Tuesday, February 10, 2015


We’ve all felt it, a need to be greedy. When you’re giving, when you open your heart, when you lay it all out there, when you feel defeated, when you’re constantly stepped on, when you have nothing left to give, you wish you could be a little selfish.

I want to be selfish. It’s easy to feel under appreciated when you’re always there for your friends and you constantly go out of your way to be supportive. Do you ever stop and think, “Why am I doing this? How is this benefitting me? Is it even worth how much I give, give, give?”

For me, I have moments when I feel that I should get something back. Does that make me more than just selfish? Is there any point in my desire to be more egotistic? In reflection I find myself depressed at the end of each day: worn by trying, exhausted by giving, saddened by lack of gratitude.

I think back to when I first sought out help for this issue and remember being asked, “Do you think that saying no will make you less like Christ?” Obviously my first reaction was to take a mental step back and realized that I’d never thought of it that way before. When you’re giving it all and taking nothing back you think that that’s all there is to it, right? How dare I be saddened, shouldn’t I be happy because I’m giving? Isn’t that what we’re taught to do? Don’t we reflect Christ most when we give? By desiring selfishness do we sacrifice Grace and Humility?

In Matthew we find that Christ gave until there was nothing left: “Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). And again we find in John, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

Love, love, give, give, it is all there in black and white (and sometimes even red depending on your translation). But why then is it so exhausting? Why then do we feel trapped when we’ve felt we’ve given it all?

Love is hard, Love is beautiful, Love is patient and kind, and Love can break us to pieces. As a reminder, let’s keep in mind that God didn’t say it would be easy either: “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).

“Give and it will be given”: even when it’s not immediate.
“Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap”: don’t stop giving, keep up your pace with it, you’ll be trampled on, you’ll be shaken up, you’ll even be run over, and we have every guarantee of these very things.
“For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you”: If you’ve given it all, know you can give more and know that one day it’ll all come to fruition.

So there it is, here’s where we come back to what we started with, selfishness. So… we are granted selfishness in reward for when we give? No, I want to use this word to bring light to another idea. The negative connotation that selfishness carries can distract us from the truth of what we gain. By giving, we don’t gain selfishness. If you give it all, if you’ve truly emptied your heart, in the end there is reassurance that your heart wont leave here empty, but overflowing.

Our giving isn’t guaranteed an immediate reward and most likely, we wont receive our return from those we are giving so much to. It’s SO easy to be blinded by a lack of receiving that we can miss the little things from other people that reenergize and rehydrate our wrung out, worn thin, beaten down hearts. Don’t stop loving; don’t be afraid to squeeze what’s left from your heart, because it’ll still keep beating. We’re never given more than we can handle and a heart that’s empty shows the world how willing you are to rise above. Dip in to your heart and someone will always be a step behind you ready to fill yours back up.

There is no way to be free of the giving, we’re wired to do so and receive it in return. Don’t shy away from giving for the fear of losing yourself. Don’t be afraid to receive, lean in to the little gifts because they all add up in the end. Be Selfishly Self-less.

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