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The Gift.

17 Dec
found this beautiful picture on the internet...

found this beautiful picture on the internet…

Do you sometimes feel that people use you? You seem to give and give to a particular person, friend or family member, but when you need something that person is never there for you? They never check in on you. How about when you are in a conversation and it is dominated by their issues and ‘you’ never come up; even though you have issues too? You are often a good ‘go-to’ person, but it is never reciprocated. You are there to help, to lend, to listen, to cheer up, or just there, but it feels one sided.

Many of us become frustrated, irritated and resentful in these scenarios. Friendships fall off and relationships often become strained. People feel used, abused, misused and plain old taken for granted. This topic has been in my spirit for a little over two months now and I have been dragging to write on it. As I was mulling it over weeks ago, I came across an analogy that the late Dr. Myles Munroe used.

He was giving a seminar and he said that he had to learn and understand that the reason people came was to partake of the gift he had to offer. He likened it to an apple tree. The gift of the apple tree is the apple itself. People go to the tree to pick and eat apples. They don’t care whether the tree will bear more apples or not. They don’t care about the leaves, the limbs, the roots or anything else about the tree. The tree on the other hand is not discriminating who gets apples nor is it worried about keeping apples for itself (eating its own fruit); it serves its gift: apples.

There are those who take from us what we serve. Things like advice, counsel, companionship, loyalty, unconditional love, knowledge and a plethora of things. It is a mistake for us to believe that we will also receive, from them, what we gave them. Many times that comes from an entirely different source. Just like God sends the rain and the sun to nourish the apple tree. And perhaps a gardener prunes the branches and takes care of the other areas of the tree, so He does for us. God replenishes us and there are those whom we ‘get’ from. We must quickly identify who these people are in our lives. And more times than not, we don’t ‘give’ to them. It is such a beautiful interdependent circle, and in my opinion it keeps us humble to be able to serve others with our gifts; because someone in turn serves us. People pick apples off of my tree and I pick mangoes off of someone else’s 🙂 (I love mangoes!)

Anyway don’t let me ramble.

A few years ago a friend ditched me when I needed her. I was so hurt, because if I am nothing else, I strive to be a loyal friend. God told me that I put her in the wrong bucket and she couldn’t give me what I needed in a friend. That hurt because I truly loved her and wanted her to be my friend; the kind that I was to her. Many of us find ourselves in this situation or similar ones. Our frustrations might be justified, but that person might not be capable of giving us what we need. Can we accept that?

These are my thoughts on this cold Wednesday 🙂

I encourage you not to be weary in doing well to others… (Galatians 6:9).

Serve others what you have been blessed to serve, we each are relying on the other’s gift.

Blessings

JC

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7 Comments

Posted by on December 17, 2014 in Daily Inspiration

 

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7 responses to “The Gift.

  1. totsymae1011

    December 17, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    I don’t particularly have friends like that. i have had them though. Opposites attract in friendships too, you givers often attract takers and vice versa ’cause givers like to give and they do so without thinking of getting anything in return. For me, I just won’t be a doormat. It’s not even a conversation one can have with a taker. They just don’t get it. And that’s okay but they’re gonna have to take from other folk. Apples have a season for growing. The giving season has to come to an end too. Yes, I get back from other places but these takers are so draining on the spirit, wallet, mind, etc. For example, I had a taker who was on my cell plan block my calls, Ain’t that about nothing?

     
    • JC

      December 18, 2014 at 12:01 am

      Ha, wow. You are so right and especially about not even having the conversation. I have learned over time that my frustration comes in the gap between expectation and reality. No expectation, or lowering my expectation makes a big difference. Now, I really seek to know why someone is in my life or why I’m in their life.
      You are right about not being a doormat, we each have to have some sort of boundary or yes, people will bleed you dry. But for the most part I really think the issues come between our expectation and the reality.
      Thanks for the comment Totsymae 🙂
      Blessings
      JC

       
  2. Lynnette Evans

    December 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    This topic is very dear to my heart and part of my struggle. While it is true you shouldn’t have expectations of people it is a hard pill to swallow. I am so very fortunate that God has placed a few good God fearing, loving people in my life. People that require nothing from me and are only concerned about my well being. This is foreign to me and I am learning to receive what they have to offer with little resistance. I had a revelation just this week that I have to let people be who they are and just leave them in God’s capable hands.

     
    • JC

      December 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      Hi Lynette 🙂 🙂

      It’s not really that we shouldn’t have expectations of people, many times people continuously show us who they are and we choose NOT to believe them. There are some people in our lives who are consistently unreliable for as long as we have known them, but we still get frustrated with them, even though they have clearly shown who they are. The converse is also true, there are some people who have been consistently reliable for as long as we have known them. To me it’s a blessing to have some of both, even though the latter are usually in the minority, but it really makes us appreciate others.
      It hurts a lot sometimes but I like to think that God fills in the gaps 🙂

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Blessings
      JC

       
  3. nopew

    December 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    You open a big topic here. How do we serve as a channel of grace from God, but at the same time protect ourselves reasonably? I do not attempt a connection with Judas (Jesus sent him away). People who only stay in touch when I (we) get in touch, well, eventually they fade away. The rare friends who are true friends we cling to the best we can. Then there’s a whole lot of acquaintances, friendly, but who always seem unable to connect deeply. So I just act friendly as well, with as little judgment as I am able to let God be through me. Complicated. When I was 19 an elder advised me to put my energy into those who want to be connected, not on those who will bail at the first trouble. It seemed harsh, but time has proven it to be good advice, and healthy.
    By the way, good to hear from you again!
    Peace

     
  4. JC

    January 16, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Hi, I missed responding to this 😉

    You know I read a book last year called ‘The People Factor’ by Van Moody. He was pointing out how most of us don’t struggle with our vertical relationship (with God) as much as we struggle with our horizontal relationships (with people). Anyway he talked about being very conscious about how we choose people around us. Like you mention, being mindful where we invest our ‘energy’. Although on a broader ministry sense, when we serve our ‘gifts’ we don’t always get to pick or choose.

    Blessings 🙂
    JC

     
  5. journeyofjoy

    January 23, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    What a GREAT analogy!!!! I saw exactly where I am the Apple tree and relationships where I was the one simply coming for nourishing. Illustrations are such a powerful learning tool. I got it! Like to my bones got it. Thank you so much!

    And thank you also for your very genuine friendship to JC!

    North Carolina is a blessed state to have you!! 🙂

    Marlene

     

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