“One of my neighbors stopped by last night,” Stan began. “He is part of the community outreach part of our church and was feeling somewhat dejected.”
“Over what?” I asked.
“Well,” Stan replied, “as part of the community outreach mission we have, he spends a lot of time trying to help people in the community who need help.”
“What kind of things does he do?”
“Takes people to doctor appointments, goes shopping with and for them, provides financial resources the church has set aside for that. All sorts of things.”
“Seems like a really great thing,” I responded. “Why was he feeling dejected?”
“Feeling that he is not appreciated by the people he is helping,” was Stan’s response. “My neighbor indicated that he feels like he is often taken advantage of, that the people just expect him to always be there for them.”
Continuing, he said, “My neighbor indicated he was tired of being unappreciated and was thinking of dropping out of that outreach program.”
“However,” Stan added, “I was able to point out to him what the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Galatia about the exact same point.”
“What point?” I asked.
“Not to loose heart in doing good,” Stan responded. “And to not grow weary.”
“In addition,” Stan said, “I think I was able to help him keep in focus why he is doing what he is doing, and on whose power he is to rely.”
“Who and what?” I asked.
“Doing it for God, not for the people,” Stan replied. “As well, doing it under the Holy Spirit’s fruit of goodness, not on any power that my neighbor thinks he might have apart from God’s indwelling Holy Spirit.”
“Did that help your neighbor?”
“I think so,” Stan responded. “As we wrapped up our time together, he said something like he was going to focus on being appreciated by God as the only ‘Well done!’ that really matters. And to not get pulled down by his own self-focus.”
And let us not loose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you want me to help others in your name, not in my name. You know how easy it is for me to try to do on my own what only you can do. And that includes trying to help others. When I do it for myself, rather than for you, the result is usually the same in that I feel unappreciated. Please help me in only seeking to hear your “Well done!” and to not get pulled down by the sense that others do not really appreciate what I may be doing for them. Help me in following your lead away from wanting the affirmation of the world, but in truly seeking and following what you have for me to be and to do. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.