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We’re tempted to think things or social status will make us happy. We construct lives that look amazing on the outside, even though we’re rotting on the inside. But keeping up appearances is difficult. It leaves us longing for something more. It leaves us searching for meaning in life.
There’s no need to keep up appearances. There’s no value in it. You will find value and meaning when you shift your focus toward serving others in their greatest needs—the way Jesus served you in your greatest need.
Scripture: John 13:14–17 — “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Growing up, were you a rule-follower or a rule-breaker? How has that influenced who you are today?
What are some reasons people feel pressure to keep up appearances? What are some of the costs when people present a false version of themselves to the world?
Talk about a time when you felt pressure to keep up appearances. What did it do to you? What happened?
As you listened to Scott talk about addressing the problem of the lack of clean water in communities in Africa, what was your response? Do you believe it’s a solvable problem? Did it sound overwhelming?
During the message, Scott said, “Forty-two percent of Americans distrust charity.” Are you among that group? If so, what concerns do you have about how charities use the resources their given? How can you address those concerns in order to find charities you trust?
Is there a need in the world you feel a burden to address? If so, what can you do to take your first step toward addressing it? How can this group support you?
Scott Harrison, Founder and CEO, charity: water:
Scott Harrison spent almost ten years as a nightclub promoter in New York City, living decadently and extravagantly. But at age 28, he had a crisis of conscience and found himself lost and unfulfilled, desperate to rediscover his sense of purpose. He decided it was time for a drastic change, and left NYC to spend a year volunteering as a photojournalist aboard a hospital ship off the coast of Liberia, West Africa.
During this time, Harrison witnessed and photographed levels of poverty and illness he never knew existed. As one year turned into two, he came to understand that many of the infections and diseases their group treated were waterborne, and could have been prevented if people had access to clean drinking water. He noticed a lot of existing organizations treating the effects of dirty drinking water, but he was determined to do something about the cause.
Upon returning to NYC in 2006, Harrison turned his full attention to the global water crisis and the (then) 1.1 billion people living without access to clean water. He established a small core support team in a tiny Manhattan apartment to develop the foundation of charity: water. Starting with the simple idea of charging admission to his birthday party, he raised enough to get charity: water off the ground.
Ten years later, charity: water has come a long way in the fight for clean drinking water. It’s raised over $210 million to fund 20,062 water projects around the world and bring clean water to more than 6.3 million people. But there’s still work to do. Millions of people still lack access to life’s most basic need, and charity: water won’t stop until every single one of them has clean and safe water.