Self-reflection is necessary for many reasons. It helps us to see our habits, interests and personality traits but most importantly it can provide momentum for growth. If you were to look at the pictures in my gallery you’ll find there is a passion for sunrises and sunsets, I love flowers, will take plenty of shots to get the right image of a dish that has been cooked or prepared. There are also a lot of people pictures, on or off a boat, maybe holding fish! Regardless of the image it’s obvious that I’m passionate about pictures.
There is also a passion that dwells deep within my soul to help other people.
That manifests itself in several different ways.
I’ll help financially when it is possible but there isn’t an overabundance of extra money and most of the time the issue is deeper than finances. We as humans have only been given a limited amount of time in this stage of our journey, time that no matter how we choose to spend it we’ll never get it back. I believe that we can use our time as an investment, especially into other people’s lives, after all humans are the most important thing on this earth.
That being said there is repetition in my life where I give away, or invest my time, into other people. It may be for a short season, could only be for a specific reason, there are a few relationships that have lasted for years. Those friendships that have lasted the test of time all have one thing in common; they all share the understanding that by nature I am a helper.
Being a helper or someone who is willing to put another person before their own personal needs is a beautiful thing although it can present many challenges and I’d like to focus on one in particular. In order to be a helper you’ll need someone to help! Obviously that changes throughout different stages in life. A person that needs help today may not need help next week, or even tomorrow. The challenge that I’d like to look at is the amount of time spent with people in your life.
Let’s remember we only have a certain amount of time that we have been given, and we don’t know how much time that is! Those people closest to me understand my personality as a helper, they also understand that the amount of time spent together does not directly correlate with the level of caring. The amount of time spent is determined more by the severity of the need. Most people do not go to the doctor when they are healthy, typically there is an issue before one will go.
The same concept applies with my passion to help other people, spending time with people when they need it the most. Sometimes it’s not always convenient or we may not feel like it but if we are going to be selfless, if we are going to be servants we’ll need to ready whenever the need arises. Different people in your life will have various needs at particular times.
We must not allow the mindset that the amount of time spent with one another is the only determining factor for the amount of care given. As previously stated those who know me understand my personality. They recognize that I will be involved in and out of their lives and the lives of those that I’m currently helping.
Friendships that last are typically those that not only understand the fact of being a helper or servant but encourage and help foster that behavior.
There is a mutual understanding that we are here to help serve one another and that the earth does not revolve around us. We need these people in our lives; we also need to be these people in others’ lives around us. There is a proverb in the Bible (27:17) that teaches “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”, we can use this as a reminder that we need to surround ourselves with those that are like minded in our passions. We will also do well to recognize those friends and people that will “spur one another on towards love and good deeds” (Heb 10:24).
We are all human and at some point in time may become discouraged, it’s especially important during these times that we carefully choose who we spend our time with. Typically people are very quick to give advice, regardless of their knowledge or background in a subject. I do not go to the auto parts store when I need groceries, not saying I couldn’t get something to snack on or drink from there but I’m not going to fill the pantry.
The same concept is true regarding our personal growth, emotional and spiritual. Carefully consider that the time spent and input received lines up with who you are, where you are headed and what you hope to accomplish. It is very important to surround ourselves with the people that see our true potential and will help us to become the person God created us to be! I’m not saying that we cannot learn from different perspectives or various opinions because you can and will if you allow yourself to be open. What’s being communicated is the mindset to surround yourself with people that will love and encourage you to become the best person you can be.
The people in my life understand that I am going to continue to help those in need and will encourage me and help fuel my passion so that I can creatively live it out. I encourage you to spend some time in self-refection, look at what you’re passionate about, look at the people that you are surrounded by.
Do your passions and your people coexist well together or are you buying your food from the parts store? What can you do to make the necessary changes to become the best person you can be? Will you do it?