Are You Making a Difference?

Purpose“What have you done that you believe in and you are proud of?”  How would answer this question?

John W. Gardner, who wrote the book “Excellence” says we have the potential to make a difference, not only in our own lives.  But also in the lives of those we meet.

Gardner, the founder of Common Cause, illustrates that point by relating the true story of a cheerful old gentleman who invested his life in others.

When the old fellow met people he never asked the conventional questions that we usually ask such as “What do you do for a living?” He always asked, “What have you done that you believe in and you are proud of?”

For some folks it was an unnerving question.  For those whose self-worth was based on wealth, position or fame, it was a question that was unsettling and awkward.  But the answers he received were interesting.

He was delighted by a woman who answered, “I’m doing a good job raising three children.”

A cabinetmaker responded, “I believe in good workmanship and practice it.”

One lady replied, “I started a bookstore and it’s the best bookstore for miles around.”

“I don’t really care how they answer,” said the old man. “I just want to put the thought into their minds.”  Then he added, “They should live their lives in such a way that they can have a good answer. Not a good answer for me, but for themselves. That’s what’ s important.”

How would you answer?

Sadly too many people today lack purpose.  They fail to focus on what is really important.  So they just drift along through life.  Aimless. Erratic.  Irresponsible.

Thomas Caryle was right when he wrote, “The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder–a waif, a nothing, a no man.  Have a purpose in life, and having it, throw such strength and muscle into your work as God has given you.”

Others might have a problem with the question because they’ve given into a selfish, hedonistic, or a compromising life-style.  Such folks have missed the true meaning of a satisfying life.  Helen Keller put it this way, “Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness.  It not attainted through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

I suppose there are lots of people who feel they have nothing to offer. No difference to make. No special skills or talents that really matter to anyone else.  Of course, they are wrong!  Everyone has something to share.  A kind word. A warm smile.  A cheery greeting.  The real problem is often a lack of desire.  George Eliot once said, “What makes life dreary is the want of a motive.”  

In the Old Testament when God called the prophet Jeremiah as a youth to be his spokesman, he was hesitant and responded, ”Ah, Sovereign Lord.  I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” (Jer 1:6) But God assured young Jeremiah that He would be with Him.  That he had plans for him.  And a purpose for him to fulfill.

I may not know your specific purpose in life, but I know God has a purpose for you in Christ Jesus. The Bible says, “In him (Christ) we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.(Eph. 1:11)

C.H. Parkhurst was right.  “Purpose is what gives life meaning.”  And may I add.  God’s purpose.  With that in mind, may I kindly ask YOU that question?

“What have you done that you believe in and you are proud of?”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Purpose

5 responses to “Are You Making a Difference?

  1. julie davidson

    thanks for the thought provoking question presented, bro Ken! i like to believe that i’m doing my best to live up to the name “CHRISTian”, everyday! in other words, @ least act CHRIST-like enough for others to see that i’ve got something that they, too, want to have…makes it easier to share the gospel. actions speak louder than words, they say! 🙂 love in Him, Julie


    • Thanks Julie! Glad these thoughts were helpful

      Ken Weliever 400 NW Highcliffe Dr Lee’s Summit, MO 64081 Home Phone: 816-600-5001 Cell Phone: 813-507-1726 Church Office: 816-761-2659 web site: blog: Church web site:



      • Shelly Barnett

        I thought this was a brilliant blog. I am currently disabled and bedridden. I used to homeschool my 5 children, lead some classes in my homeschool coop, teach bible classes, keep a cozy home, be on the board of directors of an anti-abortion group, keep a garden, etc, you get the idea, very busy wife and mother. My life took a drastic turn 6 years ago when my lupus turned severe and I had 7 surgeries in 4 years. I had my pity party for a couple of years and then figured out that I had to get a new purpose. I am confined to my bed but that doesn’t mean I can’t influence people’s thoughts. I use the internet. I try to spread cheer and the Gospel. I have met people from all over the World from my bedroom. I have shared different Preacher’s blogs, just like yours. The Lord has shown me a whole new way of thinking that I didn’t have before. I now have time to learn Koine Greek and Hebrew that I always wanted to learn. LOL! I just needed to change how I looked at my situation and see what purpose God now had in store for me.


      • Shelly, thanks for sharingyour story! How inspiring! You are a living, breathing testatment to making adifference in spite of challenging circumstances. God bless you. Ken

        Ken Weliever 400 NW Highcliffe Dr Lee’s Summit, MO 64081 Home Phone: 816-600-5001 Cell Phone: 813-507-1726 Church Office: 816-761-2659 web site: blog: Church web site:



  2. Pingback: Weekly Recap: January 23-28 | ThePreachersWord

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.