Several weeks ago a friend called me to complain about how tired she was of being mistreated by others. After telling me her story, I realized instantly what the problem was.
My friend was dodging her ex-roommate because she owed her money and had no means of paying her back anytime soon. We’ll call my friend Jane for the sake of anonymity. Jane kept saying she wanted to talk to her ex-roommate, but felt that it wasn’t the right time. She was embarrassed because she still didn’t have the money she owed her friend and was more comfortable staying away until she could repay her.
My advice to Jane was pretty simple. I told her to be a woman and
face the issue head on. More importantly, Jane calls herself a
Christian, so I told her to do what a Christian should do. First apologize for dodging her friend. Then, be honest about where she stood financially and the fact that she had no idea when she would be able to repay her debt. At that point, the ball would no longer be in her court. It would be up to her friend to either accept or refuse her apology, but the least Jane could do is be the Christian woman she claims to be and admit what’s really going on.
Jane’s second issue was with two other young ladies that weren’t there to assist her when she needed some help moving. If you guessed that she was probably there to help them, you would be right. Both young ladies called on Jane in their time of need and she went running to their aid. But this time, when it was her turn, neither of them were available. You’re probably thinking, “Poor girl…” Not at all, no sympathy from me.
My advice to Jane was that she examine her motives in the future. I could hear the anger in her voice as she explained her side of the story but it all boiled down to one thing, selfishness. I asked her why she helped the other girls move and she said because she knew she’d be moving and would need the favor returned in addition to the fact that no one else was there to help these young ladies in their time of need. Although the latter reason sounds noble, I have to question whether Jane’s heart was really in it based on the anger she expressed at the two of them not being there for her when she needed them.
Simply put, we need to check our motives before we volunteer to do things for others, whether it’s a friend, family member or stranger. If there’s always something in it for you, that’s called selfishness in it’s rarest form and it will catch up to you.
If Jane’s motives had been pure when she helped these young ladies, then she wouldn’t have given them the cold shoulder after they didn’t show up to help her move. I understand being angry at having to find help at the last minute etc… The bottom line is; we should do what we do out of love for our fellow man- because we want to, or because the spirit of God tells us to.
I told my girlfriend that in addition to checking her motives, she needed to stop calling everyone friend after she had only held a conversation with them for five minutes and that her expectation needed to be in God and not man. Our “good” deeds should be done out of the abundance of our heart, which should be toward God. In the end, our reward comes from Him.