People often say that helping others is extremely rewarding and I’m sure most of us find that to be true. But is this always the case? I’m sure many of us have also experienced a time when we went out of our way to help someone, or give something to someone and were shown rudeness or entitlement. Experiences like this can ruin the joy of being a generous person and can leave a bitter taste. It can make you question if you’re going to continue to helping people in the future.
Why do we give and why do we help people in the first place? Do we do it for our own personal gratification? Maybe in your case the positive experiences outweigh the negative so you continue to be generous in your efforts to do good to others. But what if they don’t?
In the letter to the church in Ephesus Paul tells us to be imitators of God and to walk in love because we are children of God and Christ loved us and died for us (Eph. 5:1-2). In order to imitate someone we need to watch them closely and replicate what they do. The death of Jesus on the cross was the ultimate act of love demonstrated by the Triune God. Jesus was mocked and spat on as he died for the very people responsible.
I’m not writing this to shame anyone that may have grown tired of helping those that appear ungrateful. The truth is most people that receive your generosity are extremely grateful; but even those that aren’t (especially those that aren’t) God wants us to love. That man sitting on Bank St, shooting up heroin is valued and loved by God. Pray that God would fill you with that same love when you see people in need.
Paul says to work hard and, “give generously to others in need… Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (Eph. 4:28-29 NLT).
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
~Jordan – Youth Program Coordinator