"For I have given you this as an example, so that you should do what I have done to you.”
Are you feeling like you're drowning lately with so much responsibility? Are you the one taking it all in making sure everyone is following the status quo?
Pandemics will do that to a person. There are people around us, depending on us, looking for answers. So it is only natural that we abide, or even in some cases cater, to those we love.
But, we can drown in our own well-intentions. We need to remember that relationships are a two-way street. Jesus was careful to make sure we understood this.
Jesus did not waste his time, so we can assume that everything He did was very meaningful and contains wonderful lessons to be learned. What about the time he decided to wash His disciples' feet? What message was he trying to convey there?
Jesus is the son of God. Actually he is God manifested in the second person of the Trinity. So knowing this we can infer it is odd to watch him wash someone's feet, especially the feet of those who were following HIM. But he did this because he wanted to teach them that they could be in authority and still be servants at the same time.
Peter, the most vocal disciple, vehemently refused to let Jesus wash his feet, but Jesus said if He did not wash Peter's feet, the two of them could not be real friends. In other words, they had to do things for one another in order for their relationship to thrive.
I have been known to go above and beyond helping others. It happens because God has blessed me with a good heart. Years ago, though, I realized that I was putting undue stress on my own heart trying to accommodate everyone. With high blood pressure in tow, I realized I was not willing to have one-sided relationships anymore. Those relationships that I do ALL the giving and the other does ALL the taking. That kind of interaction is not a REAL friendship, and ultimately will cause resentment and bitterness. Not only should we do things for each other, we need to do things for each other. This is part of the good relationship philosophy.
Giving doesn't always correlate with desperate need. We may feel the need to help others who don't seem to have a REAL need because they are always distressed. For some, we feel like we should just "be there". But if there is no specific need, let it go. We have to learn to do this. And, if that person is not reciprocating, we need to let go of the sadness of giving up with that lopsided relationship.
Giving is good in a relationship if it is a two-sided street.
This Week's Meditation:
Teach me to "not get involved in one-sided relationships."
Help me to meditate: I know that I am worth receiving.
Teach me to be patient and realize I can't do it all.
Remind me that I need your help first.
Meditate on this for several minutes a day. Allow various thoughts to come into your mind. And realize God has you in his arms always.