If you’re not serving, you’re sucking.

Every heard the saying…if you’re busy rowing the boat, you won’t have time to rock the boat? I have seen this played out over and over and over. The people who tend to cause problems are usually the ones who aren’t doing any of the work. They want to just sit back and complain about how poorly you are doing the work, and they end up sucking the life out of you. Emotionally, physically and often spiritually. It’s never pleasant to be a part of.

We were designed to live for more than just ourselves. We were designed to serve. If we ever get to the point where we are so busy finding faults in the lives and ministries of people around us, we need to stop everything and declare a state of emergency. I am not trying to be over dramatic here. But there are far too many people who are joy-suckers instead of joy-givers. We can speak life into people, or we can suck them dry. And here’s the thing. If you’re not serving, your’e sucking. You just are. There is no middle ground. You can’t be Switzerland. You are either serving or you are draining people dry.

Basically, there are three types of people here:

1. The joy suckers. They constantly want to meet with you, talk to you, hang out with you, and it is always about themselves. They complain about their marriage, the church, the ministries in the church, their kids, their finances…you name it. They constantly need advice and help and when you leave from spending time with them you are wiped. Totally and completely wiped. They can not grow spiritually without you, and they are not doing what they were designed to do.

2. The secret-joy-suckers. These are the people who say they want to be your friend for you. They want to call you, talk to you, hang out with you and it is sometimes about them, but still sometimes about you. They don’t complain about everything with their lives and the church and their kids, but they do manage to point out the faults of people around them while making themselves look good because they are doing all the work, and they are serving. But here’s where they get you. When you don’t respond to them right away, the truth comes out. They were only looking for ways to serve and give to you if they got something in return. They are also serving, but keeping record of who is not there serving. They keep track of the joy suckers, which can actually be a drain to the joy givers. It’s not actually about you, or about serving, it’s about them…it’s just a big secret.

3. The joy givers. These are the kind of people you want to find and hold on to. They are the ones who don’t need you for their spiritual growth. They are growing with or without you. They are the ones who find the positive when you bring up the negative. They are the ones who are encouraging you to keep going with your ministry. And they don’t stop there. The joy givers find a way to be there with you in your ministry. These people speak life into weary souls and when you leave their presence you feel more alive. More refreshed. Ready to charge ahead in life.

What are you doing? What category do you fall into? Are you serving? Are you doing what you were designed to do? Or are you just being a joy-sucker? That is not what you were created to do. But if you are are in that category, it’s not to late to change teams. You just need to ask forgiveness for being selfish and move on over to the joy giver side.

Be a Joy giver. It’s the best way to go.

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