In the midst of “doing good unto others,” the feelings of gratitude, joy, and shared humanity that we experience remind us we are all God’s children, and we are in this thing called life together. Getting involved in efforts that help others often provides more in return than what we give; volunteering, donating, or other forms of giving just plain feel good. If you’ve experienced this natural high, you know: Lifting others up in Jesus’ name is addictive!
Beyond the “good feels” we immediately receive when we do anything to help others in need, scripture tells us that it matters. Matthew 25:34-40 says: “Then the King will say to those on His right, 'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
"The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
But what about those seasons when life circumstances have worn us down — when we don’t feel like we have anything to give? What about when our spirits (or bank accounts) are low, and doing unto ourselves feels like the most we can manage? God loves a cheerful giver, but the truth is he’ll take our begrudging efforts to help, too. Beyond the perspective we gain from recognizing someone else’s need or suffering, the act of helping to bear another’s burdens is a balm for our own soul, too.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9
When you find yourself in a challenging season, that may be the time when you most need to give. Spending time with a community or person in need as an act of service helps shift our focus from “Woe is me…” to “Whoa! Look at me! I made a difference.” We can’t control every circumstance, and we can’t avoid every challenge. But we have an incredible choice to impact and empower those around us in Jesus’ name!
5 Ways to Give When You’re Feeling Life’s Lows
- Start small. If you are feeling frustrated about work or life or relationships, you may not be in the right place to plan a six-month mission to Africa! You don’t have to hop on a plane to do good: donate blood; ask your pastor to connect you with a lonely senior for a lunch date or a teen who could use a listening ear; volunteer for the nursery on just one Sunday or for story hour at the local library; or spend just one shift at a soup kitchen.
- Do something outside your comfort zone. Sometimes an “out there” act of giving or service can snap us out of a spiritual rut and wake us up to new possibilities.
- Find a partner. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says: “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Don’t go it alone! Find someone whose company you enjoy and ask them to join you in doing good.
- Take a talent inventory. God created you, and there is not another person with your unique mix of talents, intelligence, inner beauty and YOU-ness! What are you good at, and what do you love? Who could benefit from your unique skills or talents? A mentoring relationship or volunteer opportunity that calls upon these skills is a wonderful way to thank God for the gifts he has given you.
- Pray for the right opportunity. God has placed a neighbor or organization near you, or maybe even directly in your path, who needs your unique talents or gifts. Ask Him for eyes to see who you might bless.
To keep our hearts and minds mission-focused and share the blessings God has provided us, we like to mix it up here at Kerusso. Here are a few organizations we’ve been involved with recently—and the last one relies on your help so we can do even more:
When kids are hungry or lack the basic necessities like food, clothing, or shoes, participating fully in the classroom is tough. This local chapter of the national Bright Futures USA organization works quickly to provide students with the basics they need so they can succeed in the classroom instead of worrying about unmet needs. This group as
ks mentors and donors not just for small treasures such as shoes, socks, clothing, and snacks, but also for time and talent to foster the growth of local kids.
Based in New York City and New Jersey, God uses New City Kids to invite young people to find their purpose in life and realize they have a calling—even in the midst of a dark and negative environment.
For a limited time, when any Kerusso T-shirt is purchased, two T-shirts are donated to World Vision for their disaster relief and community service programs. World Vision partners with children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice, and they do it in Jesus’ name.
However you choose to “do more” in your own community, we encourage you to open your eyes, friend. Look around!
You might be in a rut, in a fog, in a “maybe later” kind of mood, but God can use your time, talent, and treasure right now to do even more.
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About the featured (top) photo: This year, the theme for New City Kids is “Out of Darkness,” from 1 Peter 2:9. God uses New City Kids to invite young people to find their purpose in life and realize that they have a calling even in their dark and negative environment. New City Kids youngsters will perform fundraising concerts four times in the NYC/New Jersey area on March 26 and 30 and April 1, and once in Grand Rapids, Mich., on April 20.
About the second (smaller) photo: World Vision each year helps millions of disaster survivors and refugees, transforms children's lives, provides clean water to millions and serves hundreds of communities around the world. For a limited time, for every single Kerusso T-shirt purchased online, two T-shirts will be donated to World Vision to give to men, women, and children in need around the globe. Learn more here!