In one of the ministries we are involved in we have a program called M.A.D — Make A Difference. We tell our people they need to get M.A.D when they see something that is happening that they know is wrong. It is our way of saying that they need to get busy making a difference instead of just complaining. You see, for us M.A.D is a great acronym for “Make A Difference,” and we hope to teach our people that getting upset about things in this world is not good enough. Instead of just getting angry at the world, we need to roll up our sleeves and “Make A Difference” in our world.

I suspect that in the social media world of today it’s easy for too many people to relegate their need for involvement to “Make A Difference” to that of words not actions. After all, why “Make A Difference” in addressing world hunger through the action of sponsoring a child, when you can tweet a few words of indignation? Instead of rolling up your sleeves and volunteering in your church, why not just blog about how the church has become irrelevant? Why take the time out to tutor a child when you can tweet a few words about how bad our school system is? I genuinely fear that making a difference in our world in real practical ways has now been replaced by blogging and tweeting how we feel about things. It’s as if our own pious bluster on matters makes us feel good about ourselves and excuses us from really having to get involved in people’s messy lives. Thank God Twitter has increased the character count from
140 to 280! Now we can say more and do less. As James warns us concerning the poor according to the Colin McCartney translation of Scripture;

“If one of you blogs; ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, tweets by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have tweets; I have deeds. Show me your tweets without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that tweets and blogs without deeds is useless…As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” – James 2: 16 – 20, 26

I liken making a difference to spreading a virus. Right now, as I type these words, I am battling a flu bug. I know where I got it — it’s my mother’s fault! I had visited her and she gave me hugs and kisses like any loving mother does to someone as special as me (Yes, you can read my humility in these words). The very next day I had to take her to the hospital because she was sick with a flu bug. The day after that I was very ill too. To spread a virus, one must be in close, hands-on proximity, and it was clear to me that by spending time with Mom and being in close proximity with her that, she passed her bug on to me. If people are to catch a germ, it is because they have been in contact with someone personally. No one catches a virus from a tweet but they can be impacted through touch. In this way I see the Gospel as a wonderful virus that spreads through hands on action. As Jesus said;

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

Remember, deeds-not tweets-get people’s attention and point them to God.

COLIN MCCARTNEY is an ordained minister, speaker, and a bestselling author. He is also the founder of UrbanPromise Toronto and now leads Connect Ministries in Toronto where he, his wife Judith, and their two children reside. For information in booking Colin as a speaker, please visit
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