“For it is better, if the will of God be so,
that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” I Peter 3:17
Showing hospitality to others can be exhausting, especially when our efforts are rejected or aren’t appreciated or reciprocated. It hurts to be discouraged, disrespected, or discounted while extending the hand of kindness to people in need. It’s also hard to encourage people who dishearten us. The thing is, mean or troubled people will discourage and dishearten us even when we don’t offer our helpful services. The question is, would we rather be discouraged while doing good things to care and encourage others, or would we rather be discouraged when doing nothing?
That’s a tough question and a matter of personal perspective. God wants us to be kind and hospitable, but sometimes people offend or hurt us so badly we want to quit. At other times, they make us want to try harder.
Usually, I want to do the right thing regardless of what other people do. But often, my spiritual, physical, mental or emotional energy is drained and left depleted after experiencing rejection or disrespect. It’s then that I want to withdraw and cease my efforts. Staying generous and giving amidst suffering is a difficult task.
Gratefully, God gives us strength to endure. That’s how we’re able to keep doing the right things when we receive evil responses or no response at all. Here are some steps I’ve found helpful:
Don’t Be Deterred
What we do “for” others is more important than what others do “to” us. I find great freedom in that truth. Remembering that my enemies or opponents can’t stop me from being a kind, forgiving, or loving person gives me a renewed strength and confidence that helps me rise above their evil words and actions.
We can only do what we can do. Our efforts may fail or fall flat; however, we need not be deterred by bad experiences or behaviors. We can continue to be a better person and do right regardless of others’ attitudes.
Don’t Expect a Response
Not everyone is ready for or wants our help or hospitality. Expect that and don’t expect anything in return. False expectations will deter you from your heartfelt purposes. Buckle up and do it from your heart—no strings attached.
Find what works best for you and the person you want to reach. There are many ways to show kindness:
- Spending quality time
- Sharing Scripture or Bible Studies
- Putting feet to your prayers
- Extending invitations to dinners, events or activities
- Making phone calls
- Sending encouraging cards, texts or emails
- Posting uplifting words on social media
- Taking food or flowers
- Giving homemade gifts
- Visiting people who are shut-in
- Joining in projects or crafts
The list goes on. With a little creativity and minimal costs you can make someone’s day a little brighter.
Don’t Give Up
A simple gesture goes a long way and it’s nice to get a reply. But it’s okay if you don’t get a response. Don’t quit. Sometimes God can use our sincere efforts to help soften a hardened heart in a quiet, unknown way.
“For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may
put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness,
but as the servants of God.” I Peter 2:15-16
Bring It Home
Are you feeling a little weary in your well doing?
What inspires you to keep going?
Praying for you as we grow together,