Are you a Blessing or a Burden?Church & Relationships
Genesis 14:23 “…I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich'”
Abraham held a principle in his life to never accept anything from anybody, to never be a burden on them. Yet whilst doing so he always strived to serve and give as much as he could. He always gave, but never received.
In Genesis 23 where Abraham’s wife Sarah dies, he asks to buy a burial cave off Ephron. Ephron insists on giving it to Abraham as a gift, since the people considered him a ‘mighty prince’ amongst them. Any normal person would accept such a generous and gracious offer, however Abraham stubbornly refused and insisted on paying the full price for the cave. Why did he do this? Why did he never accept any help from anyone?
So many of our ‘good deeds’ and ‘loving acts’ are simply just repayment for the burdens others carried for us! We may not realise it, but in the mind of the individuals we are serving, our actions may just be an exchange for the kindness they showed us recently. In other words, our ‘loving actions’ really just look like business and not like love at all. This may seem a bit shallow but it’s true, we hear it all the time: “I owe you one”, “Scratch my back I’ll scratch yours” etc
Luke 14:12-14 “Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Even Jesus talked about this principle, that love is not love at all when it is simply repaid. Love demands no reward, no pay-back, nothing in return. So responding to the kindness of others with kindness is not love, it’s just business. Instead we need to be like Abraham, trying our hardest to not be a burden on anybody, so that the things we do are out of love, and not simply ‘paying them back’.
Are you more of a burden or more of a blessing? Does you life demand more time, energy, care or money than it gives out to others? When you show kindness to someone, do they expect it? Have they been waiting for it? If so, then your ‘love’ is not love at all, but only paying off your debts.
1 Thess 4:11 “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life…so that you will not be dependent on anybody“