“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.”
Isaiah 58:10-11 (NLT)
I don’t know about you but sometimes it is very hard for me to get my heart wrapped around helping others. I know. I am not supposed to admit that I am sometimes selfish. I should feel an overwhelming sense of joy when I give what I consider a blessing to someone else. But sometimes it just seems to come back around and bite me in the you know where!
Like when I tell the cashier I would like to pay for the woman behind me at Starbucks only to find that she has ordered coffee for the entire city. Yet I can’t say, “Never mind!” because then I would look like an idiot.
Or when I take my famous macaroni and cheese casserole along with a pricey deli cooked roasted chicken over to the family who has just moved in only to discover that they are gluten intolerant and vegetarians.
Oh, and remember the time I offered to babysit for a new mom only to find myself locked in the garage by the “sweet” toddler? Yeah, that went well. The firefighters thought it was a riot.
How many times have you stepped outside your comfort zone only to be smacked down in the midst of your generosity? Yep. Me too.
The words of Psalm 37:5-6 resonated with my heart today.“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.”
Then wham!—He hit me with Philippians 2:3-4. “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others too.”
As Gru says in Despicable Me, “Light bulb!”
First, I need to erase from my mind that I am going out to do good deeds because that will make me feel great. Yes, it is true that I receive joy when I give of myself. And yes, it is true that I am called to give generously. But that seems to be where it stops. It does not say that I should give so that I will get all the glory. In fact I am not even supposed to let anyone know I am giving to them. It says in Matthew 6:3,“But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” I should do everything so that God is the only one receiving the praise.
Dearest Father God, Thank You for giving me a clearer vision of what You desire from my heart. In this time of year when we are called on even more to share our blessings, remind me that everything I receive is from You, everything I give is from You, and everything I do is only good if I am doing it for Your glory. Show me people who have needs, and show me how to give even more than I think I can. I am so grateful for all You have blessed me with. In the name of Christ my Savior I offer this prayer, Amen.
Copyright © 2013, Michelle Welch, all rights reserved,
also published on 11/22/2013 on Breath Of Life Women’s Ministries site