One of the messages that has contributed to some aspects of my spiritual growth is learning that we need to take care of ourselves before we can effectively assist others. It’s the idea that putting our oxygen mask on before we put it on others is key. I heard that announcement a lot growing up every time I would fly. Thanks to my father I have traveled a lot and hearing that message repeatedly piqued my curiosity. As a child it didn’t make sense to me. I thought I should help others even if I wasn’t doing well or if I wasn’t strong enough. For me helping was more important. The whole process just sounded selfish to me. Why would I help myself before helping others? Wasn’t it a contradiction to what God expected from me? I was convinced that God wanted us to be helpers and to develop a service mentality.
Now, how can we help others effectively when we are not doing well? That is the question I asked myself for a while. If my emotional and spiritual structure is not solid enough I can only do so much to assist others. A foundation that is wobbly will not support anything that needs to be put on top of it. I would hate to be that wobbly person who loves to help others but who doesn’t have anything to offer because of the weakness of his inner condition. The Lord desires to build us up so we can support others. He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us on that journey. Where are you on your journey of being built up to do God’s work? Every day counts. Every day is a drop in the bucket of assistance. Once we get that bucket full enough, we can pour all the assistance onto others. We need a refilling plan and we need to be consistent. Today I want to encourage you to let the Holy Spirit grow you and build you up. Let the Lord define you, refine you and forge you. He will make you strong so you can be a blessing to others.
When someone says they need to work on themselves, it is often because they want to be a better version of themselves. They want to improve who they are so they can feel better about themselves. When the reason behind the transformation is to become a stronger person so we can serve others better, we speak the language of the Lord. Have you noticed how the Lord’s language doesn’t make sense to the world a lot of the times? He speaks using words and phrases that jive with the world’s jargon. The world cannot always understand what the Lord is saying because it is too deep for the hearts that are full of themselves. God’s language can’t penetrate the hearts that are too thick and too hard. When the Lord talks about loving others as ourselves, a hardened heart hears gibberish. Now in plain heavenly language the Lord says that we ought to be servants of each other and humbly help one another. A good servant of the Lord is someone who puts others before themselves but it is also someone who has the emotional and spiritual means to help them. Edify yourself with the Word of God. Build yourself up. Stand strong in the Lord and His strength in you will reach others. Be the vessel you were created to be.
Solid vessels can’t leak what they contain easily. They can stand the test of time and they stay strong under pressure. I want to be that sturdy vessel that carries the presence of the Lord everywhere. A vessel that doesn’t run out of His presence. A vessel that contains all the love, the zeal, the joy and the energy to help others. I always want to have that oxygen mask on me and use the oxygen of the Holy Spirit to breathe life into people. I want to spread the breath of fresh air that people in dry and arid places long for. I want to carry the water that will quench the thirst of those going through dry spells in the middle of deserts of hopelessness. I want to keep that mask on by putting on the garment of praise every day and the helmet of salvation all the time. I want to help myself so I can help others. Help others so that they can help the rest of the world in return. You and I can start a chain reaction of help, love and goodness. We can be the starting blocks of a beautiful domino effect that will affect the world in many ways. You can touch the world better when you have built up your world first so to speak. Make sure that your world is centered around Jesus and you will be a good servant to a world that needs hope and love! That is a great way you can help others and make a difference in Jesus’ name!
Suggested reading: John 12:26; Hebrews 6:10; Galatians 5:13