It’s easy to live an average life—one where we fail to make a difference. In my experience, the more I followed along with the pressures and patterns of daily life, the more I became a person who simply consumed his surroundings rather than contributed to them. I became a person of no impact.
Living like Jesus is still so controversial to our day because it stands in opposition to how society wants us to live. I’m not talking about living on the streets healing people or stuff like that. I’m talking about living with the character of Jesus in a complicated world.
You see, the complications of our culture want to make us buyers, not savers. They want to make us consumers, not contributors. They want to make us rich with money, not rich with meaning.
If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that you can’t make a difference without being different.
The recipe for making an impact truly means being different than how society wants us to be. If we continue following along with the patterns of daily life, we’ll let life slip by us without making it mean something.
Here are 3 barriers of daily life today that stop us from making an impact with our lives:
We are surrounded by the cacophony of buzzes, pings, advertisements, and even people’s opinions. Life today is noisy, flooding our senses with a barrage of information.
What this does is it deadens our senses. The more overwhelmed we are by the noise, the more we default to just letting the noise take us over. What I mean is, many of us become products of the distraction. We buy into the constant advertisements. We log onto Facebook for a quick stimulation. We can’t stand the silence.
We cannot make a difference from the posture that is immersed in this noise.
Jesus was someone who intentionally escaped from the distractions by going on top of mountains and in deserts. Jesus was intentional to create space in His life, space that allowed Him to breathe and refocus on His mission.
That is what we need if we are to make a difference. We need the space to let our spirituality and mission mindset to flourish. Without it, we become products of the noise without even realizing it.
Escape and listen to the call that’s really beating on your heart, not the call that’s repeated to you in society’s noise. Create space for your life to flourish.
Today, we are obsessed with doing. We fill our schedules with actions centered on productivity, and we even define ourselves by our job titles, as if our worth is found in our work.
The problem with this is, we’re focused too much on our external life, what we do instead of who we are. People who buy into this want their surroundings to shape who they are on the inside, what they believe and what their outlook is. They want their job or their actions in daily life to somehow form a backbone of conviction for their personality.
But it doesn’t happen this way.
Change always stems from who we are, not only what we do.
What I mean is, we make a difference when we focus on our character first and foremost.
Today’s society wants us to focus on what we do and what we produce, but this is a distraction from true impact. True and lasting impact happens when we work in accordance with our vision and character. Cultivate your character first if you want to make a difference with your life.
People always highlight the difference between jobs and careers. Jobs are tasks we don’t imagine sustaining long-term. Careers are long-term jobs. But I believe there’s another level, and that is a mission vs. a job.
A mission might be different from a career because a mission is your calling, what you believe you were born to do from your convictions and personal outlook on life. A mission might not make money, but it makes meaning. A mission might be harder, but it gives us deeper satisfaction. A mission might make a greater impact than a job or career might.
But here’s the thing: jobs are working within someone else’s vision. You work a job when you don’t own the vision, simply because it’s not yours—it’s the vision of your employer. You are working within his or her vision.
Many of us work jobs (tasks within someone else’s vision) because we are unfamiliar to what we want, to what our vision and character is prompting us to do with our life. So we let others choose what they want for our lives.
But a mission is what happens when you get to decide your life. A mission is your vision, your choice, and your calling. A mission that makes an impact fits within the larger context of eternity’s story and calls you to respond to it.
What I’m saying is, stop working jobs your entire life.
Define your mission for a more meaningful and impactful life.
Society is constantly pushing us to embrace the noise, focus on production, and accept jobs. But the life of Jesus wants us to create space, build character, and live within a mission.
It’s up to you: you can either live within the patterns of society, or choose to be different. Decide how you want to live.
Photography by Mikaela Hamilton
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