Tired of Doing Good

Tired of Doing Good

November 4, 2016

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

Devotion Graphic

I felt worn-out, and I knew my perspective on giving needed a little refreshing.

Even though I’ve always admired generous people and want to be known as one, I started to feel resistance in my heart against being a truly cheerful giver in every area of my life — with my time, my gifts and my finances.

Sometimes I was reluctant to give because I felt too consumed by my every day schedule. Other times, I felt the pinch of need in my own life. And occasionally it was because I’d become jaded toward the recipients of my help.

My friend Rita told me a story that was just what I needed. Her mother, an immigrant who grew up in desperate poverty, was very committed to a relief project for her home country. She would collect gently used shoes and ship them to an organization in her homeland that had needed help.

Rita’s mother did this for years, during which her own eight children observed their mother’s work and generosity.

Surprisingly, Rita was frustrated with her mother instead of admiring her work. One day, in exasperation, she said to her mother, “Why do you continue to work on this project? You know how corrupt the system is over there. Those shoes are probably stolen, resold and used to line the pockets of some corrupt official. You are just wasting your time.”

Her mother looked at Rita compassionately and responded, “Rita, my responsibility is not in the receiving. My responsibility is in the giving.”

As I digested Rita’s story and her mother’s lesson, I realized I’d stopped giving because I wasn’t sure of the response.

  • I didn’t give to poor people on the street because I didn’t know how they’d spend the money.
  • I didn’t freely love friends because I didn’t know how they felt about me.
  • I withheld time from my family because I didn’t think they appreciated it.

It’s easy to find reasons not to give … Too busy. One too many scams. Believing nobody cares about giving to me in my need. Thinking that somehow, somebody else will take care of it.

I’ve used all these excuses at one point or another, but I felt a softening in the hardened places of my heart as I listened to the wisdom Rita’s mom shared.

Her reminder is one echoed in Galatians 6:9, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

If you’re tired and full of excuses like I was, the best way to renew your commitment to doing good is to start giving.

My former stingy approach to life and love never served me well. God has given me extravagance and abundance. I want to be wise about where I give my time and resources, but I also want to do it freely and with an open heart. I want to be one who listens carefully to His voice for opportunities to give, because I know He can be trusted with the results.

Receiving refreshment comes through giving. And sometimes, it’s in the simplest of ways:

Give a smile to a weary clerk.

Give a break to a worn-out mom.

Give some time to a struggling non-profit.

Give your money to someone in need.

Give loving wisdom to a stressed friend.

Join me in the refreshing act of giving, even if you’re tired of doing good!

Lord, it’s easy to become tired in giving, but I’m asking You to increase my desire and determination to be generous in all parts of my life. I ask You to make good on your promise: Refresh me as I refresh others! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 37:21, “The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.” (NIV)

Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
In Amy Carroll’s book, Breaking Up with Perfect, she shares more lessons of imperfect progress in living and loving. Buy a copy today to join the movement from less perfection to more joy!

CONNECT:
Visit Amy’s blog to enter to win a copy of one of her favorite books about selfless giving, Same Kind of Different as Me.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Which of Amy’s excuses have you used in the past instead of giving?

Ask God to show you where to be generous in your life today. At the end of the day, write down the results of your giving and how you feel about it.

© 2016 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for giving me the pleasure of learning more through this beautiful lesson. God bless you. Greetings from Spain. Shalom.

    • Thanks for assisting in with us not knowing what to do in certain situations. My husband Pastors & oftentimes we discuss those with the signs asking for food or they’ll work for food, as mentioned we’ve seen on the news with those scams so its no coincidence you spoke on this, we were just coming home from Alabama this past weekend & a gentleman sat with a sign “I don’t drink, I’m hungry” we went to the nearest fast food restaurant (Subway) got him something & took it back; the appreciation on his face and him stating being hungry!!! This is one way of giving….we too, have been burned out! Teaching moments such as think which make you think….

  2. We are involved with an organization that provides a hot lunch daily. There is no means test for those who come, and I sometimes hear a concern that some who come aren’t really needy. In truth, I’ve thought it myself. God responded: when Jesus fed the 5000, likely there were some undeserving people in the crowd. He didn’t weed them out, and neither should we.

