On Helping Others

So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock.
Genesis 37:14a
It's human nature to want more stuff. It's also human nature to put yourself ahead of others. But that doesn't mean that fulfillment will be reached by following the path of human nature. God also planted a higher nature within each human soul, and feeding that part of ourselves offers the kind of fulfillment that selfishness and materialism simply cannot.
This is not the pie-in-the-sky imagination of a religious do-gooder. Psychological studies have actually shown that helping others improves self-esteem, alleviates stress, and (no surprise here!) improves interpersonal relationships.
It also offers others a different way of looking at a negative situation. Back on January 6, a terrorist mob descended on the U.S. capitol building in order to prevent the peaceful transition of power the U.S. has enjoyed since George Washington in 1797. Many of us will never forget the violent acts and hate-enraged faces that news of that event brought into our homes. But soon afterward, other images were shown, such as a congressman on his hands and knees cleaning the floor of the building he loved. And, as difficult as it was to see armed soldiers protecting the halls of congress from invaders, the photos of soldiers asleep on the marble floors reminded us of all those who give of themselves that others might enjoy freedom.
So may I be inspired by my Lord and by the examples of those I see around me to look not only after myself, but to help others. None of us can make it alone in this world. That's why God gave us a higher purpose in life.

Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
 Philippians 2:4
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Grant, O loving God, that your kindness in causing my own lines to fall in pleasant places may not make me less sensitive to the needs of others less privileged, but rather more incline me to lay their burdens upon my own heart. And if any adversity should befall me, then let me not brood upon my own sorrows, as if I alone in the world were suffering, but rather let me busy myself in the compassionate service of all who need my help. Thus let the power of Christ be strong within me and his peace invade my spirit.
 John Baillie, alt.
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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