Summary: This message focuses on the need to impact lives with small acts of love. Doing that is compared to the idea of living a life of impact because someone has 1,500 Facebook friends.
LIVES THAT HAVE IMPACT: Today many define impact in terms of Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and YouTube hits.
- There is a presumption within many in our society today that having 1,500 friends on Facebook, a million followers on Twitter, or a YouTube video with 100,000 hits is evidence of a life of impact.
- Even among those who aren’t online, there can still be the thought that it’s the big things that represent a life of impact.
- Someone does something dramatic – rescues a child from a burning building or establishes a new organization – and we focus on that as evidence of a life of impact.
- Now, I’m not saying it’s an intrinsically bad thing to do what I’ve just mentioned. It’s not evil to have 1,500 Facebook friends or a million followers on Twitter. In fact, you can use that platform to do some good.
- I’m not saying that there is no value in those dramatic actions where we play the hero or when we accomplish some great career goal. There is value in those things.
- The issue we’re dealing with this morning is that those are the places we look for all of our impact, when in fact I believe there is another direction that we should be looking.
Start With The Right Goal: When we consider where to invest our lives, we need to remember that people are what matter most, so focus on touching lives.
- Our society tries to convince us that power, position, property, possessions, or prestige are most important. The Bible tells us that it’s people.
- What do I mean? The Bible tells us that Jesus died for people. The Bible tells us in Genesis that it’s people that are the supreme part of God’s creation. When this world burns away in Final Judgment, it’s people who will outlast it.
- This is a simple truth, but one that we lose sight of. We need to invest our lives in people.
- What does it mean to invest our lives in people?
- I mean that we should spend our time, money, and love trying to push people in the direction of God. Reflecting the love and mercy we’ve received from God, we show that to people in the expectation that we can point them to Christ.
- To put it another way: when you enter heaven someone day, after you see Jesus, you will not be surrounded by your money, your possessions, or your titles. You will, if you’ve lived your life wisely, be surrounded by people – people whose lives you’ve touched.
- My friend George Pauley passed away recently and when I think of all his years as a loving pastor, I can only imagine his welcome into eternity. He invested over 80 years in people.
THE FACEBOOK IRONY: The strange thing about Facebook and other social media is that we have never been more interconnected and yet never been more lonely.
- It is supremely ironic that we’re more connected than ever before yet more lonely.
- We have Facebook to keep up not only with our current friends, but also old co-workers, former neighbors, and high school friends. We have Twitter to know what everyone is doing all the time.
- And yet surveys reveal that we are lonelier than ever before.
- How can that be?
a. The bonds on Facebook and Twitter are extremely shallow and no substitute for real friendships.
b. We see people seemingly living wonderful lives and feel like our’s pale in comparison.
c. We allow the busyness (partly created by our technology) to push us to spend more times on our machines and less in actual relationships.
HOW DO I LIVE A LIFE OF IMPACT? For impact, think small.
- Acts 9:38-39.
- The story in Acts of Dorcas (a.k.a. Tabitha) is telling for us this morning.
- There is a strong reaction to her death: they send two men to Lydda to get Peter, presumably in the hope of him being able to raise her from the dead (v. 38); when he arrives, there are tears all over the place (v. 39).
- Notice that it was robes and other clothing that she made for them. She didn’t give them anything huge – it was a relatively small thing, but something that made an impact.
- It’s not the big things that make the greatest impact. It’s the small gestures. The small, caring, thoughtful actions.
- It’s the small acts of love that touch the heart that make an impact.
- Examples of such things:
a. A phone call before a doctor’s appointment.
b. A text that says I know your heart is hurting and I’m praying for you.
c. An offer and a follow-up of praying for someone.