    “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Amy is right–we give, and God takes it from there.So give with a smile.

    • Angie Barton says:

      A young couple who are physicians with huge loans give, I mean really give not just a missionary family in Alaska but the list goes on.
      Why not wait until the debt is paid in their sort of giving? They are the kind of dedicated Christians tithe on their gross income to begin with.
      They are taxed 40% of their income yet they give and give generously.
      As I’m telling you a thought came to mind, besides what all the goods of giving does for other’s physical needs there is this worship so spiritual and aimed at the Almighty by giving children of His own Son. Growing up as an orphan in a then 3rd world country far away we were recipients of many charitable organizations donations. One particular was Compassion International. Only we didn’t receive them, the owners did. What I personally received even as a little girl was an understanding that someone gave to complete strangers because of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
      Every time when we send donations to various ministries, wrong takers of these funds come to mind but I choose faith to believe that though it is common the intended may not get the materials yet God uses them to teach about being a giver. What was supposed to be for our physical needs
      Though we didn’t get to have them we learned that there was someone total stranger from far away dreamy country called America took a thought of us and sent gifts on our behalf was spiritual. It empowered me to do the same. So let us keep on giving and let God do His end in rearing up many generous givers for His Kingdom.
      Thank you, Miss.Shirlee.

    • Shirlee,

      I always look for your comments. They speak to my heart.

  3. Good timing for this devo! God knows what we need at just the right time! Thank you , Juanita

  4. Great reminder. Loved your devotion. Thank you.

  5. Debra McGowan says:

    Thank you for this devotional this morning. I was the executive director of the local food bank in Evans County, GA for 5 years… with hesitation, I stepped down believing that it was “time” for someone else to take the helm. Since then (3 years now), I have been “lost” – not knowing what direction God would have me go.. but knowing that He has a path that He wants me to go.. God has given me a heart for people – compassion and mercy abound.. there are so many needs in our small county so I have been praying for God to lead me to the right place to get involved in my community once again.. If we all could “see” the possibilities and ask God to open our eyes to “go and do”, what a beautiful place this world would be… please pray for wisdom and discernment for me in the days ahead..

  6. Sometimes I wonder if its really worth it. The weariness that grips the giver. Its exhausting after a while. Being the chauffeur or the bank. Especially when I don’t have a lot to give and no one gives back to me. Its easy to get jaded and disgusted with those who always have their hand out. These are also people who make more than I do. They spend spend spend…only on themselves never on anyone else. Greedy! …so I find it hared to give to the unappreciative entitlement mindset of the ungrateful!…..forgive me!!

    • Amy Carroll says:

      I understand, Teresa. I gave some tips on my blog today for wise giving. I hope those encourage you!

      • 🙂 Thank you Amy!!!…I will definitely look more into this. I appreciate your amazing devotional. You are truly a blessing!!!….Thank you for your kind words..and your very much needed food for thought for those of us…who needed a little nudge…to not forget Jesus died for not just the believers but the unbelievers. ((Hugs)) Thank you!!!! ….and GBU

  7. Laura Penhollow says:

    At my mops group I heard similar advice from another mom and it changed my whole perspective on giving. God sees what you do and honors that and that is between you and God. If the person you give to is homeless or someone you don’t know and they use the money or gift unwisely, that is between them and God. All you know is that you did the right thing in God’s eyes. I don’t give as much as I should, but I never question what happens to my gifts or money when I do because I know I have done right in God’s eyes and that’s all that matters. If the person I give to doesn’t do right, I don’t have to worry about it; God will eventually take care of that. Jesus, please help me to give more. I find I am so rushed that i forget to slow down and notice when people need my time or help. In Jesus’s name, amen.

  8. MAGRIETHA DU PLESSIS says:

    I needed this today as I really do get so tired. I live in South Africa and it is very difficult, on every street corner there is a beggar, at every shopping mall there is a ‘car guard’ that cannot really do anything if someone is going to steal your car and so it goes on and on, always someone holding out a hand up to the point that you really do not know what to do anymore.

