I recently heard Andy Stanley speak about goals and resolutions. His premise was instead of making plans how we can improve ourselves over the coming year, we should instead determine how we might improve the life of someone else. That’s a great shift to get our thinking off of ourselves and onto others. I guarantee you will have better results and greater happiness in your life if you consistently focus on serving others more than yourself. It’s the model Jesus taught, and therefore the one we were created to live. Everything we do should be with the goal of helping others, and our New Year’s resolutions or life goals should always be formed with this in mind.
Pastor Stanley went on to ask a question to help us determine how we might best improve the life of another. The question was, “What breaks your heart?” The reason this is such a great question is because it helps reveal the passions God has placed within you. We all have something that disturbs us and gets our blood boiling. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. There is only the answer that is true for you. In case you’re a little stuck here, some examples of things that might break your heart might be human trafficking, hunger, homelessness, animal welfare, the environment, family members who don’t know Christ, or inner-city youths. The list could go on.
Once you’ve identified what breaks your heart, the next step is to determine the best way to use the unique gifts, skills, and talents to help someone who is being affected by the thing that breaks your heart. If it’s human trafficking, how could you get involved with an organization that works in that area? Could you reach out to shelter’s in your area to discover if there are victims there with whom you could spend some time and encourage? How you serve someone will depend on both your passion (the thing that breaks your heart) and the gifts God has entrusted to you.
What breaks my heart are people who honor God with their lips but live as if He isn’t who He says He is. I am extremely passionate about instructing and encouraging people to live their lives wholly devoted to Christ. It’s why this blog exists. God has given me the ability to communicate through writing, so I do my best to exploit that gift to serve those who are breaking my heart. Hopefully along the way I am encouraging others to do the same.
Whose life can you make better this year? Who can you serve in such a way as to make this the best year of their life? Doing that will reap more value than anything you could possibly do for yourself. Serving someone else is living like Jesus. That’s the goal after all. Nothing else matters. Ask yourself, “What breaks your heart?” Make a plan to use your giftedness to serve someone in those heartbreaking circumstances this year. Improve a life other than your own.