Alleviating a need, bringing a smile or offering hope is a gift that truly reveals the truth of the cliche: it is more blessed to give than receive. There is an incredible blessing that comes with giving of ourselves. The difficulty arises when we give because we seek that blessing--chasing it instead of God. It is a subtle shift and one I often don't even realize I have made until I fail to please someone :). And, of course, that is a regular thing. We are not meant to be the source of others' blessings. God alone is to be each person's source. This stupid idol blocks others from going directly to the Blessing Giver themselves and it is ugly!
Check out these Truths about what comes when we love people (and sometimes please them) in the way Jesus did. First I looked at Jesus. He was despised, rejected, without esteem, derided, mocked, called demon-possessed, killed in a torturous, shameful manner, deprived of justice and impoverished! I am so ashamed of pursuing an idol that takes me so far from who my Savior is...my goal in life is to be like Him and yet I choose to chase an idol that produces contrary results! Yuck.
Then I went to this verse: The apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy of suffering shame and disgrace. Paul says he took pleasure in his needs, weaknesses, distresses, persecutions and reproaches! That is upside down living for sure!
Oh, my, this idol of mine has got to go! Yesterday we saw that faith precedes repentance. I declare faith in the Truths revealed by Jesus and the apostles. I renounce my idol and rejoice in running after the One who said:
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Matthew 5:11
Your idol might not be mine, but ask the Lord if there is something that draws you in the opposite direction from Him. Then, in faith turn from the idol and run after Him.