You can make a big difference with your life by encouraging others. (Pixabay )

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that everyone wants to make a difference with their life.

You want to matter. You want to use the breath you've been given to speak encouragement. You want to use the time you have to make a dent in the universe. No one wakes up and says, "What's the fastest way to waste my life? I think I'll do that today."

Of course not. But the truth is, many of us are wasting our lives. We might not be intentional about it, but that's the point. Without a life of intention, you have a life at random. Without specific direction, you have no direction.

It's as if we're letting life happen to us rather than making life happen.

The Fastest Way to Waste Your Life

I wasted my life yesterday. I didn't want to, but I just did. I showed up and did the bare minimum. I didn't contribute anything beyond what was expected. I didn't light up anyone else's life except my own. It wasn't a terrible day, but it was mostly a selfish day. Actually, many of my days look like this—they have no intention.

I'm writing this to help myself get out of this funk. I hope it helps you as well. Because I'm learning that the fastest way to make a difference with your life isn't to read another book. It's not to attend another conference. It's not to figure out what other successful people do.

You actually can do it right now. You don't need a master's degree, a permission slip or to be on the guest list. You don't need a lot of money, resources, or detailed plans. You just need to say something.

I know, you've read this far and are regretting the minutes of life you've wasted, yet again. "That's your big idea, David? Really?" Yes. The fastest way to make a difference with your life is to open your mouth.

Why? Because a self-centered life is a life lived for itself. It doesn't encourage others. It doesn't invest in others. It stays focused on its own accomplishment and ignores all else in its path.

This past weekend at church, someone came up to me and said, "David, I've been praying for you a lot over this last month. God is about to do something amazing in your life." To be honest, I haven't even thought of that person. And their humility and kindness also convicted me. It's been a while since I've said that to someone.

Why? It's because I've been wrapped up in myself. It's time to do some unwrapping.

Everyone is Insecure

We're all insecure. Everyone is—even those who appear confident, successful and in need of nothing.

We're all wondering if we're doing what we should be doing. We all wish we were more successful, had more invitations and were seen as important. And we're all starving for someone to believe in us.

But if you want your life to make a difference today, encourage someone else. Speak words of encouragement and life. Look them in the eye and declare their God-given destiny.

I love how Ephesians 4:29 says it:

"Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is good for building up, that it may give grace to the listeners."

Give grace to those who hear. Your words have the power to give grace. Or to do a lot of harm. I don't know about you, but I'd rather do the former.

You might wish someone would say something to you. You may feel burned out; beaten down, without an ounce of strength left. But trust me. The best way to get out of a funk and get on the right path is to speak life into someone else.

The people who do this may not be known for their talent or their accolades. But they will be known for the hundreds of people they've influenced through their words.

There's enough negativity, hate and division going around. We need to turn the tables.

Will you be part of the solution?

David Santistevan is a worship pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


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