So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less? Be that as it may, I have not been a burden to you.
Thoughts for Today:Sometimes it seems like the less we put out the more we get back -- and vice versa -- the more we put out the less we get back. Why is it with some people that an attitude of arrogance and self-importance produces a fan club, yet generosity and humility generates less respect, love, and attention? It's a challenging part of human nature and apparently was one of the issues Paul needed to address in Corinth.
There will always be plenty of people who don't appreciate or even recognize the value of our efforts in ministry. It's one of the main reasons pastors and others involved in serving become offended, discouraged, and sometimes quit. However, the selfless and serving attitude that Paul displays in our passage today is the foundation of every successful pastoral effort -- regardless of whether or not people respond positively. Unfortunately, if those involved in ministry are looking for everyone to appreciate their efforts and value them personally, they will be sorely disappointed. (2 Timothy 3:11: "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.")
Questions to Ponder:Have your efforts in ministry been appreciated by those you've served? If your answer is "yes", consider yourself fortunate, because more often than not, whatever effort we expend for the benefit of others will yield an eternal reward rather than one of an earthly nature. If you've become discouraged or disappointed in ministry will you once again reconnect? In what areas is the Lord calling for you to join Him in serving?