Saturday, February 11, 2012

For Granted

I had been super busy with lots on my plate. I was loving studying for my bookkeeping qualification, almost managing to keep a tidy house most of the time, had been cooking a few good meals each week (as opposed to the kids eating breakfast cereal for dinner), enjoying work as a bookkeeper for a few hours a week, and getting the kids to school on time, amongst other things. {that may have been the only week I could actually write all those things!}

I had also had quite a few opportunities to help people. Nothing life changing and no super accomplishments, and they hadn't even taken much of my time or effort. A friend was concerned that I might be doing too much and said "Make sure you don't get taken for granted".

I am grateful for the concern, but I think I might dare to ponder the question of whether we are in fact MEANT to be taken for granted?

One definition says to take for granted means that you fail to appreciate the value of a person. A literal translation might be, 'to be used for free, without receiving anything in return.'

But the Bible says "If you love only those who love you, what reward do you have?" (Matthew 5:45) and The Message Bible puts it this way:

"Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you dont make a performance out of it. It might be good theatre, but the God who made you wont be applauding. When you do something for someone else, dont call attention to yourself...When you help someone out, dont think about how it looks. Just do it - quiety and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out." Matthew 6:1-3

And Jesus experienced the epitome of being taken for granted - he came to die for the sins of people and they ridiculed and killed him with thieves and murderers.

I have heard it said "God wouldn't want me to feel like I'm taken forgranted". I beg to differ.

God doesn't want you to feel resentment for the things you are doing,
but he may want you to keep doing them!
He doesn't want you to stress out,
but He may still ask you to give that last bit of time to help someone else,
that last bit of money you had put aside, or that last bit of effort in a relationship.

He will give you everything you need when you are serving Him. If you are doing it for Him, you have His appreciation, encouragement and praise.
I know it wears you out being taken forgranted. But be encouraged - "for it is God who works IN you to will and to act according to His good purpose." (Phil 4:8) Did you catch that... he gives you the desire and the ability to do what He has called you to do. And He wont be taking your service for Him for granted.

Having said that, if you see someone faithfully serving, thank them for their service for God. God might send his appreciation, encouragement or praise through you!

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Sunday, February 5, 2012


I'm trying to work out the science of making excercise not seem so hard. One of my problems, apart from procrastination, is the hills. They just seem to take so long to overcome.

I had worked out that if I look straight ahead, the hill seems longer because I am always focusing on how far I have to go. So I had been keeping my head down, just looking a couple of meters in front at a time, hoping to suprise myself by ending up at the top of the hill before I knew it. But I found out two things this week which helped me nail my hill.

Yesterday I went walking with a friend, and I didnt even notice my hill cause we were chatting! (except we had to slow the chatting down in order to breathe)

And today I noticed that if I look UP, it also seems to take way less effort, and is much more pleasant scenery to look at than the concrete slabs I see when looking down.

I think I'm going to try the same tactics in life. Walking through life with a friend makes life seem less hard, and looking up to a Friend definitely lightens the step and makes the scenery much more enjoyable.

Jesus came to earth, lived, died and rose again so that the One you look up to, could also be the One who walks beside you. Ill be chatting a bit more to Him next time I go for a walk. We'll tackle the hills together.

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