If I let myself, I could spend a lot of time thinking about everything I would be able to do if I didn’t have the people in my life who needed my care and attention. I might have more money to shop, time for adventures, and I would for sure have the opportunity to indulge in new restaurants and activities.
What I also would likely do more of is imagining unhealthy choices and making more of them. My time would be open to possibly being filled by things I convince myself are self-care…when in reality, they may be harmful to my true self. I would begin to want what I don’t have and seek it out, instead of spending my time seeking to meet the needs of others.
The more I consider a life with more time for “me,” the more I conclude that I may actually loose myself in that scenario. I may first loose my discernment and my ability to make healthy choices may decline. After this, my health, both mental and physical, might begin to suffer. This will all likely cause my inner peace to be disturbed and it is very likely that I will loose sight of God and not be able to hear his voice and follow Him to the places and people He is inviting me to.
A life centered on time for me may actually take years off of my life. It is truly by dying for others that we can actually live. And it is by caring for my life in Christ that my true self will thrive and shine.
The Lord, in His wisdom, sends us to the hungry, the naked, and the imprisoned, not only so a need will be met, but also so we will meet Him and be filled. It is the self-emptying life that is God’s design for the human being. To seek to fill the self will only result in misery that is perpetuated by the constant want for the next temporarily satisfying thing.
I’m grateful for the people the Lord has put in my life to love and serve. These people make me who I am. By serving them, my true self in Christ is realized and my life is cared for as well. If you want to know who you are, go to those who need you. Your gifts will be revealed, your joy will be full, and your heart will be at peace. Let us welcome every opportunity we are given to follow after our Lord and live sacrificial lives. It is in giving our lives to others that we come to live in Christ.
Katrina Bitar, YES Program Director
Youth Equipped to Serve is a program of FOCUS North America that creates opportunities for youth to engage with the poverty of their city, equipping young people to become servant leaders in their own communities. Learn more on the YES program website: www.yesnorthamerica.org