Do for One What You Wish You Could Do for Everyone.

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“Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.”



The best word I know to describe the past three weeks in the Hartwig household. My wife and I finished up a semester and started another one, drove about 2500 miles moving some family across the country and visiting another set of family out of state, and most importantly, welcomed a baby boy into our home as a foster child. We hope to adopt him, yet trust God to do what’s best for this precious little fella!


During one of nearly 40 lonely hours on the road, I listened to a podcast with Andy Stanley, pastor at Northpoint Church just north of Atlanta.  He was talking leadership development, and his statement – “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone” – grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t let go. 


Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a make-a-difference kind of guy.  I’m about intentionality, impact, and implications.  And I want to make a big , not a little difference.  But that night in the car, I felt God gently, yet firmly, telling me to focus on what he’s put before me, and let Him worry about the rest.


Though I’d love to, I can’t…

  • Ensure that every vulnerable child is part of a loving, safe family. But I can for the little guy and the three little girls in our home.
  • Help every church small group to capably facilitate life-giving community and spiritual formation.  But I certainly can do that in the home group my wife and I host.
  • Facilitate a transformative educational experience for every student that takes my classes. But I can do that for a handful of students – usually the ones who are seeking that kind of experience out – every semester.
  • Mentor every guy who wants to grow in biblical manhood.  But I can for a couple guys.


I don’t know about you, but I need to think less about how I can expand my influence and focus more on being faithful in what God has placed in front of me today.  Of course, that runs counter to all the overwhelming talk of building platforms and expanding the influence of our time, programs, buildings, and so on.  (To be fair, there’s certainly a place for taking steps to expand our impact, but I fret that we, in our zeal, forget Jesus’s instruction in Luke 16:10, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much,” in our efforts to grow our influence.)


So, today I’m going to try to be faithful to what God has put in front of me for today.  I’m going to try to do for one what I wish I could do for everyone.


How about you? Who is the one to whom you’ll direct your efforts today?


And, by the way, perhaps if we all focus on what God has put in front of us for today, we’ll realize our own limitations and the consequent need for others in the body of Christ. Then we’ll be more apt to work better together.


Today, do for one what you wish you could do for everyone!

photo by: TheMarque



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One Comment

  1. Kat May 26, 2014 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Thank you!
    I ran a google search for “wish you could do more but can’t”, and found your post. Just what I needed to hear!
    We forget how much impact we can have in our everyday lives/loves. For some of us, we need that gentle reminder.

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