I recently spent some time thinking about this..."What good does it do to invest in people and love them unconditionally when in the end it doesn't matter what you've done with them and for them, you still get trashed for non-legitimate complaints?"
Pretty harsh, huh? But seriously, if you've been in the ministry any time at all you've experienced this. Many of you know exactly what I'm talking about. The young musician that you invested in and yet they were angry with you because you were just too hard on them. The youth pastor who "just couldn't handle the pressure" and ran home to mommy. An up & coming leader in your group gets led astray and suddenly sees you as the enemy. The list could go on & on...
The funny thing is, for the most part, we are innocent. No we're not perfect, but our heart was genuine in our correction and guidance. We truly loved them and overlooked they're faults, because "Hey, who's perfect?" And besides that, we could see their potential, even through all the junk. You might say we could see the diamond through all the coal! Even in spite of the coal, we continued to love them and attempted to motivate them in their walk with the Lord.
And then the betrayal comes. They quit church, they cause dissension in the members, they avoid you like the plague. And talking to you about it? No way that will ever happen, you're the enemy! You sit back and wonder, "What happened? Where did I go wrong?"
This is what I've been pondering, after all this, is it really worth it? Wouldn't it just be easier to distance yourself and not risk the pain? Why bother investing in people at all, you just end up getting burned regardless of what you do?
Can you hear the negative words? Are grasping on to the gloom and doom of this thought process? You see, it doesn't really matter whether or not we receive love back, we still must choose to give it. It doesn't matter if we never see that person become the shining diamond that we could see, it only matters that we did the best we could do with what God has given us. We must choose to invest in our people regardless of what's in it for us. Even if in the end we lose it all. Like Job we must serve God regardless of the circumstances around us. And like Jesus, knowing what our fate may be, we still choose God's will and not our own.
Sometimes it may feel like we are walking alone on this path, but Jesus is always with us. He will never leave us or forsake us.