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Why we do what we do

Why We Do What We Do?

Isn’t it wonderful to see lives transformed, people given a second chance to live up to their potential?  For many Canadians that seems like just a dream, something impossible to attain.  The Salvation Army believes there is hope, that with a little help, anyone can turn their lives around, and dig their way out of whatever it is that holds them down.

The Salvation Army helped 1.7 million Canadians during the past year to do just that.  To see that there is hope, they can find their way in this world. We see people’s struggles and successes daily.  They are the reason we have hope and continue to do what we do.

People often ask us why we do it.  What’s in it for The Salvation Army? What motivates us?  You see, we do what we do because we are a people who have been loved by God and who love Jesus.  That means that every Salvationist, each one who wears that uniform, and many who don’t wear it, has experienced God in a personal way and has a personal relationship because of the gift of His only Son. 

God’s word says this:  “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:12-14 NIV)

We could have continued to worship a God who was distant, fearsome and unknowable, but the world wouldn’t have changed very much.  Instead God provided a way for us to have a personal relationship with Him.  Though we are unworthy in ourselves, by the sacrifice of God’s Son, given freely to redeem us from sin, we can now know the peace of heart that can only come from a relationship with this Prince of Peace.

The passage quoted from Colossians, chapter 3, goes on to say: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly…And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

What motivates us?  That’s best summed up in one of our mottos:  “Heart to God and hand to man”  Perhaps you yourself are looking for meaning in your life.  Your successes and accomplishments have brought little joy in the end, and you wonder how can I know my life matters?

Well, it’s all about a little baby, who was born at Christmas 2000 years ago, in a humble stable, surrounded by the sounds and smells of animals and hay – a gift of love from the father above, for you, so that you could know Him, and find your meaning in Him. 
You see, Love really does change everything.

Written by: Commissioner Susan McMillan 
Salvation Army officer for 35 years

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