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Archive for September 18th, 2008

Serve Self

Do we have an obligation to ourselves? What do we owe ourselves? When does self override others? Lots of people I know take care of self first, I would not say they are totally selfish, but they make sure self comes first, then others if time, money or talent permits. I will say that the people I hang with the most are not that way; most of the people I hang with are servants of others, whether it is their job, or just who they are. Then I also know others who only serve others and ignore self. Somewhere there has to be a happy middle; a place where serving others and self can live together. I know I try to live that way, and sometimes it works out, and other times, not so well.

Why is it we find it hard to do so, could it be what the bible states “You cannot serve two masters”, I always thought of that passage as one referring to God and money, or God and rock stars, you know always referring to a replacement to God. But it just occurs to me as I write this blog that maybe; just maybe it also can apply to you and others. Could that be why we have a hard time serving others and self, do we feel that doing so is then neglecting the other? If we concentrate on self, then we are placing ourselves above the others we are to serve.

In truth I have heard this argument, and I for one have never been of the point of view, I for one, have always argued that you must take care of self, before you take care of others. Truly how helpful can you be if you yourself are not healthy, what words of hope can you offer if no hope lives within you. Have you ever talked to a friend who is down and out, and looked to them for words of encouragement? Won’t really get any of great value, Sure they may say all the right words, but the words will be empty, hollow inside. They will echo with the despair of the one who said them.

We are obligated to care for ourselves, we are created to live life to the fullest, and to do so we must care for self. Now that does not take away the fact that we are also called to serve others, in fact just the opposite is true, the healthier we are, the happier we are, the more we will want to serve others, because it is fulfilling  for both body and spirit. We are created to serve, but we must serve with a healthy mind body and spirit.

So stop, take inventory, and start today caring for self, with the goal of serving others tomorrow. You do not have to stop serving others to care for self, but you do have to stop feeling guilty about it, you do not have to feel selfish for it, rather feel great joy in the fact that you will become an even greater servant, you will gain greater joy from the service you offer.

Paul

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