Have you ever felt like the people you were helping were using you? Have you ever felt like you were making sacrifices till it hurt? Well, I’m pretty sure we all have at some point and time in our lives. Sacrificing isn’t always easy. It isn’t always pleasant. Most times sacrifices hurt. However, sacrifices are pleasing to God, believe it or not.
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16 NIV)
I’ve seen a lot of homeless people in my lifetime when visiting different places. It’s easy to hand out a few dollars here and there or give a meal or two when we encounter a stranger who we believe is experiencing a rough time. Sometimes we give freely and sometimes we might not according to our perception of the situation at hand. It’s good to give to the needy. God wants us to take care of the poor.
However, I’ve found that giving to strangers in need is much easier than giving to family in need. There aren’t many homeless people in the town where I live. Mostly everybody there is family and so finding someone to take you in when hard times hit is fairly easy. The hard part comes when the same person comes to you for help over and over and over again, especially when the person who is requesting help has hurt you in some kind of way.
We are often put in the position to help our enemies in order to show God we can be trusted with what He has for us. Most of the time He will send me our way who we feel aren’t worthy of our services because of whatever prejudices we have against them at the moment.
I like using myself as an example. I have been put in the position to help the very person who has tormented me for years. This person has made everyday around them the worst day ever on purpose! They say and do things just to see me cry. How do I know? They told me so. They, to me, are the Judas (who betrayed Jesus) in my life. They betray me at every turn. God placed them in a position in which they are alone, very sick and in need of all the help they can get. I have been called upon numerous times to help this person and I’ll admit I didn’t jump for joy. I actually tried to find someone else to take my place.
After conviction fell on me, I decided to suck it up and put my feelings aside to help. I’m not saying with conviction came an attitude adjustment. I’m still working on not rolling my eyes and being more patient with this person.
I realized God is watching me and everything I do. I’m not helping this person for my benefit. I’m helping them because they are in true need. I’m helping them because HE enabled me do so. I’m helping them because it pleases God and shows His mercy and love.
How can I please God if I refuse to love my enemy? “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48 NIV) I had to get over myself and do what God wanted me to do otherwise I’m being just like the person hurting me.
My journey isn’t over but I can say that I do have a different outlook on it. I’m willing to work as hard necessary to ensure this person gets well. I don’t like to see people sick. I don’t like being sick myself. I’m hoping God will bless me with the patience, perseverance, love, gentleness and kindness needed to complete this task.
Thank You for putting Your will into perspective for me. I’m asking that You give us all the necessary equipment we need to do Your will and help whoever it is You have placed in our lives to help in this moment. Please give us the desire, courage, and patience we need. Please be with us at all times while we are making sacrifices for others. Remind us of Hebrews 13:16 which tells us you are pleased when we do good to others. Also remind us of Matthew 5:48. We have to love our enemies. Thank You again and we love you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER to obey God and love your enemies. Pray for and bless those who persecute and use you. God will the strength, grace and tools you need to do so!
Bettina Allen is currently working in security, with prior experience in customer service. She loves to read, write and dance. She loves God and is on a mission to be as close to Him as she possibly can. Bettina is constantly learning and growing from life’s experiences. God has given Bettina a word and she would love to share that word, along with all of the lessons He has taught her, with others. Bettina resides in Georgia and attends Life Church of Atlanta. Her favorite scripture is Psalm 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”