Joyful Contribution.

Bury your sorrows in active service — contributing to other people’s joy. 

From Streams in the Desert.

Love does not envy…it rejoices with the truth.

I Corinthians 13:4b, 6 (NIV)

To be honest, when I’m struggling on any level, ’service to others’ isn’t a mantra that rises to the top and dominates my thoughts.

When the truth is that others have reached a level of success I’d like to reach, envy can skyrocket my thoughts light years from considering how to contribute to other people’s joy.

When the truth is that others have expendable income and can take trips I’d love to take, envy pokes at embers of discontent. Again, not pondering fun ideas to bring a smile to another.

When the truth is that others have what I wanted or think I deserve, envy does its “Garden of Eden’ routine and begins to lie about God’s immeasurable goodness. Not at all thinking about how I might fill someone else’s joy tank when I’ve let mine run dry.

Buried beneath a heap of concerns, my spiritual vision becomes cloudy, making it difficult to see the needs around me and to rejoice in the truth.

But…

Love does not envy…it rejoices with the truth. I Corinthians 13:6

While there’s value in my choice to avoid harming another with words or actions, it’s not enough. God calls me to blow out the candles of my pity party cake and proactively bring joy to others in real and tangible ways.

Contributing to other people’s joy – no matter the state of my own affairs — has looked like anything from the gift of a genuine, eye contact smile for the frazzled cashier ringing up my stuff or a mission trip to another country to wash dirty feet in the name of Jesus.

Contributing to other people’s joy is a holy directive that amasses great return on the investment.

Time well spent, as the familiar saying goes.

It’s wise for me to also remember this truth:  God is able to do (and does) immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20. 

Who needs you to bury your sorrows, squash envy, and remember the truth of God’s goodness and love so you can make a joyful contribution today?

8 Comments

  1. marilyn leach says:

    This was an excellent reminder, Mary. Thank you for the good words that inspire us. Cheers

  2. GREAT Post!
    Thanks for the reminder too…
    Good luck and God’s blessings
    PamT

  3. Margaret Eomurian says:

    Ouch!! Thanks for your honesty in sharing the truth! Not always welcome, but definitely needed.
    Margaret

    • Mary Felkins says:

      So easy to allow the heartache of difficult circumstances to blind me to the needs of others. Worse, to fuel apathy. Thanks for sharing, M

  4. Kelly says:

    It can be easy to look at what we don’t have instead of what we do. My mom always reminded me to count my blessings. Perhaps that attitude will help us keep our focus off ourself and on the Lord where it belongs.

    • Mary Felkins says:

      True, Kelly. Eyes roam to what we’re lacking far too often. Thanks for sharing your Mom’s wisdom here, too.

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