Making happiness a priority in one’s life is a struggle for many of us.
It often feels uncomfortable and even ungodly at times.
As a Christian it can feel selfish to think of ourselves first.
But Jesus said in Matthew 22:39 ”Love your neighbor as yourself.”
YES YOU READ IT RIGHT!
Lover yourself first.
This means we’re supposed to love ourselves first THEN our neighbor.
God design love to flow from one generous heart to another; from Him to self and from self to others.
That’s how we give ourself freely and love others unconditionally.
Making a contribution in someone’s life is the most rewarding thing one can do for their own spirit, however, recognize there is a danger when we try to love other without first loving ourselves.
If you’re not careful you can come to believe that you’re responsible for other people’s happiness and I am here to tell you that you’re not.
Do you sometimes find yourself abandoning your own routines to respond to other needs?
Have you found yourself being attracted to needy people?
These are just two examples of what can pull you down spiritually and emotionally if you’re not careful.
With a heighten awareness of self you can make wise decisions to help others without causing your own misery.
It’s impossible to grow spiritually without first loving God and yourself.
God called us to sow seeds to uplift one another’s spirit not to escape from our fears and pain.
The emptiness you sometimes feels within can only be filled by God’s love through examining and knowing your spiritual condition.
Serving others will only fulfill it temporarily if it’s not done from a solid foundation.
So be careful not to fall into the trap of trying to lift others up without first looking in your own “spiritual mirror” because this may have eternal consequences.
God gives us all an important role in people lives and it’s not always about responding to their emergencies.
Our shame and disappointment of them can sometimes blind us from this.
We need to learn to tell people the truth about themselves and lower our expectations of them.
How you spend time with people should help your relationship with Christ not destroy it.
Here are five ways you can do just that:
LEARN TO SAY NO
This is a big one. Most people have trouble saying no and when they do say no they feel guilty afterwards.
What have worked for me is when I knew why I was saying it.
In other words I checked my motives.
Understand saying no shouldn’t be to punish the other person but to show yourself self-compassion.
Yes saying No is self-love when it’s done with the right motives.
You will feel better about yourself when you’re able to stand up for what you believe.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO LET OTHER BE WHO THEY ARE
Lets face it some people just don’t get IT.
Whatever the IT factor is.
IT could be being a good father or mother.
IT could be going to work.
IT could be saving money.
IT could be being responsible.
The best you can do is let them be.
I have seen many people wasting their time trying to convince others to change or trying to convince others to see them differently.
No just let them be who they are because it’s not your responsibility to ‘fix’ them.
DON’T SEEK APPROVAL
People who seek approval make decisions based on other’s options and beliefs.
They need approval like and addict needs drugs.
But just like an addict using drugs is a symptom of deeper issues so is seeking approval.
Find out what is it about you that you don’t like so much that you feel you need others approval to feel better about yourself.
DON’T TRUST UNTRUSTWORTHY PEOPLE
Often others have a way of letting us know if we can trust them or not.
They repeat the same behaviors which causes us to not trust them.
If no one has ever told you this before let me be the first.
It’s okay not to trust people who are not trustworthy.
When you keep trusting people who proven they can’t be trusted that tells me you don’t trust yourself.
You’re not comfortable being with yourself.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF OTHER PEOPLE ANGER
Lifting others up starts with being transparent with them.
When you’re honest about your own struggles then they don’t feel like your attacking them.
When people don’t feel attacked they often don’t get angry and if they do so be it.
Our job is to show others how to be honest themselves.
We’re responsible for the effort not the results.
When you demand others to change it threatens your faith.
The same God that helped you in your hard times can help others also.
Our love for God should inspire us to love and to help.
But never forget His love is expressed through our motives more than our actions.
DO I FEEL RESPONSIBLE FOR OTHER PEOPLE ACTIONS, WANTS AND NEEDS?
DO I FEEL BORED AND WORTHLESS IF I DONT HAVE A CRISIS IN MY LIFE OR SOMEONE TO HELP?