    • Amy Carroll says:

      Magrietha, I’ve experienced that when I’ve visited India. The needs are so overwhelming that it’s almost a protective measure to numb ourselves. Praying that God speaks clearly to you about where you can make a difference.

  9. I absolutely LOVE the book “Same kind of different as me.” I’m not a reader at all but this one is one I could not put down. So very inspirational!!

  10. I love to give. I’ve been giving since I was a little girl. I gave all my dolls away one time to a girl who liked them. My mom got mad and went and got them! I give away things I like ,things I don’t use, clothes, money,baked goods, time. I love it. It drives my husband crazy ,he gets mad sometimes. It’s a on going joke in my family * Myrna doesn’t have much she gave it away*. But you see I have so much more than money can buy. I love to ease a burden and see a smile. God is so giving to me I just feel the need to share my blessing!

    • Myrna, wish we could all be more like you. Would you mind if I shared your comment with my devotional group at work? I think they would be blessed by it! May God continue to bless you so that you can continue to bless others.

      • Tammy you absolutely may use my*letter* The Lord is so good, we just can’t out give Him!!? You have a sweet blessed day

    • Myrna, your words really blessed my heart today! Thank you! Your Husband has a treasure for a wife! May God continue to take care of you and repay for your kindness! Be blessed!

    • Amy Carroll says:

      I’m so inspired, Myrna! You obviously have the beautiful spiritual gift of giving.

  11. Thank you for this reminder. This is an area that I struggle with when I become weary and I don’t want the enemy to win. I’d rather give too much, in the eyes of the world – but be considered “righteous” by God, than risk being among the “wicked”.

  12. This spoke to me in a different way than it probably did others. I’m a homeschooling mom of 4, two adopted at the age of 10 from China who had no previous education. One loves to learn, the other… not quiet so much. He disrupts often & does not want to learn. Yesterday I reached a breaking point. I’m tired of giving so much to him and he doesn’t appreciate it or care. We even visited a school for him to attend. I thought this school may be the answer for peace in our home but I’ve been awake for several hours praying because I do not have peace in my soul. After reading this, maybe I’m the problem. I think I’m giving him a lot but the attitude behind my giving is pretty self centered. Thank you for this word from God. I have much to pray on with a different perspective.

    • Aimee-lovely application!!! I am a homeschooling mom to 4 also (although all are my burth children). They are often so…unappreciative! The 9 year old and 6 year old just don’t get the awesomeness of what I do every day for them (<—-tongue in cheek!!)

      Today I will try to look at it from this perspective!! Thank you and God Bless you!!

    • Aimee, I’m praying for you right now, for God’s surpassing peace, guidance and wisdom in raising your precious children. I believe it must be hard at times but your labor would be rewarded richly by our just God who sees all the efforts you put. Holding you in prayer! Sending love.

    • Aimee, we too adopted children with troubled histories. My father home-schooled one of our boys short-term, but otherwise our boys attended public school. That gave the boys and me some much-needed space. The younger child’s teacher had insights into his neuro deficits I would never have discovered on my own. The older child had mommy issues that interfered with instruction from me.

      Those of us fortunate enough to grow up with loving parents cannot fathom the burden neglected, abused and abandoned children carry. Only God knows. Trust his direction.

      Dear God, grant Aimee the courage to ask if another approach to this child’s education would be better. If so, open the doors to creative alternatives. Provide a spirit of discernment as they evaluate their options. Cover them all with your love. Pour your perseverance over them. Bless them with your peace. Amen.

  13. Thank you for another great devotional. This is exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. My Dad used to say something similar. It’s for me to do the giving. My heart has to be in the right place. I can’t control things on the other end.

