It seems to me that God has put us apostles in the worst possible place. We are like prisoners on their way to death. Angels and the people of this world just laugh at us.
Because of Christ we are thought of as fools, but Christ has made you wise. We are weak and hated, but you are powerful and respected. Even today we go hungry and thirsty and don’t have anything to wear except rags. We are mistreated and don’t have a place to live. We work hard with our own hands, and when people abuse us, we wish them well. When we suffer, we are patient. When someone curses us, we answer with kind words. Until now we are thought of as nothing more than the trash and garbage of this world.
1Corinthians 4:8-13, CEV
“you are being tricked”
A friend pulled me aside to give me this piece of advice.
“I know, but I don’t want to talk about that now.”
I smile back and look into my cup of tea.
For some time, I have been thinking about the holiday season and what it means to my Christmas list. There are gifts for my girls and my husband… and then there are the gifts for my friends.
Even though the list has stayed the same, their statuses has changed in every way possible. People have moved away, have come to town, there are some that I’ve grown closer to and others that have distance (by design and by circumstance). But they are all on my list. Do I gift them or reject them? How much do I give until I are not a servant, but a fool?
Servants of disciples of God are called to assist in every single way possible to protect the Spirit of God that is within all. We listen, run people around, give use of our resources, encourage (and discourage) and anything we can to those who walk the path (or want to). And we do this knowing that some will take advantage, many will not listen, some hate us and more often than not we will never get anything in return. But the joy in this carries us and we continue.
But the question persists. Somewhat because I am a sociopathic spoiled brat, and somewhat because I don’t completely trust Abba and the Holy Spirit, but mainly because I am tired. And since then I have even paid the price for that, physically and emotionally. I have seen what my true worth is.
Let me reword this…
I now know what my true worth is to them. And that is what led me to seek a change in perspective.
And that is how the exchange above happened. They wanted to warn me, but also encourage me. I already know that there are some that think to manipulate me, some that use me and others that just don’t care and that drains me. But for every one of them, I get to help 10 others and the joy from that fills me until I overflow. I told them so.
“and that’s how you keep on even though you know you are being tricked. You serve to God for them, not to them.”
In the scripture above, the apostle Paul calls the Corinthians in to service and tells them about what this calling means. Many of the Corinthians thought that because they were well studied in theology, that was all that was needed and thought well of that and themselves. But Paul admonished them, telling them that the apostles and those other that hear the call to serve follow a path where they give all to a hard, draining, thankless job that will fill them with joy.
So I take my list and I change nothing. I give and expect nothing in return. I help when needed and sleep when I can. I grieve over losing the illusion of the family I thought I had and find joy that this is Abba’s work that I am doing, because that is how He built me. And in the end, I will always be what I have always been.
A servant of our Heavenly Father, Almighty God.
A bit of a fool.
And a joyful giver.
Thanks be to God