It can be emotionally draining to pour into people who don’t reciprocate anything in return. And I’m talking about the people who don’t seem to appreciate or notice when you go out of your way for them. Like hello, I’m a good person, can you at least give me some credit here?? But let’s talk about how to give when you’re tired of giving.
If we’re honest, we’ve all had those moments when we’ve felt fed up with someone in our lives whether that was with our family, our friends, or our romantic partners. Read how to love them when you don’t want to here. The bottom line is that it’s so easy to stop caring, and harden our hearts but God calls us to keep giving our time, energy, and undivided attention to others just like He does with us. He even goes as far to say that we should love and give to our enemies without expecting anything back (Luke 6:35).
Let’s repeat that. Our enemies. Without expecting anything back. I mean c’mon. This dude, Jesus, is wild.
I’m not saying to remove boundaries. Your identity is actually based on the boundaries you put in place to guard you heart. Boundaries do define who you are and who you are not, and there are going to be some things that are unacceptable to you that are acceptable to others. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that because that’s what makes you, you.
So do be wise and guard your heart, but I’m sure there was a time when you had to stand face-to-face with selfish desires and decide whether you were going to sacrifice what you wanted for someone else. But the Word tells us that we should value others above ourselves.
And if you’re anything like me, that is a hard, hard pill to swallow. I always told myself that I was like the other son in the prodigal son story. I mean, I’m right with you, brother. I would be mad too if my father allowed my brother to come home almost as if he never left. (God’s still working on me too, so just keep me on the top of your prayer list.)
But are we basing our behavior and emotions on the work of others? Are we measuring and comparing their actions with ours to see how we should respond? Because if we are, then that is the complete opposite of how Jesus lived. This man literally decided to become nothing by taking the very nature of a servant just so that we could have eternal life with God (Philippians 2:7-8).
Again, this dude is wild.. But we can’t even get our emotions in check because we’re too worried about how someone hasn’t texted us back, hasn’t checked in to see how we’re doing, or hasn’t given us a gift for our birthday even though we sent one when it was theirs.
We must learn how to discipline our emotions, because we cannot always do things based on how we feel. It’s amazing how we can drag ourselves to work on Mondays when we don’t feel like getting out of bed, yet we can’t seem reach out to the person who hurt our feelings.
I think the reason why we struggle with this area is because we do not feel responsible or hold ourselves accountable to the way that God tells us to treat others. I know this is hard, but there is hope.
We can find comfort in knowing that our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Corinthians 4:17).
I always thought Colossians 3:23-24 related to school and work, but this verse can apply to every single one of our relationships. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
God always sees your heart and your actions. He always repays, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be here on earth. Sometimes, you’re going to be the one who’s always reaching out. Sometimes, you’re going to always take the role of being the bigger person, and sometimes you’re going to be the one who is consistently getting the shorter end of the stick.
But that is completely okay. Jesus did it, and you can too. So keep giving when you’re tired of giving. It may be a difficult lesson, but it is one of the few that will allow you to experience freedom in a new way.
When have you had to apply this lesson? How did it help you grow? And if you haven’t already, grab the scripture cards right down below!
Linked with Salt and Light.
Hanha Hobson is an author, speaker, and the founder of Transparency Ministries. From published devotionals to empowerment workshops, she will stop at nothing to see women encounter God and she is passionate about teaching and equipping them to live a life of freedom. When she is not encouraging others or writing her heart out, she enjoys watching Grey’s Anatomy, eating Chickfila, and connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!