What You Do Matters

By Debbie Brown


I remember my last year in college. I was ready to leave school behind and make my mark on the world. I had this nagging feeling, however, that I’d never make any lasting impact with the career I had chosen; I didn’t think I’d be saving very many lives with graphic design or photography. Instead, I settled for doing my best at my normal job, wondering how or if I could ever be someone who really made a difference in the world.

Then God gave me a dream one night. I dreamed I was working at a hospital, doing very mundane, unimportant work in a wing where mostly healthy people were staying until they could be discharged from the hospital. The doctors and nurses weren’t concerned about them and were tending to the more desperate, high-risk patients.

I was alone in a room when suddenly the patient coded without warning. All the other professional staff was far off on other wings, and if I hadn’t been in the room, the patient would have died.

God was trying to show me how He could use me to do life-changing things, even if my life didn’t look like Mother Theresa or Billy Graham. The normal, mundane life I lead, and the average, everyday life you lead still matter. Immensely.

We are told in Ephesians 2:10 that God has created us to do good works. And I believe that in each day, no matter how ordinary, there are good works planned for us to do. God has specifically put thought into each of our very lives -- into this very day! -- and He has set us up for the good works He wants us to do. This means good works could be how we respond when a family member is frustrating, how generous we are when we see a need, or if we take the time to invest in someone God wants us to love. We can do good works by living the normal, every day, non-exotic life with nobility and faith.

Ultimately, it’s not about us or our resources. Several times the Bible tells us it is God who empowers us to do the good works He’s planned for us. He has prepared us (2 Timothy 2:21), outfitted and thoroughly equipped us (2 Timothy 3:17), given us the grace and furnished us in abundance (2 Corinthians 9:8), and even energized us and empowered us to desire and to do the work (Philippians 2:13).

But we have to start by believing that what we do every day really does matter. It matters so much that we will even be rewarded! Jesus speaks of four good works in the Sermon on the Mount: giving, charity, prayer and fasting. He says that each will be rewarded. Later He tells His disciples that His Father will “reward every man in accordance with what he has done.” (Matthew 16:27) He also talks of rich and abundant rewards for loving our enemies (Luke 6:35). And Paul says our works will be tested to find out the character and worth of them in order to reward them accordingly (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). What we do now even has an effect on our own eternal lives!

So let’s start each day with the awareness that what we do today matters: God has thought about this very day and planned good things for us to do, He has fully prepared and provided for us to do these good works, and our obedience to His challenge to do good will have eternal results. Then, let’s go change the world!