Do for One What You Wish You Could Do for Everyone

Here are a few recent sermons about God’s care for the forgotten:

04/15/12 “Who Adopts?” (Beth Guckenberger)
04/08/12 Easter “Stained Glass Savior” (Chad)
04/01/12 “Who Provides?” (Chad Hovind)
03/25/12 “Who Cares?” (Doug Daily)
03/18/12 “Who Remembers?” (Chad Hovind)
03/11/12 “Who Feeds?” (Chad Hovind)
03/04/12 “Who Sees?” (Chad Hovind)



Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.  This principle I learned from a leader named Andy Stanley.  To combat under-reacting, we must remind ourselves to “DO UNTO ONE” like we wish we could do to everyone. I may not be able to help everyone, but I can help one. I can give to ONE, like I wish I could do for everyone.  What I like about this principle is that it flies in the face of something we heard as a child that made us mad, but we find ourselves saying it now as adults.   This phrase is something we need to stop saying!!  Here it is, you would come to a teacher, to the HR department, or to the coach and ask for something… and they would say, “If I let you do it, I have to let Everyone do it!!!’   You would turn to the coach and say, “Can I have one of those,” and he’d reply, “If I give you one, I have to give everyone one.”  Then you turn to mom and dad when you get home, “Can I do such and such..” And they’d say, “If I let you do it, I have to let everyone do it.”  This ridiculous phrase (which isn’t rational) is about control. It’s about containment. It teaches that “If I do for ONE, I HAVE to do for everyone…. Since I CAN’T DO IT FOR EVERYONE, I won’t do it for one!”   So nothing gets done in the company, on the team, because we are so scared of things “getting out of control” or the “tyranny of the exception.”  And when you and I heard this as kids, we thought, “No you don’t! You can just let me go.  I won’t tell anyone.  You don’t tell anyone.”  :)   You don’t have to do for everyone, what you do for one.  Instead we need to DO FOR ONE WHAT WE WISH WHAT WE WISH WE COULD DO FOR EVERYONE.  SO we end up doing for NO ONE, since we can’t do for everyone.   So the question is “Who’s the one?”


  • Who’s one person you can develop spiritually?
  • Who’s the one person I can give and walk with financially?
  • Who is the one child you can help?
  • What is the one meal you can pack for the starving?

Three ways to think about this principle.

1. Go long term, vs short term.  If you really want to help someone like you wish you’d help everyone. YOU MUST GO LONG. The long term approach.  One of the reasons we partner with organizations like FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN and BACK 2 BACK is we want to go long.   We want to keep sending people to the same villages in San Victor, Belize year after year. We want to go long.  We wish we could go to every country and village, but we can’t… so we go long. We are doing for Belize and San Victor (with homes, surgeries, educational initiatives, pharmaceutical teams) like we wish we could do for everyone.  People come up to me weekly with new things we “should be doing as a church.”  Good things. Important things. I say, “No” to hundreds of initiatives a year…  sometimes hurting nice people’s feelings… Because we are committed to GO LONG with a few initiatives.  Last year we added FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN as a long term initiative.  We are trying to figure out how to do this more than once a year.  We moved from packing 187,000 meals to 250,000.  As it turned out, volunteers packed 256,000 meals!


2. Go deep vs wide.  If you really want to impact the one, the way you wish you could do for everyone. You need to go deep. Deep with the one. Develop one person spiritually over time. Befriend someone with questions for the long haul.   Walk with the single mom deeply over time.   If you and I really want to impact someone, we need to Go deep, vs wide.

3. Give time and money.  Lastly, if you want to make this principle real in your life. You need to give time and money.  For some of us, it’s easy to write a check and not give time.   Others of us, we know it’s easier to give time than money.   Real heart change occurs when we do both!

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