I work in an educational institution. I find it irksome and tedious coping with the slow, unresponsive students. Moreover, dealing with their demanding parents is irritating and exasperating. It is difficult for me to find another job. I need help to cope as I am becoming more and more frustrated.
Recently I read Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan.
I wondered why the Samaritan, a traditional enemy of the Jews, would go to great lengths and risk dangers to help the victim. The key lies in this sentence: “he had compassion on him” (Luke 10:33). It hit me that compassion would turn a duty into a joy, an unbearable burden into a willing service, drudgery into delight.
In your case, compassion for your students and their parents would definitely change your perspective. But what if you don’t have compassion? Despair not, because you can ask for supernatural compassion from “your Father in heaven who gives good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)
Let me share my experience of receiving a supernatural gift of generosity.
Before our mission trip to Cambodia, I reminded our team that unity and harmony among us was most important if we desired God’s blessings (Psalm 133:1-3). One night, my husband Tek was on Skype discussing with a team member about a request from our Cambodian host. He wanted us to pay more than what had already been agreed.
As I listened to them talking I got more and more upset. Angry thoughts filled my mind:
“we already have to pay our own expenses to go to help them… we also agreed to pay for their expenses… now they want us to pay extra for tea breaks and snacks… this continuous ‘give me’ mentality is too much!”
Finally I heard Tek say, “Yes, eventually we will have to teach them about helping themselves but first we have to be generous.” Then without discussing with me, he offered, “Goldie and I will top it up if there is not enough.”
I was fuming! I certainly didn’t agree and resentment was rising within me.
Compassion for others can turn a duty into a joy, an unbearable burden into a willing service, drudgery into delight. If we are willing, God can change us.
Suddenly I realised this disunity and disagreement was exactly what I myself had warned others against. And it was between my husband and me! It was happening even before we embarked on the mission trip! Realising this I begged God for a change of heart and mind. “God, I can’t do it myself. You have to give me the gift of generosity and willingness supernaturally.”
And He did. By the end of their call, I was finally able to say to Tek, “I agree with you, let’s do it.” Peace filled my heart and mind. God not only gave me His gift of generosity for Cambodia, He also made me unusually generous to others – relatives, friends, servants.
If we are willing, God can change us. He promised: “it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians. 2:13) So ask God for supernatural compassion (or whatever you need) so that your job will become a joy.
That evening a friend invited us for dinner. After the meal, he took Tek aside and handed him two stacks of money, saying, “This is for Cambodia”. There were so many RM50 bills that it took both of us counting several times before we knew how much there was. That weekend we spoke in a church and were given RM1000 for Cambodia. God does what He promises: He is no man’s debtor and He blessed us when I was willing to be generous to others.
* All names have been changed.
Do you have an issue you need advice on? Write to Dear Goldie at firstname.lastname@example.org for her godly counsel. Selected questions may be featured in this column. If you leave an email address, you will have your question answered, whether it’s published or not.