How to have an impact like the Queen
She was unique. There are a thousand things about the her late Majesty the Queen that set her apart from us. And yet…
As I’ve reflected on her life and legacy I believe there is one underlying characteristic that led to the depth of her impact in so many lives. I believe this characteristic is the key to lasting impact for the good in any sphere of life. It’s a fundamentally Christian characteristic, and it’s available for us all. That characteristic is faithfulness.
The thing that set the Queen apart was that for 70 years she just kept doing what she did. She was called to serve our nation, and from day one, each hour, day, week, month, year and decade mounted up to an astonishing 70 years of unwavering faithfulness to that calling.
Faithfulness like this is easy to define, and difficult to do. It involves a combination of conviction, commitment and consistency.
Conviction: knowing deep down what you should do; who you should serve; where you should be. Knowing God’s calling to love him and others, and feeling its weight in your heart.
Commitment: The unwavering carrying out of those convictions: when you say you will do something, you do it; when you commit to a person, or a group, or a church family, you are there. Unwaveringly there. Committed. In small things: the social you arranged and it’s so easy to drop out of at the last minute. In large things: your pledge to put Jesus first as Lord and Saviour, not allowing anything to push him out.
Consistency: This is commitment played out over the long-haul. It’s unglamorous, very often inconvenient, and requires clear prioritization to safeguard your commitments. It requires the self-assurance to say ‘no’ to the hundred things that would keep you from honouring the ‘yes’ that you have already made.
When you embody conviction, commitment and consistency, you become, like the Queen, dependable. A rock for others to lean on. A pillar in your family, community, and church. An instrument in God’s hands for great good to many. You become faithful.
Friends, let’s be frank, we are not good at this. We live in an age that prizes self-expression and ‘personal authenticity’ rather than duty. We live in an age that flits from activity to activity, from relationship to relationship, seeking self-fulfilment, rather than sacrificial, consistent commitment to others. We live in a comfort-loving age that worships convenience, and rarely considers personal sacrifice in order to honour our commitments.
But just think what difference it would make if our whole church family was consistently committed to being there every Sunday at church (or in our life groups)?! Our ability to positively impact each others’ lives, and to impact our town for Christ, would change overnight! Just think what a witness it would be if people’s most consistent and committed friends were invariably Christians? Just think how a work place can be impacted when a Christian worker or leader exhibits this kind of faithfulness?
The platform and responsibilities of the late Queen are far beyond us. But her faithfulness is not. The Holy Spirit who empowered the Queen to 70 years of faithfulness in her role, isn’t ‘rank-ist’. As we keep in step with him, he will grow this fruit of faithfulness in us too- after all, it’s God’s own defining characteristic: “Great is your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:23). Praise God for all the ways we already see this in our church family. But let’s also be humble and admit where we need more of the Spirit’s work in our lives. Let’s repent, and seek more grace.
Faithfulness is measured over decades. But it begins with a conscious decision to be committed, and to be consistently committed, today. And then tomorrow. And then the next day.
And as days become weeks - which become months and years and decades - the impact, though not as wide as the Queen’s, can be every bit as deep in the spheres God has placed us in.
Lord, make us faithful: to You, to our church family, to our communities, to our calling as your people. Forgive us when we fall short. Inspire, renew and empower us anew to be be faithful like you.