Meet Paul. Paul is a people pleaser. He wants to be loved by everyone. If you have a need, Paul will do everything to fill it.
Mrs. Swain stands there with her cup. There goes Paul to fill it.
Mr. Edwards stands there with a bucket. There goes Paul ready to fill it.
Most days Paul feels great about his service. Most days he looks around and feels a sense of accomplishment and pleasure.
Then there comes Joe. He never comes around with a cup or a bucket to be filled. Joe’s one of those men who carry around a pool-sized need. And as expected, there goes Paul attempting to fill it.
Can you relate to Paul?
Andy Stanley puts it simply, “My responsibility is not to fill someone’s cup, but to empty mine.” I love it.
I love the weight and the burden removed when I understand it is not my job to fill the needs of everyone around me. I don’t have what it takes to manage that job effectively. I’m limited. I’ll leave the filling to the One who is able to do the work.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)
It Just Doesn’t Work
- We have limited reserves of strength, time, energy, and finances.
- We cannot be everywhere at one time.
- There are too many ‘cups and buckets’ to fill.
- People will fight over which bucket gets filled first.
- Our sense of worth and satisfaction will be based on our ability to make someone else happy.
- We’re left feeling inadequate, unfulfilled, used, and unappreciated. Not to mention, completely drained and exhausted.
Our “responsibility is not to fill someone’s cup, but to empty” ours. So the next time you’re tempted to be Superman or Wonderwoman, take a moment to:
- Recognize your limitations.
- Remember: you pour out, but only God fills.
- Pour out what you do have (encouragement, love, resources, etc.).
- Take the person to the Lord in prayer.
- Refill yourself in God’s Presence.
Bring the needs of those around you to the Lord. People don’t have the ability to take away from God. He gives out of His abundance. He has the ability to fill without ever emptying out His reserves.
Question: Are you walking around feeling exhausted, tired, unappreciated, inadequate, by all the demands around you? Are you ready to say, “I can’t give you what you’re looking for, but here’s what I do have…”? If that’s you, leave me a comment below, or on my Facebook page. I want to hear from you!
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