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whew...keep going

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord's work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Hey friends! Ever get tired? Unless you are some superhuman version of a person, I know you do as much as I do! Besides performing tasks that have to be done throughout the day, emotions take a toll too. For me, my thoughts often make me more tired than actually doing stuff I need to do.

I often wonder what difference what I do even makes. I mean, my two year old and one year old do not kiss my feet and thank me for washing their clothes, bathing them, teaching them basic functions, or cleaning up poop that sometimes manages to become an indescribably nasty mess. In fact, I usually get more "no" than "thank you, mommy." What difference does it make that laundry gets folded in a day, a well-balanced dinner is served at night, or bathrooms get the Lysol treatment? Beyond that, what difference does it make if I was kind to the cashier at Wal-Mart marketplace? That I disciple teenage girls weekly? That I ask people about their lives at church, regardless of whether they ask anything about my life or not? That I keep smiling despite people telling me what I need to do since I am a pastor's wife? That I smiled at someone who lied about me? That I refuse to put down that person who wanted to destroy my family just to keep a job and stay on top? To be real with you, I often joke with my husband that he is way better than I could ever be at being a pastor. I would not be able to practice restraint when I want to just look at some people and say, "Y'all are all idiots!" My facial expressions never lie either. He practices grace everyday that I am not sure I could! :)

So what? So you were kind to the kid at school who wears the same three outfits each week. So you spoke kindly to the girl who is rude to you. So you acted respectfully to the woman who was promoted to the position you wanted based on false information and deception. So you gave a water bottle to a homeless person who rejected it. Sometimes doing the right thing - how God wants me to act - is tiring. Exhausting at times.

It's important to remember that others' reactions to how we treat them does not change our responsibility. Even if someone rejects our kindness, we still have a responsibility to our Lord to continue to act rightly and love people as He would love them. Like I have mentioned before, everyone has a story. We do not know what those people go home to each night. Some kids go home to an empty house at night, get greeted by another boyfriend of mom's, constant put-downs from dad, empty refrigerators, cheating wife, disrespectful kids, and more. There is always a reason for others' behavior. Notice I am not saying excuse, but a reason for why they act that way. It does not hurt less, but it can help take the viciousness out of the behavior.

Apparently it does matter to God. Traditionally, scholars almost unanimously believe Paul wrote this book, 1 Corinthians, to the people in Corinth. This particular verse shows how most of what we do on earth is vain, but what we do in His Name lasts for eternity. Let's look at American culture. We want and want and want, and, basically just want! Giving and kindness are traits a little difficult to find these days. My mindset often is that I need to get ahead and stay ahead, if not, I'll get eaten alive. Right? God does care what we do. Yes, I am still tired by it, when it seems sometimes I am alone. He still cares. Keep going, my dears! Keep honoring Him with words and actions. Ask Him for strength and energy. I get it. More importantly, He gets it. Love you all!

Love,

Charis

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