  14. muralartist says:

    No one will ever know what an unconditional heart of Jesus is until they bless someone else with “whatever” the person may need. If you look at examples in the Bible, Jesus ate with people who others judged wrong. He talked to a women at the well that many would have thought was wrong. He healed a man at the gates of the water of healing. How many people walked by this crippled man that some would have maybe called disabled and a beggar. He let a women who had the issue of blood touch him. When many would have deemed her unclean. He healed the soldiers ear that was cut off right before Jesus was going to be judged. There are many examples in the Bible of the heart of giving in what ever manner with unconditional love . Did Jesus judge? Did he say not to help? He blessed many people. When others would have not helped.
    Whether a stranger, a person you work with, a neighbor, a person in church, or whoever may come into your life pathways that needs a helping hand, just do it! Don’t question! Don’t judge! You don’t know what plan Jesus has in store for them, through whatever situation they are going through. Ask yourself what would Jesus Do? Then by the time you continually help in whatever manner, you will sooner or later have an unconditional love to just help everyone.
    I have given to so many people in so many ways, from the simplest things to the most bizarre to some other people. But to me it is showing the unconditional love of Jesus.
    You many NEVER know when life will have you being the one in NEED! To where you hope someone would be kind enough to bless You!

  15. Elizabeth says:

    I am Elizabeth from Fort Lauderdale. I am making huge changes in my life with lots of free time to read. 🙂

  16. Ya know I was just thinking we need to do, give to others, it just may be an angel unaware!?

  17. Beth O'Keefe says:

    AMAZING how timely this is – that’s God-thing! I read this back-to-back from the chapter on generosite in Bo Stern”s “Beautiful Battlefields”, and have wondered how I could possibly be generous out of my own extremity. This addresses it so perfectly and I am convicted and assured of how I might bless the Kingdom. I can also pray without guilt for a refreshing for myself – not as a selfish contingency, but as the natural outpouring of God’s abundance!

  18. it’s always good to give to less fortunate people I sure they appreciate it ,they need it so bad I think it’s a good thing to give . God loves a Cheerful giver .

  19. MARCIA THOMPSON says:

    Thanks for the reminder to continue giving. I want to give all the time, not just for the holidays. Sometimes life makes me struggle with giving, but I am learning that there are many ways to give.

  20. Thank you, Amy. I really needed this today!

  21. jennifer anderson says:

    Amy,

    Thank you so much for this post. Such simple wisdom for my soul and so needed. God bless you!

  22. The other day I was driving to the store, & observed a woman with a child standing at a busy corner. She held a sign which said she was unemployed & needed donations. I drove past her twice. I did not have any money to give her. Your message has answered a question for me. I have been reluctant to give money to people on the street because I didn’t know how they would spend it. But my responsibility is in the giving. I like that, & I will remember that from now on. I will give freely because of this message.

    • I have been conned by street people and I do agree it is for us to give and God to judge, however, I now chose to give to reputable organizations that give to the poor and needy. I must admit I don’t like to be fooled and don’t want to enable drug abusers and pushers. We can be wise and generous as well.

      • Amy Carroll says:

        I agree. On my blog today, I gave some steps to wise giving that I hope will be helpful. Sometimes, though, God will just nudge me to give even to street people. On occasion I’ve ignored the nudge and regretted it, so I try to follow God on those occasions too.

  23. Phyllis Walker says:

    This word was right on time for me…just yesterday I said that I am going to stop giving to people on the street because I think they use the money for drugs and I’ve seen people throw away the food that I went out of my way to get for them. Thank you for reminding me to keep on giving.

  24. It so easy to become hardened with people when they don’t behave as we think they should. But, when we understand that as people know better they will do better it makes it easier to be our keeper.

  25. Candice Upmeyer says:

    At times I find it hard to give anything. My time my efforts my finances. Sometimes it is overwhelming. I want to give from my heart and need someone with wisdom to give me godly guidance

  26. This is right on time, while I don’t struggle with the homeless or charitable giving.

    I do struggle with family that are in need but I feel like they never do better. I know some may say, don’t let people take advantage…so true.
    However, when God pushes in some instances, who am I to say, No.

  27. Peggy Crank says:

    I love to give but I’ve noticed that when it really “hurts” I hesitate and will find excuses not to give on that occasion. I want to be a generous giver at all times. Not only when it’s convenient. I pray for a willing, giving heart!

  28. Many times we think of giving/doing good in terms of money and time, but in the day to day life it is often a phone call or a hug to someone who needs us to simply reach out. Reaching out is a wonderful way to give. We can do that every day.

  29. This is one of those things that we all struggle with at one time or another. I have to constantly remind myself, in order to truly give, the gift has to be given from the heart and I have to expect nothing in return. Only then can I be blessed by it.

