Growing up I used to think that it is healthy for someone to not get overly invested in others’ problems. I thought that by thinking a few thoughts of how others will help them; or how things will eventually get better for them, that this was a good way of “caring” for others. Accompanied by feeling a little compassion towards them I felt I was doing my fair share in helping humanity, seeing how those in need of help is a bit “out of my reach.”
I honestly thought that by not getting too involved in others’ struggles I am keeping myself afloat and that if I get too invested I might get depressed or something. Grateful for how God has changed my life I can now look back at a not too distant past and just thank God for not letting me grow with that mindset.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)
I thought I was protecting myself by not caring too much for others. I actually found comfort in this. I often told myself that everyone has problems and I obviously can’t tend to everyone. This is definitely true, but if the fear of not being able to help everyone stops you from helping someone then that is such a shame.
“I am one, but I am only one. I cannot do everything , but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”
I believe that God has given each of us the responsibility to care for one another. Caring for each other is in fact what Christians do. By putting yourself in other people’s shoes and by really feeling empathy towards them we add value to our own lives. As we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and feel sad for others and imagine the hurt they must be experiencing our perspective on life automatically changes. The simple things we take for granted becomes the things that add value to our everyday routine.
I challenge you to really care for someone with no strings attached, no hidden agendas and no ulterior motives. It will change your life. But care for them for them, and not for yourself. Care for others even if you don’t have someone who cares for you.
If you being good to others depends on them being good to you, then your goodness won’t last long.
As we allow ourselves to really be there for others we reflect a greater light of God into the lives of others and through this they see the love of God in us.