You Can’t Pour From An Empty Cup

#TreasuredTruth #141Of366 #RawderKidulaKedaha

Where do we draw the line between selfishness and loving oneself? That is the question I would like us to address today. My husband keeps telling me to take care of myself first before I take care of everyone else. He often tells that I can’t give what I don’t have. For a long time I did not understand him. I believed in giving my all, serving others and serving God: Going an extra mile to give my time, my resources and my counsel to people. Well, slowly but surely, I leant the lesson. I got to a point where everyone else was getting a piece of me expect me. I had time for everyone else, couldn’t say no, especially to ministry work, but I was suffering, I wasn’t taking care of myself. By the time I realized it, I couldn’t give anymore. I was tired, weary and empty.

This is the truth, you cannot help everyone. No human being can sort every marriage, every household and every child in need. No matter how heavy the burden is in your heart, there’s a particular portion for you. I used to say that one day I will build a big house and make it a home for all the poor kids in Kenya, the truth is, it would not be possible. If a number of people built houses, then we would be next to possible, but some families would not release their children. So, we should do what we can do with what we have and pray that others arise and play their part as well. We need to clearly define our place and God’s place. As long as we are doing what God has commanded us to do, we have nothing to prove to the world.

Paul tells Timothy to take care of himself. ‘Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.’ (1 Timothy 5:23) Timothy would not be effective in ministry if he was frequently ill; he needed to take care of his health. That is not being selfish, in fact it would enable him to serve better. We are told to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. (Mark 12:31) It is very hard to love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself, yes, for you to put your neigbour first, you must come first. It’s only when you allow your cup to be filled that you can fill the cup of others. If your cup is empty, you can’t give anything away. It is okay to love yourself, don’t feel guilty about taking care of yourself. You are only getting ready to serve others better.

Even Jesus tended to his own needs. Throughout the gospels, we see Jesus taking care of himself, when He wanted time alone, He separated Himself. We even see him eating in many occasions. How much more do we need to take care of ourselves for a more effective ministry? No preacher can effectively preach with an empty heart, one has to go back to the source often for refreshing. One has to be filled daily, that is taking care of oneself, in that way, the preaching is more effective.

If you are tired, please get some rest, if you are hungry, please get some food. If you feel sick, please get some medical attention. Yes people need you, but they need you alive. Go love yourself.


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