  30. Carla Johnson says:

    Wow – it amazes me how many times I get these devotionals and they are exactly the thing I need to hear in that moment. What a blessing this is in my life.

    Thank you.

  31. Ouch!! I needed this perspective today! I decided last year to quit giving birthday gifts to our adult children because for years they haven’t given gifts to us. Since giving is my love language (talk about a skewed perspective on giving/receiving- lol!), it was probably a bigger deal to me than to some people when we didn’t receive gifts and also stopped giving them. I haven’t had peace about the decision, although I used the excuse with them that we were going to concentrate on grandchildren’s birthdays instead of the adults. Now I realize why I haven’t had peace- my heart is definitely not in the right place with my own children! How sad is that? Birthday presents for all coming up!!

  32. Oh, I echo that weariness but I have found refreshment in the serving/giving. Soemtimes we just need a wake-up call, someone to speak boldly and not hold back, or just spend more time at the Master’s feet and and good a new perspective. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

  33. Love love your devotions. I love your new lay out.

  34. Loved the devotional today, as I do every day. Giving is the #1 thing I enjoy doing ….. something for others.
    It just warms my heart. It can just be something little or just a private message to brighten their day. I know so many just love receiving a card. I know it makes my day:) God bless you all and have a giving heart. God loves you!!!!

  35. Amy….thank you! I needed to hear that someone else struggles in that same area of giving of time!

  36. I thank God for using you to speak to me through this devotion. The Grace of God increase upon you.

    SHALOM

  37. Joanna Fry says:

    I definitely struggle with the excuse of not knowing what someone will do with the money or gift, not know if they really need it or if I’m being scammed. I love the idea of the giving is my only concern, what they do is between them and God. That will help me. I hope to get through to my husband with this perspective too, since he doesn’t want to hand out the blessing bags I am going to make and put in our vehicles to be ready to give when we see someone in need, because of a few times when he’s seen someone he gave to smoking cigarettes or driving a car, etc. He thinks he’s been burned and doesn’t want to give because of that. I also sometimes struggle with only giving when it’s convenient or a convenient amount but not a sacrificial amount, or not going out of my way to give, although I am making progress on that. I feel like I could do more. Help me see where to use my gifts Lord!

  38. I still give to charity, clothing collectors, family, etc. For sure there is often no thanks or payback. It is unfortunate that those we give to do not accept things with gratitude and realize part of the joy and lesson learned in being a recipient is to do good for others in return.

    • HeatherAnn says:

      I sometimes realize all the gifts the Lord has given us that I fail to acknowledge…the glorious variety in our world, the changing seasons, the tremendous quantity and variety of foods and comforts. It’s endless. I could spend all day every single day giving thanks for these things, but in truth I don’t . Especially when I’m hurting or in a bad place and thinking only of getting the next thing I need. I sometimes even fail to wave thanks to the person who let’s me into the merging lane. We could all do better to acknowledge he great gifts around us.

  39. Someone Who Cares says:

    What does Jesus say about tithing to a church, only to see the church be poor stewards of the tithe? Buying things that do not necessarily help spread the gospel, or operating on a deficit budget year after year? I am struggling with this… thank you.

  40. Such a great perspective!
    Good truths here.
    Thanks for this!

  41. Tabitha Brown says:

    Thanks for the refresher! It was much needed. A CHEERFUL GIVER!!!

  42. Thank you for your encouragement today. I was the giver, heartfelt giver of my time, talents, money and cheerful attitude until I lost my husband. I was so exhausted from trying to keep my children emotionally healthy, take care of my mother with Alzheimer’s, take care of home, acreage, and full-time job, that I quit giving. My heart became hard, and I felt like I was not getting anything for the years of generosity. I now have my kids grown, and even though I had to sell my house, I’m enjoying having less responsibility. I had not been able to touch that place of giving, cheerful giving again, and I knew it was missing in my life. After reading today, through my tears, I now remember that person ~ that person that was full of joy ~ that gave from her heart. I really miss her, and I’m looking forward to finding her again! Thank you for your message and encouragement, and I look forward to giving and serving again with a cheerful heart.

