When you give, when you are generous with your possessions, money, time, ideas, heart; you name it, why do you do it? What drives you to give? What is your motivation?
See, being generous with people is not just about money, or things. Sometimes it's about being there for them when they need you. Sometimes it's about lending an ear or helping them problem solve. Sometimes it is simply about showing them a kindness.
Yet so often I see quotes about what we deserve in return, or how you shouldn't waste your time doing for someone who wouldn't do the same for you. Not from strangers so much. We give to them much more easily, but when it comes to loving and giving to people we know, we tend to expect something in return. Maybe we have certain expectations for how they should use our gift. Maybe we have opinions on how they should respond, and maybe we don't like the way that they do.
***Before I continue, I want to make something very clear. I am not talking about abusive relationships here. That is a different topic and does not apply here. ***
But here's a serious heart check. Why are you giving?
We cannot control what a person does with what we give them. We cannot control how they respond to us, but we can control how we allow that to make us feel.
When we give generously to people, without expectation or strings, there is this inexplicable peace! When we allow bitterness and resentment to creep into our head-space, based often on unfair or unrealistic expectations, it brings the opposite of peace, my friends. It steals your joy.
A person cannot make you feel bitter or resentful, used or taken advantage of. They do not hold that power. You do. When you allow your expectations to rule your emotions, your service suffers. That joy, that peace, the light within you dims.
There is this episode of Friends, The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS, where Phoebe sets out to prove to Joey that there is such a thing as a selfless act. Joey informs her that, in fact, there is not, because it feels good to perform a selfless act, therefore, making it selfish.
Y'all, it does feel good to be generous, to be kind, to give of yourself, your talents, your gifts. Maybe there really isn't any such thing as a selfless act, but don't allow your expectations to taint your service. You control how you give, and you control how you feel about it. You can either be bitter and resentful, or you can let that light shine, and choose to be joyful and grateful for the opportunity to serve.
Jesus served. Jesus loved without conditions, and we are all called to, as well!
So, are you serving, or expecting?
**Some language in the video, so beware of little ears.**
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
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