"for the sake of the Giver"

I was talking the other day with a friend who used to live here, and we were reflecting on the changes since he moved away. One is my increased involvement in practical work like maintenance and bookkeeping. And I recalled that this developed because I had been "preaching" against us being driven by material needs and pressures and an older man here had objected to that because he was carrying much of that load alone at the time. Over the next six months, I ended up taking over most of those duties for him. But now I wonder if I have changed my mind or forgotten my earlier "preaching."

Looking back at some journal entries from that time (and earlier), I found these lines that express my concern then:

I think the real choice is between a work-focused struggle for our own survival and a faith-focused acceptance of the life given us by God, a life we cannot produce for ourselves, a life for which we can never claim credit. A life not lived for its own sake, but for the sake of the Giver.
I still believe that. But I wonder how well my life has demonstrated that lately. I may have gotten too focused on just fixing the broken things and completing the "necessary" tasks, instead of communicating dependence on God.

Jesus was described in John's gospel as "the Word." Meaning that his life, his words and all his actions as well, was meant to communicate a message from God, the message of faith, that we can trust and depend completely on our loving Father. I'd like my life to communicate that as well. But that means the focus of my work can't be just solving physical problems. The work has to be done in a way that communicates both love and trust in God.

For example, much of our work is done "out of necessity," most often to make money so that we can buy what we need. We do what will pay, we serve and obey those who pay us. This communicates clearly. But it is not the message of faith or dependence on God but dependence on those who have money, it is much more the message of slavery than freedom and love.

I've resisted that message pretty well, I think. But I also think I like feeling capable and feeling that people can depend on me, and I probably communicate that in the way I've been working. That's not good. So how do I change?

I suppose first I need to be more aware of my interactions with those I'm serving, not just the technical problem at hand but how my service is affecting the person in need. Perhaps some might also suggest "empowering" the other, to allow them to be less dependent on me. But I'm not trying to help them become more self-dependent or in-dependent (which is an illusion of no spiritual value). Maybe there's a way to help them see that I'm only a part of God's care for their needs, and that if I wasn't there God would provide another person or another way. Actually, that would probably ease pressures on me as well as offering them the truth about who is really the Giver.