunteer your services. If not, find people who can. Work as an advocate for
those in need. Come alongside them. Let them know you plan to be involved for
the long haul. In short, make others glad they met you.
This blog post has been adapted from Walking with Jesus, a special-edition magazine that is now available wherever magazines are sold.