Saturday, February 20, 2021

Help Others

“If you bestow your bread on the hungry ​and satisfy the afflicted; Then light shall rise for you in the darkness, ​and the gloom shall become for you like midday.” Isaiah 58:10

In bookstores, it is a given that we can usually find a section on “Self-Help” or “Self Improvement”. An entire industry survives on giving ideas for people to help themselves out of depression, anxiety attacks, how to become a better leader, how to meet goals or find their purpose. But have you ever come across a bookstore or library with shelves full of books entitled “Helping Others”?  I love bookstores and libraries and I can spend a whole day browsing through books. One of the  best libraries I have visited was the Vancouver Public Library. Almost every day, after visiting the different parts of the city, my family and I would end up in their wonderful library. In the huge nine floor structure that resembles the Roman Coliseum, I don’t think there was a section centered on that topic. And yet, helping others, encouraging and supporting others, is so important to our spiritual, mental, emotional and even physical health. 

When Dr. Karl Menninger, founder of the Menninger Clinic was asked, "What should you do if you feel a nervous breakdown coming on?" he replied: "Lock the door of your house, go across the street, and do something to help your neighbor."

God’s ways are not our ways. God’s economy is not our economy. God’s solutions are not our solutions. If we lack money, we should give alms. If we are not happy, we should go and make someone happy. If we need something, we should give something away to someone in need. If we are constantly harassed and feel there isn’t enough time to do all we have to do, we should slow down and ask someone how they are doing. If we lack confidence, we should make somebody feel good about themselves. If we feel we were treated unfairly, or we feel unloved, we can combat that by being kind and generous to someone. A study conducted in 2017 found that when people who suffered chronic pain volunteered their time to help others, they experienced decreased pain and felt a sense of purpose. People who regularly volunteer find that it minimizes their stress and improves feelings of depression. 

There is a smart saying that goes “anything that’s wrong with you can be fixed by a change in me.” We can bring that into a broader perspective and say “anything that’s wrong with the world can be fixed by a change in me.” We might say we can’t do anything about terrorists or the pandemic. But that’s not how God thinks. He asks for our loaves and fishes, the bread that we have right here, right now, and He can multiply that and bless it until we have more than enough to feed the hungry, change the world and our perspective. Right here and right now, that is what God is asking for. Helping others who need help is what will save us. That is His promise. “Then light shall rise for you in the darkness, ​and the gloom shall become for you like midday.”

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I am so glad you dropped by! You are a blessing!
:^) Patsy