Thursday, August 2, 2012

You Can't Get a Return on Something that You don't Invest In

This isn't Wall Street. You didn't put in your $20 worth so how can you expect to get back $200,000 worth? In the stock market, you buy and sell...hopefully making a return between doing the two...

So many times we find ourselves in situations where we want to experience the benefits, rewards or returns of hard work, prayer and perseverance. We forget that all the things done in preparation cost someone something....and us nothing.  We expect that since we are doing what we THINK we're supposed to be doing that everyone else, including God, will recognize that we are such good, hard workers (although we've shown no reliable work ethic). Then when it comes time for compensation we are standing there with our hands out and open.  We wonder why we see results showing up for everyone else...but not us.  But then we have to think back....how much work did we actually put out for the very thing we want to be better? How much did we contribute? You can't have a small business that does floral arrangements and throw yourself into spending all your time working on your car and expect for your business to thrive and grow. 

In our jobs, relationships or spiritual walk we can't trade in efforts for one area for rewards in another. You can't walk around declaring that you should be seeing things happen a certain way or that people should be treating you a certain way if you didn't try to take care of those things or people the right way before.  The same way you get no return if you didn't invest in the money market, you don't get a return on your job with a promotion when you don't take training or try to learn new tasks. You don't get a return in your relationships when you don't treat people right that you say you care about.   You don't get a return in your spiritual growth if your time with God is non existent or very little...and your prayer life consists of just praying over your food.

Now before anyone gets their feelings hurt, I know some of you are saying "but I DID put in hard work....I DID make an investment"...I HEAR YOU, believe me, I hear you.  I've found myself in that same boat.  Wondering how could I give so much or stick with something so much and instead of seeing a return on my investment, I seemed to be losing more and more....to this I offer this explanation...

In the money market, there is more than just one person involved cause if there wasn't the brokers would be doing business with themselves...seeing this, in our situations, we have to realize that there are more people involved in this effort to results equation. We can't expect everything to run smoothly all the time. 

When we are looking for a return, first, we have to be patient....not with others or our situations, but with God.  We have to allow Him time to put his finger in it and stir the situation and do with it what He wants.  Second, we have to realize that sometimes the outcome of our return is different than what we were expecting.  You may have been putting in hard work on your job, eyeing a certain position because it makes more money than your current one, but instead, God takes you completely out of the company you're working for and puts you in a company that better suits your lifestyle and long term goals.  The friend that you've been trying to talk out of alcoholism for reasons of treating their family better dissapears and you lose touch with them only to find out that they went to rehab and now help run a center to help others the way they were helped, sharing the gospel and witnessing all along the way. The ministry that you've been pushing to get going and gain help doesn't pan out how you think it should but then you find that while interceding on behalf of those who it would impact, God starts pointing out to you things that He is trying to do in you.

I've found that in my own life, instead of looking at a situation and wondering where my return is for the years I've invested and the money I've spent, I'm realizing that God has grown me in areas that I let go lax in my focusing on my trials...and that in turn makes me a stronger person from here on out.

The return that I am getting is much more valuable than the time it took for me to get to this point.  Life can be unfortunate at times, situations and people can upset us, but we shouldn't lose the remembrance that God is always watching over us....He knows our pain, he sees our tears and He also has it all under control.  When getting our returns though, we have to do so with an open heart, not giving room for resentment or bitterness.  We may continue to be let down, but resentment, bitterness and anger only hold us back from all that we are to receive.

But every now and then when you start to wonder why you're not seeing the results you want....or results period....consider what your investment is....