Will Helping Others Hurt Your Health?

helpingWhat do you do when someone needs you but you really cannot help because of your own pain? Fiona tackles this tough question.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

I was reminded recently of my high school motto–“non nobis sed omnibus.”

While we used to take delight in remembering it as “no knobs on buses”–what the Latin really says is “not us, but others.”

Our school song began with the words, “Not for our own, but others’ good”–just as Paul exhorts us here, to consider others and their interests as more important than our own.

For those of us with chronic illness, it can seem like every decision we make needs to consider our health. There are often very important and good reasons why that’s necessary. I remember telling someone that I seemed to always have to consider “pain” in making decisions–would it cause pain? Would it make things worse? How much pain would it bring? Was it worth the pain? It was about finding the right balance.

How do we put others needs first when we already are ourselves “needy”?

My Mum had a stroke a few months ago and there have been things I felt I needed to do to help her, yet that extra effort may also have a detrimental affect on my own health. I want to help her–I want to be obedient to Paul’s directions–yet what if that is not good for me?

We see things we want to do–good things that will make others lives better; we want to serve, help, or simply be an encouragement to others.

What would God have us do? God who knows us, better than we know ourselves.

“For He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:14)

Shouldn’t we trust God to show us when, where and how He wants us to consider others? Won’t He give us the resources to do what He requires of us?

Prayer: Father God, please guide us and teach us how to consider others and what You want us to do for You. Help us not to become thoughtless of others, when we get wrapped up in our own problems. Keep our hearts open to Your promptings, as we thank You for still seeing us as valuable in Your sight. Amen.

About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful that God walks each step of her life with her, and that He is teaching her new things as she learns to live with chronic back pain. She enjoys finding time for reading, writing, and photography, and to share those things with others. You can contact her in the Sunroom, or read more of her writing on her blog there.

In what ways are you considering others before yourself? Is that hard with your own health situation? How do we find a balance without becoming selfish?

Did you know your strength, your song, everything is in Christ alone? When we are trying to make those difficult choices it can be helpful to remember that this is where we need to fall at our knees for answers. This is one man, David Wesley, singing “In Christ Alone” aucapella–yet he sings five parts! Absolutely beautiful. I hope it bless you. -Lisa