– John of Kronstadt
The Great Giver
God bless the givers. In this fallen world, it is obvious that takers greatly outnumber givers. For every person who loves and gives freely, there are many others who would take and take and give nothing back. Thankfully, Christianity teaches us to keep on giving until it hurts. Indeed, in one of the most moving scenes of the Gospels, Jesus points to the example of the poor widow who gave all she had in the form of two copper coins. It is our ability to give, to be patient, and to love freely that should set us apart from the rest of the world.
Still, it is too easy to feel burned out. Given how cold, inhospitable, and outright hostile the world can be, it is easy to feel that you can only give so much until you burn out and grow cold. Thankfully, the Bible shows us four ways to keep the fire of God’s love burning in our hearts so we can continuously witness and share His love to a world that’s desperate for real love.
In all Things, be Thankful
When you are grateful, it’s very hard to feel burnt out. In fact, you feel refreshed because your thanks for God reminds you that it is He who is the source of your ability to be generous and patient with others. When you give praise to God, you remind yourself of His creative power. You remember His ability to continuously create more power, will, and kindness in your life so you can continue to give and give.
It is not You Who Lives but Christ who Lives in You
If you feel drained giving, loving, and being patient with others, always remember that you’re not working to earn God’s love. Nothing you can do can ever merit God’s love. Instead, He already loved you while you were still His enemy. He loves you so much He gave His only Son so you can be reconciled with Him. Instead of feeling like you’re working to ‘prove’ yourself to God, let his Grace flow through you. In fact, let Him increase and your old self decrease. Remember that when you love others and give to others, it isn’t you giving but Christ.
Your Weakness is a Testimonial to God’s Power Working in Your Life
Apostle Paul wrote of a thorn that God allowed in his life. Instead of begging God to be free of the thorn, Paul realized that the thorn gave him an opportunity to let God be his strength. Paul was only able to overcome the thorn’s daily affliction because Paul trusted in God’s strength. The same applies to your weakness as you seek to give and give. Your patience will be tried. Your fuse might be shortened. Regardless, see these as thorns that give you a great opportunity to claim God’s power. God will enable you to do His will despite your limitations. Trust in that strength.
Our heavenly Father, you have tasked us to draw others to you. Please give us your grace on a moment-by-moment basis to always reflect your generosity and your eternal capacity for patience, goodness, and kindness. We know we can’t do this on our own. Instead, we take comfort in knowing that you will supply us all we need to carry out Your will here on earth. We claim this promise, Lord. Strengthen our resolve to always freely share your love and kindness to everyone around us. Amen.