For many years my office was located in Downtown Miami. For those unfamiliar with Miami, the center of downtown is considered a relic from the past. Downtown is home to almost all local and federal government offices and institutions. During the day it’s active, but at night it becomes a ghost town.
During my more than a decade there, I witnessed the area’s economic ups and downs. There were times it seemed downtown would be revitalized, and then it would again cool off. Throughout the years, one thing remained constant, interacting with the homeless at almost every turn.
Initially, when I opened my office there, I was receptive and did my best to help the homeless. I created campaigns, provided meals, witnessed to them, and befriended a few. Unfortunately, I grew discouraged and tired over the years because when I looked at all my efforts, they seemed futile.
What affected me the most was noticing reoccurring dependency patterns making me feel used. What I mean by this is hearing the same stories from different people for the reasons they needed money. Later on, I heard them giving the same story to someone else and eventually using the money for everything but their purpose for the asking.
In time I grew calloused until early this year. While attending a leadership development program, one of the participants expressed my exact sentiments. As I shook my head in agreement with her, she then said something that convicted me. She recounted a conversation with her friend about the subject, saying, “I then told my friend how upset I was that they didn’t even say “Thank you,” to which she replied, “It’s not yours to give nor is it for your glory. We do this because God calls us to do so, and it all belongs to him.” “
Her statement pierced me deeply because I realized I had a prideful heart. I forgot the root of my kindness came from humility at a time when I had nothing. That was a time I was grateful to God for his blessings and mercy.
At that moment, I repented, asked for forgiveness, and requested a humble heart again. God answered this prayer by reminding me how I need him daily for spiritual and physical provision. What’s more, everything belongs to Him, and he never tires of providing for me.
Answer and Journal the Following
Read and meditate on Galatians 6:2-10 for yourself.
How do you help carry others’ burdens? Be real; be honest.
Pray and create a plan on how you will remind yourself of what God has done for you and how you will do the same for others Be specific.
Bonus: Share this with that fellow brother and have them hold you accountable.