“Some of our interactions to bring hope to others cannot be measured.” Dan Miller

When you own a small business like I do, it’s easy to get caught up in measuring “success” by numbers–numbers such as how many people may be reading my posts or want to be on my email list, or what products or books are selling. Some churches measure attendance and offering amounts. Individuals track their to-do lists to see if they have accomplished what they want to in a given day. And of course, businesses report their profits and losses, hoping the profits are growing. As a rule, we humans are into tracking our progress and measuring “success.”

In some ways, the practice of tracking our progress on goals, budgeting our finances, and keeping lists are good tools to help us stay disciplined and on track. However, we must remember that we cannot always measure the impact our words, actions and disposition can have on others.

For example:

Do you still remember a certain positive or negative comment someone made to you growing up? Does that still shape you?

Do you have a certain opinion of a product or company because of one negative experience you–or someone else–has had with them?

Have you ever had someone tell you what you mean to them, or what some action meant to them, and you hadn’t a clue about the impact that one thing would have on someone?

Did a certain experience in nature, with music, or from a book have a profound impact on you and not necessarily on the people with you at the time?

Some time ago, I was blessed when someone shared about my writing having impact on someone they know–something I would probably never have guessed.  A couple days later, in an email dialog, an individual said, “Thanks for all you do to make our lives better.”  I am grateful God allows these occasional glimpses, and am reminded that we may never know the impact something may have on someone else. That’s why it’s important to walk closely with God on a daily basis. We will never be perfect. We all may be the negative memory someone has, and people are responsible for what they do with those memories. But if we walk with God daily, and try to listen to His leading, we can leave more positive deposits than negative ones.

Let’s be especially open to bringing hope to others today!

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 NIV

By Beth Beutler