We often hear people say that in order to help others we must first fill our own well. It makes sense. If you have no water in the well, you can’t offer anyone a drink. Unless you first study the scriptures, you can’t teach them.
But the metaphor of filling the well is a little deceiving. It gives the impression that we have to be constantly concerned about ourselves and doing things for ourselves in order to fill the well. It gives a subconscious picture of us as always frantically searching and filling for fear of running dry. Some even use this metaphor as a pretext for self indulgence. Their attitude is something like: “I’ve got to do this for myself or I won’t be happy and if I’m not happy I can’t make anyone else happy!” But in 2 Corinthians 9:8 we read, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
What this verse is telling us is that a better metaphor than the well is a metaphor of electricity. What we need to do to help others is not to fill our well, but to plug into the right source, Jesus Christ. Once we do that by repenting, obeying Him, and trusting in Him then we are connected to Him and His grace flows through us to bless others. His grace, or enabling power, isn’t something that runs dry and needs to be replaced. Instead it flows constantly, and as long as we remain worthy the power source is turned on and is available.
If we “plug” into the source, we will never run dry! We will always have enough to sustain ourselves and plenty left over to offer to others.