I Dislike Crowds
You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11
Long ago, I realized that I don’t like large parties or huge social gatherings. I’m not good at small talk, networking, or mingling, and big events suck the life out of me, leaving me exhausted. I’m not sure if I’d say that I dread things like galas, but when we receive an invitation to one, I begin working on reasons to not attend. I don’t think I’m antisocial. I like people. I just like them in small numbers, one or two at a time. My kids tease that I only have just one friend, which isn’t entirely true. I’m friendly with a lot of people, but I’m only close with a handful. Time with close friends recharges me, while time in a crowd wipes me out.
It won’t be the exact same for you, but you likely know what energizes you and what drains you. For some, exercise is your escape, for others, going to the gym sounds awful. Whatever it is, you probably know what builds you up and what tears you down.
In today’s passage, Paul spoke of authentic ministry and how God will fill us in every way as we serve and give to others. Before I found recovery, I occasionally attempted to do things for God, which I found exhausting. Now, I must say that I find interacting with others about my faith and recovery to be fulfilling. Knowing myself though, I still prefer to keep my people groups small so I don’t get overwhelmed.
Almost every week, someone calls me up, asking me to meet for a cup of coffee to talk about life. I may not always feel like it at the time, but I almost always say yes. I’ve learned that I’m not just doing it for them. I’m doing it for me as well. I know that to continue to grow, I must share my recovery with those seeking it. It may look like I’m giving of myself to help others, but honestly, helping others is always at least a little bit selfish because I get something out of it too.
As Christians, we must be transformed by God as we abandon our way to follow his. We should also know what drains us and what energizes us. Then, we should use those things that recharge us to reach out, pouring into the lives of others. As we do, we’ll find that God supernaturally fills us with the joy and energy we need to find our purpose and meaning in obeying him, loving and giving to those around us.