Question:

I was baptized when I was 16 years old. I am now in my twenties. I've always had a heart for people, and I love helping people. I feel like I was put her to help others, but my problem is: I don't like the feeling of people not giving and helping me as fast as I would help them. Sometimes I feel cursed being so helpful. Over the years I strayed back and forth from the church. I've done a lot of things I'm not proud of. I even wondered if I fell from grace, but I'm currently in the process of trying to make a complete change, so I can live for Christ. I just wanted to know if I'm on the right track and is it too late for me to try? I know the Bible says God will bring back the lost -- well, those who seek him after falling away.


Answer:

The world is not a kind place, it is not a place where the majority are good people. It is a place where they are overly selfish. We need to be careful about our expectation of those who are of the world. "The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God," They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice; There is no one who does good. God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there is anyone who understands, Who seeks after God. Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one" (Psalm 53:1-3).

People follow their own desires when they do not follow God (Ephesians 2:1-3). We need to look at your motivation and reasons of why you are doing these "kind" acts for other people. From what you wrote it is because you want to be paid back by people for your good deeds. When Jesus sent out the disciples to preach and gave them power to heal, cast out demons, etc. He stated, "Freely you received, freely give" (Matthew 10:7-8). The disciples could take no credit for their good deeds because it was by Jesus they were even able to do anything. In contrast, a sinner does good deeds expecting something in return because it is to his benefit. "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount" (Luke 6:32-34).

What a Christian does is show mercy and kindness to everyone, even to his enemies, expecting nothing in return because God has done the same for us. "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6:35-36).

Your expectations are set too high. Our only expectation should be our reward with our heavenly Father with His approval and mercy. God gave us Jesus Christ as our sacrifice for our sins, it was freely given to us by Jesus. "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father" (John 10:17-18). Therefore, God's salvation is described as a gift because there is nothing we can do to earn salvation and Jesus willing laid it down with no expectation of receiving anything in return from mankind to pay Him back. "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

I do understand your struggle. Most of my life I have done many things for people and quite often those in the world seems to be ungrateful for the help that has been given. It can be discouraging and even overwhelming at times. But God will be pleased with you if you first seek His kingdom and righteousness and God will take care of your needs (Matthew 6:32-33).

You base your dedication to God by how people treat you. But think about what we just talked about. God has given His Son to die for you and you fell away. Not only did you show you were ungrateful, but disrespected Jesus' gift of salvation to you. But unlike you or I, God realizes we fall at times. If we choose to repent, He is willing to forgive us. "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:8-9). Forgiveness is always right there waiting, if we are willing to turn from our sinful ways. I want you to realize this and do a 180 away from your sinful lifestyle (repent), ask God for forgiveness, and start looking to Him for how you should be pleasing to your Heavenly Father and not your own desires.

I have a task for you!  Find a church that is wanting to follow God. Let us know the area you live in and we can help you with that. Second, once you found a faithful church I want to you to follow what Paul says, "So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith" (Galatians 6:10). Notice the wording that I put in bold. I want you to start doing good to those within the body of Christ first. This will build a good foundation of relationships with other Christians who will help you in times of need, and give you opportunity to learn from them also (Ephesians 4:15-16). Once you mature a little, then move on to those who are outside of the faith, realizing your brothers and sisters in Christ will appreciate you, but you also have the same task as the disciples did: since you freely received Christ's gift, so you must also freely give the message to those who are lost.

by Alan Feaster