She had spent time, quite a bit of it.
She had spent money, quite a bit of it.
She had exerted effort, quite a bit of it.
She used her God given talents and interests, quite a bit of them.
She was reaching out to the needy ones "out there". People she didn't know. But God knows.
I listened. I wondered. Nothing wrong with any of it. But still I wondered, why?
Not that she shouldn't, because somebody should. But why all this time, money, effort and talent for this? For them, the unknown? What was the appeal? Why not help those right here in front of her? Honestly, I thought of my own need that day and wondered why she didn't notice.
Before I could examine her any further I knew I had to stop to look in the mirror first. Take a look inward instead of judging outward. Why do I do what I do? I'm afraid I'm as guilty as anyone.
Ah, I spend so much time helping everyone "out there". Three blogs. Four Facebook pages. Big women's events. A few ministries that I participate in and/or support.
Not that I shouldn't, because somebody should. But why all this time, money, effort and talent for these things?
First, am I so busy helping everyone "out there", that I'm missing those right here?
Because ministry doesn't just happen at a big event or soup kitchen or missionary post in Timbuktu. Sure, it happens there, but just as much it happens in our own homes, communities, jobs and churches. How am I living out the message I say I believe? Ministry happens on Facebook and blogs, sure. But what about at the grocery store? What about in my own home? Quite honestly, it's easier, most of the time, to help everyone "out there".
Then, I asked myself, "What's my motivation?" Because the motivation of my heart is even more important than what I actually do!
Donating money, running ministries and writing on Christian blogs sounds more glamourous than scrubbing floors and washing clothes. But I don't think what the world sees as important is necessarily what God sees as important. In fact, I don't think the things that impress the world impress Him at all. Yet, do I seek their honor above His?
"But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
It's good to check my heart. Do I do these seemingly big things to look impressive and receive human glory? Do I serve in the trenches when no one is looking, besides the One who matters, with humility and love as my Savior, Jesus, did? Because scrubbing floors and washing clothes with the right heart attitude are pleasing to the One who made me and saved me. They are service in His name just the same, if not more.
How many times in my attempt to help everyone "out there", have I missed the opportunity right here. That sick friend who needed a meal. The little son who needed some cuddle time. The elderly neighbor who could use a call or visit. A husband who needed his wife. The department store clerk who needs an encouraging word. I miss it too often.
It starts in the heart.
What should I be doing right here...with no other motivation but the love of Jesus that dwells in me?
What should you be doing? It's a question worth asking.
Note: God has ministry for us right here and out there. Both big and (seemingly) small. What a shame to miss any part of these divine opportunities. Whatever He's leading me and you to do, may we do it with no other motivation but love.
"Take care! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give a gift to someone in need, don't shout about it as the hypocrites do -- blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone, don't tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you." Matthew 6:1-4
It begins here. In the every day. I serve. But do I serve in love?
What is my attitude when no one is looking, but Him?
The ones right here before my eyes (and their daddy) are my first ministry.
It starts in the heart. Oh, not to forget!
Who has God put in your realm of influence?
Relate? Leave a comment. I love hearing from friends...both right here and out there! :)