Paying it Forward
"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." Philippians 2:12 & 13
Have you ever done something nice for someone who didn't really appreciate it? Have you ever performed a gesture of kindness only to realize that the person on the receiving end didn't care, or wasn't reciprocal? Not feeling appreciated isn't the greatest, but we have all experienced this at one time or another.
Have you ever mentored someone, spent hours on a worthy project, or given financial aid, only to learn that the outcome of your help, assistance or support was ineffectual, the project unsuccessful, or the money wasted? It's frustrating and disappointing when these things happen, and we need to be wise about how we help others and where we devote our time. But, no matter the outcome, do you know what? The debt has already been paid.
When things like this happen, it might sting for a bit. But, we shouldn't take it personally. We should instead lay the situation at the foot of the cross. Offense is one of the biggest snares of the enemy for Christians. Bitterness and unforgiveness can hold us captive for a lifetime. But, if we are able to give and love freely (not above our means to do so), we will find comfort in the fact that the debt has already been paid. Judas betrayed Jesus. Jesus knew he was going to do so. He chose him as His follower anyway.
"The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway." -Mother Teresa
We are, in essence, continuously repaying Jesus' burden of love. How can you help? Get to know your neighbor. Be a friend. Be the kind word or give the smile someone needs to hear or see today. Even an authentic smile can change the world. Are you paying it forward?