Feeling the sting of betrayal, my heart was in shambles.
Unreciprocated kindness really stinks. And walking away with a broken heart after investing so much in another person really stinks, too.
As I sat with my tears, I wanted to place all the blame on that other person. I wanted to quickly put a wall around my heart and never give again.
But deep down I knew that wasn’t the answer to my hurt.
Investing in others is life-giving. I believe that with all my heart. It gives meaning and purpose to our lives. But that doesn’t make it easy.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. –Mark 10:45 (NLT)
The word “investment” means there is a personal gain on the other end of action. I believe we often mistake our efforts as actions from which we will have a personal gain. That the transaction of investing and gaining are all about us.
But in reality, in God’s beautifully upside down design, the transaction is all about the other person. The investment for them and the gain in them. An investment that may pass from one to another long into the future.
We simply give out of a heart that longs to please our Father whose offerings never run dry. And we simply love out of His overflowing love.
As a byproduct of the investment, He gifts us with an ever expanding heart. He whittles away our selfishness and replaces it with loving kindness and generosity. And ultimately He peels away the pride that stops us from living free.
Our byproducts are in the moments we see a smile lighting up a face or in the moment someone can turn away and make a change or choice that benefits their quality of life.
Those into which we have invested may forget us, ignore us, or even betray us. But when a seed is planted through our act of kindness, God will bring it full circle. The benefit will be paid out. There is a good chance we may never know when or how that seed takes root. But that is irrelevant to our segment of the story. Where we can rest is in knowing God has it all covered for us.
I know my future holds more seasons of hurt and disappointment. But I also know I will not get stuck there. I won’t build up walls and turn away from love because I’ll have a reminder of God’s design.
I’ll know that counting on God is to count on the only One who can ever remain perfectly consistent in my life. I’ll remember that everything and everyone is unpredictable. But not Him.
He remains the same. Always.
So when your heart hurts and investing feels like too much, remember how to stay SAFE:
Search for a moment as small as a smile and let it have significance in your heart.
Assure yourself of God’s complete covering of the “how’s” and “when’s” of this situation.
Fill the hole in your heart with God’s uniquely perfect and unfailing kindness and love.
Engrave upon your mind and heart the truth of Christ. He is the only One who always remains the same.
As you head into your summer, keep these thoughts tucked somewhere safe but ready to use. Invest in others giving your children a witness to all God can do. Allow them to see and participate in the seed planting. And while you are doing so, talk with them. Help them understand God’s beautifully upside down transaction. One so contrary to society, yet so powerful because of Christ.
Notice the one along your path who needs a smile. An act of kindness or generosity. Notice to who it is God has called you in each moment, whether walking the beach or sitting on a park bench. Wake up wondering whose life you will have the opportunity to make a little better today.
Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Psalm 143:8
Dear Jesus, I thank You for being the One I can rest in because You have promised to remain the same forever. Loving others is an investment that means more than what I’m capable of envisioning from my one perspective in the here and now. But You know how far the investment travels. And You alone will make it have value. Help me to see who and where those investments are needed. Then keep me focused on You instead of myself. And, Lord, when I am faced with unkindness or rejection, I ask you to step in as my mental and emotional strength. Please keep my heart intact and continuing to love others through and onto the other side of hurt. In Your Holy Name I pray. Amen.
Lori is an encourager at heart. She has spent her life learning of the hope and victory available when we embrace our identity in Christ. Today, when she isn’t busy being a wife and Mom to her three children, she teaches, ministers, coaches, speaks, and writes to share that hope with others. Wherever you find yourself today - walking through the difficult, needing to get unstuck to follow your purpose, or simply experiencing a season of beautiful chaos, Lori’s blog found at www.lorischumaker.com is a place where you can get a virtual hug from someone who truly understands. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest