God Is Not Looking For Perfect, He’s Looking For You
Recently I have been speaking about being an Impacter. What is an Impacter? An Impacter is someone who has an impact on the world and upon others.
We live at a time in history when we look at the Church and people’s belief in God, and we see many people not going to Church. We see many people not being sure about God and saying they don’t believe in God anymore. When we talk about sharing faith in the Catholic world, we can think it is the job of a priest, nun or brother. If you are from the Protestant or other Christian denominations, people might say it is the job of a pastor or a ministry worker. Most people like you and me, whom we might call laypeople, would say it is not our job to share faith.
I have often talked about my father, and he would say it wasn’t his job because he was not qualified and was not someone who would be able to answer people’s questions. Besides, he would say he was not someone people should be listening to because if you knew him…
The truth is that is wrong thinking even though most people probably feel that way. People believe it is the religious or ministry people who share faith and not them.
However, both the Holy Scriptures and the teaching of the Church say it is not just the responsibility of priests, brothers, and nuns. It is not just the responsibility of pastors and ministry workers to share the gospel. Every one of us has a responsibility to share faith. All of us have our role to play.
In the Vatican II documents, it says that each of us has a different role:
In the Church there is diversity of ministry but unity of mission.
(Vatican II documents, Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People #2)
We see this also in business, don’t we? You have the management, your sales department, your distribution department, your marketing department and your technical department. They are about one mission, but they all have slightly different roles.
When it comes to sharing faith, the Church teaches us we all may have different jobs in the Church, but we are all about the one thing. For lay people, our role, ministry and mission are the same as anybody else. If anything, the job of laypeople is critical to the gospel being shared in the world.
Many people don’t feel qualified for this role. So many people have said to me, “but if you knew me, if you knew what I think about, if you knew some things I do that aren’t good. If you saw the fact that I don’t measure up.” So many people feel that they don’t measure up. So, therefore, they say it’s not their responsibility, and they leave it to someone else.
However, the Church tells us that the role of laypeople, that is, people like you and me, is to witness and transform people’s lives and the places where we are by the life we live. In other words, it is the witness of our life, God in us, that causes us to have an impact in the places where we are.
In Vatican II, it says this,
The characteristic of the lay state is being a life led in the midst of the world and of secular affairs, lay people are called by God to make of their apostolate, (bringing people to faith in Jesus) through the vigor of their Christian spirit, a leaven in the world.
The Church is saying you are called to be an evangelist or someone who witnesses to Christ in your job, your family and the places where you are in the community. It isn’t saying you are to get on your soapbox and preach. It isn’t saying you hold yourself up and say you are perfect. No, no, no. It says that your life can be a witness because Christ is within you. It says:
While meeting their human obligations in the ordinary conditions of life, laypeople do not separate their union with Christ from their ordinary life; but through the very performance of their tasks, which are God’s will for them, actually promote the growth of union with him.
If you are a mom or a dad, you have responsibility. If you are working for a company, you have a responsibility. If you own a business, you have a responsibility. If you are a student, you have a responsibility. Wherever you are, you have responsibilities, and God chose you and placed you there.
Lay people don’t separate their church life and their everyday life. The statement from the Vatican II document is saying that Christ and our daily life are together and are one thing. They are never separate. Whether you are catching a bus, sitting at a desk, making something with your hands, or reading a book doesn’t matter. The power of God and your ordinary life are always one and the same.
There is no such thing as having the God stuff on Sunday and everything else on other days.
Lay people have countless opportunities for exercising the ministry, (apostolate) of evangelization and sanctification. The very witness of a Christian life, and good works done in a supernatural spirit, are effective in drawing people to faith and to God; and that is what the Lord has said: “Your light must shine so brightly before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Mt. 5:16).
What is meant to shine about us is our life. It is how Christ impacts us while we are doing everyday things. It is the kind of man or woman that we are in the ordinary things of life.
When Jesus walked on the earth, not everybody became a Christ follower. Not everybody believed. Many rejected Jesus, and He said, “be a light on the hill.”
In other words, “be a light in the community” and we are called to be that in our workplaces, where we study, and in our families. We are called to be a ‘light on the hill’ because not everyone will come to Christ and believe. It is why so often Jesus went into the house of sinners. It’s why Jesus preached to ordinary people, even people who rejected him.
What we as Impacters are trying to do, because it’s what every Christian person should be doing, is we are called to be a light, and the light is saying, “Look at me.”
Most people say they don’t think people should look at their life. They haven’t got it all together. I haven’t got it all together, either. Many people say you don’t know my life. I do things that are not right, but this is where we need God in our life. This is where we need to be transformed by who God calls us to be.
This is where we need to be changed. We miss what is said in that passage. It says:
The very witness of a Christian life, and good works done in a supernatural spirit are effective in drawing people to faith and God.
How is it meant to be done? It is meant to be done with a supernatural spirit. That something beyond us is meant to happen in us. To be an impactor and impact the world isn’t just by our effort. It is not about being the white-knuckle club saying, “I’m going to be good. I’m going to be good. I’m going to be good.” But instead, it is that a supernatural spirit of God has transformed us because we have encountered God in our life.
God is looking for you today, so, how do you say yes to Jesus? How do you become this Impacter? It is by saying these words:
“Jesus, be at the center of my life.
Jesus, I’m sorry that I get it wrong so often.
Jesus, I come back to you and place you in the center of my life.
Jesus, be my Lord. I surrender to you. Amen.”
God will hear this prayer as you pray it in your heart, and His light will shine through you wherever you are in your life. His light in you will impact the people in your life, and you will become an Impacter.