Saturday, January 7, 2012

Do It Anyway

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

I love this piece written by Mother Teresa. It speaks to my heart. Probably because I often feel like people are unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered ... that there are unfaithful people around me ... that there are deceivers and ungrateful people surrounding me ... that it doesn't matter how much I do, it's not enough. All of that is focused on me though (did you notice that?!). People are self-centered because they're not looking out for ME. People aren't faithful to ME. People are deceiving ME. People aren't grateful to ME. Each line of Mother Teresa's piece starts out that way, but the second line  is an encouragement to look outside of ourselves.

The best line? "In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." It's what it all comes back to in the first place -- Who I'm serving, why I'm doing what I'm doing, what the ultimate focus is to be. It's all about God. That's the beginning ... the middle ... and the end. Anything else is not enough.

It all comes down to this. Dealing with people is hurtful. They're not always nice. They are often stupid, without remorse, refusing to change. I can be the Judge -- weighing the evidence, finding them guilty, and walking away. And who on earth would blame me? People don't deserve mercy or grace when they're determined to continue doing wrong, right?! But where do I fit in this picture? Am I really the Judge (especially when I try to sit in that seat) or am I one of those people determined to continue doing wrong? Where would I be if God had refused to extend His grace and mercy to me? Like Mother Teresa says, He "did it anyway".

As He did for me, so I must do for others. Because He forgave, so do I. They don't deserve it, but neither did I. God does, though. He deserves my best. And the most amazing thing? When I look at people the way God does, I see their need ... I see their hurts ... I see their potential. It makes the "doing it anyway" a special blessing, because I'm serving those that He loves ... the ones that He's given me a love for as well. How can I do any less when I consider all that He's done for me?

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