5 reasons why my faith makes a difference

What does my faith have to do with my social work? How does my spiritual belief affect and influence my career?

Martin Luther King Jr.

It is what I do and why I do it and how I do it.

  1. It’s my duty — faith in action
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” — The Bible

Although I have been volunteering and doing a lot of social work since 5 years, I have definitely seen a difference in me over the years. It’s easy to help and do some social work. Trust me, it is. It gives you a great sense of accomplishment, the pride of doing a good deed, receiving all the gratitude from people and what not. It’s really that easy to get carried away being in a position of power- a position higher than someone else that makes it easy for you to help. But true service and charity is the one you are able to do through every minute of your day to every human being around you (even those you dislike). It is the love you can share even when you cannot afford to, even when it is difficult and uneasy to, even when it is going to hurt you. I am supposed to do it today, not when I become a millionaire or retire or just have a little more time.

“And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’” — The Bible

That pure sense of service is something only faith can bring.

“Your actions speak so loudly, I can not hear what you are saying.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. It’s the secret of my success

The most difficult social impact project I have ever done is Patched, where I worked to provide trafficked women in red light areas of India an alternate means of livelihood. And lest I ever forget to say, every amazing success at Patched was by God’s grace and guidance alone! I can never have done that with my own strength & power.

It is easy when you know that you don’t have to be (can’t be) the problem solver. You just need to make yourself available at his service, and he will use you at the right place and the right time to make a difference for his beloved children. It doesn’t even matter any more when my ideas and projects fail. I can’t be more creative or innovative than he is. God is all powerful and all knowing. I can rest in his will for me.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me — The Bible

3. Its a relief! — work made easy

Until Patched, helping was easy for me. Donations, teaching, playing, events etc. But at Patched, I realized I found myself in a dark bubble full of needs with no good solution. A place where a whole lifetime dedicated or a billion dollars donated today wouldn’t make the darkness fade. That is when I ended up praying without words to God out of helplessness, not understanding what to do. Glory be to God that there were a lot of milestones we crossed in the project, but yet when I think of it today- I am not blind to the reality. I did not solve human trafficking in the world. Even if I help a hundred women today, there are 100,000 more trapped just in the city of Mumbai, and imagine how many more in the world! Did I really make a difference? What is the use of doing all this social work when the world is going to end anyway? What difference when the amount of sicknesses, disasters, wars and crime just increases day by day? Must I still try?

It’s so easy to find ourselves vexed from serving without seeing results. It’s so easy to feel disheartened. There’s no question that caring for the poor is an important part of the Christian life — but what’s really powerful is that while our efforts are temporal, God has something far more permanent in mind. The Bible says, Jesus Christ, God Himself, will wipe away every tear from the eyes of His people. Death, pain, despair will be no more. God’s people will never again hunger or thirst. Poverty will be no more. Poverty has an eternal solution in him — Hope in Him.

4. Its my joy & privilege

I share and help in whatever way I can, not cause I’m talented, or cause I can, but cause I am overwhelmed and overflowing with the love, joy and peace God has given me. It’s that love which cannot be hidden but only shared. May whatever I do, be only a sign of his grace and mercy. A sign of his blessing to me. An expression of his amazing love. It’s an honor to be used as a tool by the Almighty for his purpose.

“Faith matters because hope and love can’t bear the weight of the suffering in the world without it. Faith matters because it reminds us that there’s good in the world, and meaning to every life; and that the things that make us human are worth fighting for. Faith matters because it drives us to do what’s right….”
— Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

God has made me able and given me the opportunity to shine his light among his people. And what greater purpose can my life be for than to serve the King of this world, the creator of my life, the one who first loved me.

5. Its the purpose of my life — my gift

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” — The Bible

I sometime’s doubt if its a blessing or a bane to feel burdened and filled with sorrow seeing the world and its needs. Sometime’s I get lost in it, but there is nothing we see today that the Bible has not told us about already. There is not much that empathy and sympathy by itself can do. But I know that God created me unique and in his own image. All it takes is faith. I praise him for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

I believe God has called me to serve his people. It may not be everyone’s direct calling to do mission work or social service. But no matter where he leads me or you today, we are expected to serve. I do not know where God will take me tomorrow or next year. But I do know, I want to take a conscious decision in serving his purpose. Be it in a charity, a mission field, a corporate firm or public sector- the medium does not matter. My current skill level and experience does not matter too. All that matters is that I know who to follow — the one who knows all of this and my tomorrow.

“There’s a proverb we should remember: “To a man with a hammer, every problem is a nail.” If modern man is scientific man, technology is his hammer. But every human problem isn’t a nail. Knowledge without the virtues of wisdom, prudence, mercy and, above all, humility to guide it is not just unhelpful. It’s dangerous….”
— Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

A lot of these lessons I continue to learn as I grow in faith closer to God each day. A lot learnt also as a volunteer for Compassion organization. To know more about Patched, read about my project here.

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