"There is a difference between helping someone because you will lose their love or some sense of your own image as a caring person, and helping someone because your impulse of heart moves you to their aid." --Mark Nepo
Have you ever stopped to wonder why you go out of your way to help someone? I think this "impulse of heart" Mark Nepo refers to is what often happens when those we call heroes come to another's aid at the peril of their own safety. When asked about it they inevitably say they had no choice, it was an automatic response. They didn't even think about not helping.
I think you also find this impulse of heart when it comes to children and animals. They are all so cute and cuddly you can't help but want to take care of them!
But what about the rest of the population? How often do we help because if we didn't we feel we'll look bad not only to others but to ourselves. And what about the times we're afraid that if we don't help a particular person they won't love us anymore? No wonder these incidences of helping never "fill us up"....why we feel resentful if we're not acknowledged for our "good deed".
Nepo says the emotional patterns which once helped us survive may now be "killing us" such as: Being invisible once kept us from being hurt, but now we are vanishing. Or listening once kept us in relation, but now we are drowning in our unheard cries. Or avoiding conflict once kept us out of the line of fire, but now we are thirsting for contact that is real."
God has the answer to letting go of these survival techniques so that we can be authentic--a way to "outlast the anxiety" that would otherwise put us into the old patterns of survival--whether it's an immediate negative reaction to someone's "threat" or a positive reaction by offering our help only so we can feel good about ourselves. His answer is to believe that He wants what's best for you, and then trust Him to take care of you. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." The key is to trust in Him with all your heart. This is not easy to do if you've spent a lifetime being in charge. But take heart. It is never too late. If you have His Holy Spirit in You, you have access to the throne of God--to His wisdom and power and strength. Don't let anything or anyone cause you to think otherwise.
Father, I want to hide only in You, not from You because then I know I don't need to hide behind my old survival patterns which only serve to keep me from being authentic with people.
Link to scripture: Psalm 59:17
Take action: Let God be your Hiding Place