  43. I am dealing with not one, but two elderly dads–mine and my husband’s. My husband means well, but his job is demanding and he leaves a lot of the stressful stuff to me–little things, some of them, but they add up. I can’t remember the last time I sat down to enjoy a quiet evening of reading or playing the piano without feeling guilty about it, thinking I need to be working on solving something for somebody. There are days when I’d just like to throw my phone away, get in my car, and keep driving and driving to get away from all the people who seem to be counting on me to take care of stuff. I want to be a cheerful giver, but I also want be wise as to when I’m supposed to give and when I’m being dumped on because someone else is refusing to take responsibility. I love the “being quiet” thought, and I want to make sure I’m doing that daily to really hear from God.

    • HeatherAnn says:

      Cynthia, don’t forget to give to yourself. Ifor you’re run down and worn out, you’ll be no good to anyone else. I will pray for you.

  44. What a wonderful reminder for this season and always. PS I like the new format for the daily devotions!

  45. HeatherAnn says:

    Thankfully, giving everything I had –mentally, physically, financially, emotionally, etc – to the ‘wrong’ person/people didn’t quash my soul. The Lord is good and loving and He directs us to the needs that we can meet for others. Keeping our hearts and minds open to His direction despite the negative experiences we have endured will benefit all involved. Giving is a BLESSING to the giver as much as, if not more than, to the receiver. When we get to tallying things up, we lose sight of those blessing. My heart was always in the right place even if my “stuff” was “wasted”. He knows our hearts and that’s what He tallies up, if anything. Give, give, give with all your heart. Maybe by doing so the selfish will see what they’re missing and change their ways.

  46. God certainly is answering some of my greatest prayers today. Life is hard for me right now, and the last couple of days I’ve really struggled to forgive someone very dear to me because they’ve hurt me deeply and just don’t understand why I’d even be hurt. Today, the Lord has been speaking to my heart to love and forgive and let him take care of the rest, and that I can do all things through him who gives me strength. And now, don’t grow weary and give up, because there will be a harvest. Thank you! The Lord knew how hard this has been. Thank you for sharing, as I needed this today. God bless!

  47. Once again, such a timely devotional. I am glad that I found Proverbs 31 devos. It seems like a God-thing in my life.

  48. Kathy Satterfield says:

    Oh Amy, how this spoke to my heart this morning when I read it. It was a gentle reminder to me – my heart needed it very deeply. Thank you so much for writing it and Jesus thank you for bringing me to it to direct me back to the right path. I am humbled and very grateful.
    I have read that book and I loved it – ” The Same Kind of Different As Me” . Amen.

  49. Allison Jimenez says:

    I was raised by my aunt and uncle on Delancey St in NYC. Our home was called Hotel Aguayo because we were the go to family to sponsor missionaries and evangelists with room and board when they came to visit the church and share their experiences. We also helped 2 homeless men (Steve who was young and Tuli an older African gentleman. My parents taught me that giving was a way to acknowledge God’s blessing in our lives. JESUS was always able to identify others’ needs and recognized how sharing opened the door to the heart of the receiver because their gratitude was the key to receiving the true SPIRITUAL healing they REALLY needed. I love to give not because I have a lot or a little but because as I allow God’s vision to become my own I cannot be numbed or blinded to the needs of others around me. It is not how much or how often we give but the SPIRIT with which we give it. Thank you Lord for the JOY of giving and for the gift of grace through JESUS CHRIST your son.

  50. Such wisdom…”my responsibility is not in the receiving. My responsibility is in the giving.” Praying I live that kind of life…

  51. This reminded me so much of my mother. She knew the Lord, read her bible every day and continued to go to church. She preferred her old fashioned Catholic Church. She always gave, and gave and gave! I remember questioning her “Why are you giving the that church? They are crooks and you know it.” She said that it didn’t matter. She only had to answer for her actions. She gave and that was what she just did. The priests and others who handled the money had to answer for their actions and what they used the money for. She knew she gave in honor of God giving to her, not knowing what happened after that. She was a wise woman! I miss her alot! But I know where she lives now….and I will see her again 🙂

  52. linda quarles says:

    Thank you it touched my weary heart.
    To change my bad attitude?

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