Have you ever been in a position where you were mistreated for being good? It’s shocking isn’t it? You do good, you expect good, right? I found out recently that it doesn’t always work that way. Good things don’t always happen to good people, neither do you receive gratitude and accolades for being nice or for fighting a good cause. It can make us feel unappreciated, confused, angry and even determined not to help others in future but it shouldn’t be that way. We can learn lessons from our not-so-good experiences of charity and become wiser. These are some of the lessons I’ve learnt after being burnt:
Learn from your mistakes: Could you have done things differently? Were you too fast? Or was the charity done at a wrong time? Remember that as humans we are not always right. Don’t beat yourself up about not getting it right this time, learn and become wiser.
Perhaps you were presumptuous? Well you might have perceived there was a need when there wasn’t one. The recipient might have felt slighted as a result of that. And just because you might want someone to help you in a particular way doesn’t mean another person would want the same kind of help. It’s a good thing to ask beforehand if, and how they would like your help, before giving it. You don’t want to be embarrassed by a rude rejection.
Understand that some people do not like help: For these set of insecure people, it makes them feel inferior. It has nothing to do with you at all. So don’t get upset, just calmly let them be, at least you tried. Remember even Jesus was rejected by his own people and couldn’t help them as much as He wanted because of their attitude.
Apply wisdom (know your environment): Some situations could be a set-up to get you into danger. If you are in a society where insecurity is rife, be very careful about helping strangers. If you come across a situation that needs your help, go to the nearest police station. Don’t try to be a hero, especially if you are all alone, in a lonely place or at nighttime. The world is full of wicked and heartless people looking for their next prey.
I pray God gives us wisdom to do the right thing at the right time. Don’t let a bad experience turn you into an unfeeling and uncaring person. I hope you are encouraged by this poem by Mother Theresa:
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.