The other day, a family member told me I tend to enable the dysfunction in others. I recognize how naturally this empathetic curse can flow from me. Balancing a want to see others healed, with a need for more genuine compassion, I ask God to open my heart.
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1
The more His love takes root in me, the more ambitious I become to free others by it too. I find Him reminding me though, that everyone’s on a different point in their journey, and it’s not about me to always intercede in service. These times that I want to cure everyone with Jesus’ freedom doctrine, I’m reminded they may not be ready to digest that massive meal yet.
Times like these, I rest in Paul’s words, “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for solid food. In fact, you are still not ready, for you are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and dissension among you, are you not worldly?” (1 Corinthians 3:2-3).
Following prayers for more compassion, the gates of my heart swing open. I naively pour its contents over those reaching toward it in their agony. Like a fire hydrant, I shoot for their restored happiness, ensuring they might catch a glimpse of how special and worthy they are.
Soon, gold stars pridefully stamp across each individual’s account held in the files of my heart. I mistakenly take on His job in that field and remember that I’m called to be His servant, not sole proprietor.
The ones I pour into become imbalanced, where they start experiencing a deficiency of God’s nourishment for their wounds. There’s nothing that can replace the Father’s nurture to His children; no matter how full of the Holy Spirit the working servant is. Only God knows what they need; and how and when they need to receive it.
This imbalance, gone untreated by Him for too long, leads to injustice. What happens when children are granted every material item and convenient circumstance they ask for after so long? It’s the same chemical reaction that forms bacteria and mold on food left sitting out for days.
When other people or materials fill us up alone from God, our hearts spoil rotten. When we try to fill others up without God (as generous as we think we’re being), we’re spoiling them rotten.
With my heart’s gate doors remaining agape through the endeavor of pouring into others excessively, their poison starts contaminating my own waters. The ugliness of injustice fills the surrounding air in attempt to choke both of us.
In me, it’s poison of irrational disappointments: the other person can never repay my philanthropy to satisfy a flawed culture of equal-repayment expectations. In them, my remedies are inadequate, poison, masking as cures to substitute God’s living waters.
Let the wicked man forsake his own way and the unrighteous man his own thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion, and to our God, for He will freely pardon. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:7-8
“Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and FILLED with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.” (Joel 2:13)
Fervently pursue the Lord to recognize these onsets. He’s my only hope in pointing out these mistakes, guiding me to rebuke the enemy and make my escape. His throne proves faithful in waiting for my (everyone’s) recovery. I collapse at the steps of it, emptying out whatever’s left of my heart’s waters, begging for refreshment, for Him to refill me with His living, everlasting waters.
My Hero never fails to trade my old, tattered heart, for His pure, tender loving heart.
“But whoever drinks the water that I will give him will never become thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become a well of water for him, springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
This is the most comforting, peaceful heart transplant we’ll ever undergo, and can at any moment. One that, He created us to be purposed for constant appointment.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:9-10