One day, I caught myself feeling a little skeptical about one of my clients. I thought, “What if she’s lying to me?” But then, just as quickly as it came, the thought disappeared. Instead, I heard God speaking to me, saying, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
In social work, it’s incredibly easy to become cynical. We call it Burnout: when your heart becomes so hardened to people and their circumstances that you not only stop helping them, but you actually break the first rule of Social Work Club, which is to do no harm.
So, what do we do? How do we keep our hearts soft, like the marshmallows in the middle of a s’more, and avoid the jaded negativity that is the relentless trap known as cynicism?
Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” But it doesn’t really say anything about what those good works are or if we’ll feel comfortable doing them.
The truth of it all is this: we are not called to be comfortable in our actions, whatever they may be, or hard in our hearts, even when we’re doubtful, but to continually be pushing against the graham crackers, so to speak, that try and keep us from serving others.
Combating cynicism is difficult, but inviting Jesus into our daily lives beyond simply praying over our meals or having our quiet time is exactly the ammunition we need to win the battle. Here are a few s’mores to look for to keep you on the right track:
- S’more opportunities to feel the Spirit;
- S’more chances to share your testimony;
- S’more hard things to accomplish;
- S’more ways to serve others;
- S’more experiences reading the Word;
- S’more times to show love.
When you, too, find yourself feeling grumpy or cynical, or simply unsure, just say yes. I once had a pastor that told me to never say no unless it’s to sin, because each of us are given specific opportunities for a reason. So, know that, even when we’re hit with feelings of cynicism or doubt, God has given us tons of s’mores to help keep us sweet in our servanthood if we just say yes.
The author of this blog, Jamie, is a social worker for The Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties. Not long ago, her administrator asked her to speak at our upcoming Staff Devotion. “Talk about scary,” Jamie thought. “Public speaking plus me equals one mathematical equation that never comes out right. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I needed to do it. God was giving me the opportunity to share my heart; I had to say yes.”