I wrote this yesterday on Facebook: Thought for the day – The cost of doing nothing, is nothing being done. We can’t be overwhelmed by the busyness of our lives, or the vast overwhelm of the statistics of hurting broken people. We can’t do everything but we must do something and God can take that small something (think 5 loaves and 2 fish) and do much with it! So be willing and step out to give, serve, or go and watch God step up and multiple your faithfulness.
And I kept thinking about this, and why this happens. Why do we do nothing when we know so much. We know their are orphans all over the world who need families, we know there are homeless in our cities, and we know there are needs everywhere we look. Yet still, the majority of us are paralyzed in the face of these needs and do nothing.
Here are some reasons I believe we do nothing in the face of so much injustice, pain, and loss.
1. The statistics are too overwhelming
We see numbers like — 663 million people are without clean drinking water and 2.4 billion without proper sanitation and over 229,000 children under 5 die every year simply because of bad water and sanitation. There are an estimated 20+ million orphaned children in the world without shoes, which in turn, causes illnesses and deceases, which even lead to death. We read about the 163 million orphans in the world today, in which, 1.2 million of those children are victims of human trafficking. Each year 14+ million children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age 16 (that’s over 38,000 daily). Read this article with more information on orphan statistics.
We see it. We know it. But we are too overwhelmed to do anything.
2. We are too busy
If we are honest the biggest hinderence we have in the western world to make a significant difference is that we are too busy. Isn’t that ironic? Too busy to be significant. We are rushing around with all these ‘important things’ that have to get done, but honestly how many of those things are leading us towards a life of significance and impact that deep down we truly desire?
3. We think it’s someone else’s problem
There is an incredible story of a murder in NYC many years ago. This woman was walking home late at night and a man grabbed her and drug her into an alley. She screamed at the top of her lungs for help, but no one came. Part of the police investigation was going to all the neighbors in the apartments all around the incident to find out what people heard or saw. What was amazing was that almost all of the neighbors ‘heard’ this lady scream, but not one of them stepped out to go help, which lead to this woman’s death. When asked why they didn’t do anything they said, “I thought someone else would do it.”
So here are my responses to those excuses!
We say, the problem is too big, what could I possibly do? I say, let’s look at the boy with the five loaves and two fish. In the Bible story in Matthew 14:13-21, There was anywhere between 5-15 thousand people sitting around listened to Jesus teach. The disciples realized it was time to send them all away so everyone could get food. And I love Jesus’ response, He says, “You feed them.” And you know it got desperate when they went and found a little boy with a lunch his mom packed! What’s amazing is that the boy, faced with this enormous need, could have easily shy’d away from giving anything. What could it do? Seriously. A small lunch that would barely be enough for a little boy compared with the great need of the multitudes in front of him.
Thankfully he had childlike faith. “Well, I don’t have much, but I do have five loaves and two fish.” See you have to understand God’s arithmetic. In our world – 5+2 = 7 but in Gods kingdom 5+2 = 15,000.
Don’t ever underestimate the little you can do when paired in FAITH with a miracle breathing God. We can’t do everything, but we can all do something.
We say I’m too busy. I say, evaluate your life and what you want your legacy to be when you leave.
If you think over the next 10, 25, 50 years do you want to say you’ve been promoted 10 times or helped 10 orphans find homes. Do you want to say your income went up by 50% or you’ve given 50% away to impact people. In other words, when you get to the end of your life and gaze back over your days what do you want to say you accomplished? What will you be proud of? And more importantly, when you stand alone with God one day and all your days are laid bare before Him, what do you want him to see and to say? For me, I long for him to say, “Well done good and faithful servant!”
An old revival preacher from the great awakening, Jonathan Edwards, used to pray everyday, “Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs.” Wow. Imagine what would change in our lives and all those we come in contact with if we started seeing with heavens eyes?!
What can we cut so we have more time or money free’d up for the Kingdom’s purpose? Here’s an article I wrote on building our kingdom vs God’s: Whose Kingdom are you building?
We say, ‘someone’ else will do it, I say you must. The answer: no they won’t!
You are called to things I’m not called to. You are uniquely gifted and created by the creator to impact your world for HIS kingdom. We are meant to use our unique talents and blessings, not to advance our lives, but to advance His cause. It’s undeniable. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” YOU are created FOR Good works, which He prepared in advance for us to do. Maybe you’re a funder and you are called to fund the people who are hands on doing the work. Maybe your a come alongside person to help others, or maybe your the one who starts the organization or moves across the world. But whatever it is that you are gifted at doing, and whatever sphere of life God has you in – use it. No one else will the way you can.
I believe that we CAN see every orphan adopted, every lost find their savior, every human trafficked victim free’d, every hungry fed, and see revival sweep this land so every eye would see and heart would know that Jesus loves them, died on the cross for them, and has a future and purpose for their lives. But that needs you.