I’ve been very tired recently. Physically, yes, but more than that, I am weary within myself.
I’ve tried to do what is right and give of myself to the service and/or needs of others. (I think this is living the example Jesus showed us.) Recently, though, the result is that I feel tapped out, unable and unwilling to help anyone, almost to the point of “I just don’t care anymore.” A Bible verse from Galatians came to mind today, the one about not giving up in doing good because in due time is the harvest. As with any scripture, this verse can and will be interpreted in many ways, and I have chosen not to interpret, but rather embrace the simple instruction, “Don’t give up in doing good.”
Reading further in Matthew Henry’s commentary, I found this: “We are to bear one another’s burdens. So we shall fulfill the law of Christ. This obliges to mutual forbearance and compassion towards each other, agreeably to his example. It becomes us to bear one another’s burdens, as fellow-travellers. It is very common for a man to look upon himself as wiser and better than other men, and as fit to dictate to them. Such a one deceives himself; by pretending to what he has not, he puts a cheat upon himself, and sooner or later will find the sad effects. This will never gain esteem, either with God or men. Every one is advised to prove his own work. The better we know our own hearts and ways, the less shall we despise others, and the more be disposed to help them under infirmities and afflictions”
This part gave me pause: “It is very common for a man to look upon himself as wiser and better than other men, and as fit to dictate to them.” Oh, I hope I haven’t misunderstood my earnest desire to help someone, and instead have been seeing myself as “wiser and better than others.”
I think it is time for me to step back from my role as mentor and counselor and reassess why I do what I do. I’m not giving up, certainly, but maybe I need to rethink what drives me when I hold out a helping hand. Have I lost myself in service to others? Is my motivation to serve others, or is it to shore up an oft-teetering sense of self-esteem? Could it possibly be both? Do I overdo it? Am I not giving enough?
In the book of Mark, Jesus told his disciples to come away from the crowd to a quiet place and rest awhile. I shall do so.
Blessings, dear friends.