Can you recall the first time you were taken for granted? Do you remember the last time you gave of your time, gifts, or support and not even receive a ‘thank you’ in return? Were you hurt? Did you say, “I’ll never do anything for anyone again!”? Is that you talking? Or is that your hurt.
It’s probably the latter.
I am a giver; have always been. I watched my mother give so much of herself that I truly believe the hurt was partly the reason she gave up on life. I recall my brother standing at the podium at her memorial service - he said, “She gave so much of herself. She gave, to a fault.” It has been 14 years since her passing and his words have stayed with me. I imagine his words resonated with me so strongly because I, too, have been hurt by people I have blessed.
Don’t allow others to change your character because they wronged you. No matter how they behave, you blessed someone in that moment.
I grew up seeing how happy my mother made everyone. And, in my search to be accepted and loved, I figured that giving all the time kept people liking me, and kept them happy. I couldn’t recognize hurt or ungratefulness, because I really didn’t know the difference in my young age. It wasn’t until I was about 22 that I realized I was feeling empty and hurt too often. I started examining myself. I worked on trying to understand why I was giving to people that I knew didn’t care about me. I wanted to understand why I felt so good inside giving to people - in general. After several therapy sessions, I discovered I was codependent. The great thing about this revelation was it allowed me to be myself (a giver) and not feel guilty about it, or worry about what reciprocity would follow from the receiver - usually there was none.
I can tell you that having a giving heart is not a curse, it is a gift. I learned how to focus on the gift and grace of God in my giving. I focused on His promise of never forsaking me, to lead my heart and desire to give. I don’t depend on man to validate my existence; I rely on God. I have grappled with giving at times, because I knew I didn’t have it to spare. However, every time I surrendered and gave anyway, God blessed me or my children.
I can tell you that having a giving heart is not a curse, it is a gift. I learned how to focus on the gift and grace of God in my giving.
I am not delusional; I often don’t have enough to buy a clue. But, I give anyway. We give because it’s the right thing to do. I give because we are blessed. I give because people are in need, and I have more than enough to share. But, most importantly, I give because God said so. It’s that simple. I survive in the hurtful world because of His grace. He keeps me and replenishes all that I give (not lose).
Have you ever tried to receive with a closed fist? Well, you can’t give in that stance either. I know that past hurts can be the catalyst to you not being so nice anymore. But, the truth is, the things you can are replaceable. No matter how ungrateful someone is, it is not your responsibility to change that person, only your response. Don’t allow others to change your character because they wronged you. No matter how they behave, you blessed someone in that moment. Your blessings will be returned - tenfold.
I encourage you to be true to you. Rest well and be the person God intended you to be. He has you covered and protected in all your good deeds. Enjoy the wealth of His grace and mercy - for no one can take that away from you. His reciprocity is definitely greater than that which you were expecting to be returned.