Give with love.

So many of us give of ourselves, sometimes too much so. Often, we may care more for others than ourselves. We can overextend ourselves by worrying and doing for others.

Sometimes, this is unavoidable. We may have a critically ill spouse, child, or parent. Or temporarily, we may burn ourselves out to help give another a much-needed temporary boost.

But often this giving can become ritual. We feel, as a nice person, that we need to keep sacrificing ourselves for others.

Folks are generally willing to accept what we offer and may even resent us if we dial back our giving. Our optional sacrifices become expectations.

And this is when things become problematic for us. We may come to resent the effort we expend to help others. It stops feeling like a gift and seems more like a burden. The love and caring we intended to extend to others become a drag on us.

Today’s message reminds me that a gift given without love helps neither the recipient nor me. To preserve my own health and sanity, I will want to offer assistance and presents only when I can do so with a loving heart.

Please reflect and share. How often do you give from a sense of guilt or obligation?