“For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.”
I don’t know about you, but living in the churned-up wake of abuse left me wiped out. I continually felt as though I didn’t have much to give. And the process of recovering from the abuse was no picnic, either.
Despite the fact that I’ve taught Sunday School classes, led women, written and directed Easter plays, raised children, led a youth choir, sung on worship teams, and worked in the nursery, I didn’t feel I had much to give to God.
When I was in high school, I came across this little saying in Spanish and wrote it down in my math notebook because of the pathos it spoke to my tired, adolescent heart: “No tengo mas que darte.” (I don’t have any more to give you.) Even back then I felt wrung out and empty. Imagine what I felt when I was balancing a husband, children, and church responsibilities. No, you don’t have to imagine. You know!
So this verse was a delight to find. Paul is actually writing about money, but the principle is the same with anything I want to give God. He is not expecting from me what I cannot give Him. And He isn’t expecting anything else from you either.
Do you feel inadequate? Do you see other women doing more than you? Do you hear, “Do more. Do more. Do more!” from the pulpit every Sunday morning? Do you feel expectations put on you by other people to accomplish more?
If you were abused as child or a teen, you were expected to fulfill a more adult role both with your body and with your emotions. Now you are used up to living up to other people’s high expectations. You are used to stepping up and filling in the gap because in a perverse way, someone expected it from you as a child, and you didn’t know any better than to try to fill it. If it was expected of you, you assumed that you were capable of doing it. But those were wrong expectations. They were inappropriate for your age and your maturity and your relationship with the person. Certain people kept demanding things of you that you were incapable of giving, but you gave anyway.
And you are still trying to give more than you should or are able to. You are still trying to meet needs that are not any of your business. You are still trying to live up to someone else’s expectations of you. Dear sister, let me tell you that if God is not asking that thing of you, it is not required of you. If it is not He who is saying, “Please do this,” it is not your job. You are not responsible for it.
Your abuser grabbed what he could from you and graded you according to what you didn’t have. God doesn’t do that. He is glad for the gift you give Him out of what you have, no matter how little you think it is, for to Him it is acceptable if you give it willingly.
This a page from the book When God Roared. Each page will be published, one per day, on this website. We pray that God uses it mightily in your life to swaddle you in His love and heal your precious heart.