Do I Really Make A Difference?

Chances are you’ve asked yourself this question before. It’s human nature to have self-doubt. In fact, it’s second nature for lots of us.

Working with college students and being a husband and father, I sometimes find myself asking this very question: Does what I do really make a difference? While it may be in a time of frustration or extreme sleep deprivation, it’s still a little seed that grows bigger and more bothersome if left unchecked.

We tend to go through seasons in our lives that have little ups and downs where we second guess who we are, our gifts and abilities, and honestly, whether or not anything we do is truly making an impact. Of all of the effort and time I put into investing in others, am I being heard? Is it sinking in? Am I just talking to a wall? Or just spitting into the wind? Sometimes it’s just hard to tell.

And to be honest, some young people I have contact with will occasionally make me want to bang my head into a wall. Many young people walk through life expecting rather than earning. You see, you can have a hard work ethic, but still be lost. You can be accomplished, but still need help. You can have vision, but still not see the trees from the forest, or even your hand in front of your face. In my field, we call the negative things you say to yourself “negative self-talk.” It’s when we let our situation dictate how we feel, our emotions dictate how we react, and where our attitude leaves a lot to be desired.

But then, right when doubt sets in God always has a way of showing or telling me how what I do matters. It always happens. And when shown or told, I realize how foolish I can be. What I continuously hope in my mind is to stay the course. I seek out my mission to fulfill it. For me, God has me in a place where I can help others through training, mentoring, counseling, and being a living example. We all need to look around and make our mission of impact where we find ourselves. After all, your mission is both where God has you and where the Spirit will lead you.

Making a difference: Trey with his friend Fatima in Nicaragua. “I am very grateful to have met a great person like you. Thanks for having greatly influenced my personal growth. I hope to see you back very soon,” Fatima recently wrote in Messenger.

You never know how what you say or do can be the catalyst for someone else to be impacted in a BIG way. A recent event sent chills down my spine because of the significance of how a book I recommended changed someone’s life. It just goes to show, making an impact can be in either big or small ways – as simple as recommending a book to spending lots of time, energy, and emotional support with someone dealing with a personal crisis.

Here’s what I know: If we focus too hard, we make a dent, not a difference. When trying to impact someone’s life, we often don’t know what the thing will be to set them on a new trajectory. All we can do is show love. The Holy Spirit will work on the rest. The ramifications are too great not to make an effort when presented with an opportunity. One small impact can have a huge multiplication effect. This is how eyes are opened and spirits are awakened.

When you ask yourself if you are making an impact, don’t shortchange yourself. But also, don’t buy into the devil’s trap of contentment or self-doubt. Be there for others and seek God’s Kingdom here on earth. It’s a calling, not a suggestion.

Trey Campbell, Co-founder

Metanoia Missions & Ministries