Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions
I recently read a simple sign stating, “There is no limit to the good that a man can do, if he doesn’t care who gets the credit”. If you really don’t care who gets the credit, then you can just enjoy yourself and do all kinds of good deeds. Just be glad that it is done, and don’t worry about who gets the credit.
The way we feel about ourselves affects the way we treat others. If we are happy and content with ourselves we naturally treat others well. But the opposite is true. Hurt people end up hurting other people. There’s a blockage there which prevents the love and kindness to come out. I know people like that. They usually end up living lonely, self-centred lives, and block out others.
What Can We Do About That?
(The following seven steps have been taken with permission from the Kanelstrand blog)
1. Treat others with respect (i.e. the way you want to be treated)
Making people around you happy will help you feel happy. The thankfulness in people will increase your self-esteem and what is more, those that you treat well will likely repay you with the same kindness.
2. Develop empathy
Imagine how other people and living beings feel, what affects them, what hurts them or what makes them happy. Learn to listen to your heart.
3. Put the needs of other people before your own
Pay attention to the people in your life to find out what their needs are. Anticipate their feelings. Catering to their needs will not make you less important or miserable. On the contrary it will fill you up with a sense of accomplishment and joy. It takes time to learn to be considerate and sensitive but once you start trying you will only get better.
4. Reciprocate kindness
Be sensitive to the kind treatment you receive by others and try to reciprocate it. If someone treats you bad, rise above the occasion and respond with love and positivity.
5. Do more for others, but still take care of yourself
Acting in a selfless manner and being attentive to others should not stop you from caring for yourself. You are just as important as anyone else is.
6. Don’t be judgmental
It is easy to judge other people but try to live their life and you will find yourself making even more mistakes than you think they made. Try to be understanding and forgiving, and learn from other people’s mistakes instead of labelling and judging them.
Giving is a lot more difficult than taking, especially to ungrateful people. But giving should not be about gratefulness either. Sometimes, it is just about the feeling you get for yourself. Giving adds up to your self-worth even if nobody else knows about it.
A Service Attitude
A student at a Bible school in the Philippines became disturbed one day over the condition of the men’s toilets, since they always seemed to be neglected in the cleaning routine. When nothing was done to eliminate the filth, he took matters into his own hands and complained to the principal of the school.
A little while later, the student noticed that the problem was being corrected, but he saw with amazement that the man with the mop and pail in hand was the principal himself! Later the student commented, “I thought that he would call a janitor, but he cleaned the toilets himself. It was a major lesson to me on being a servant and, of course, it raised a question in my own mind as to why I hadn’t taken care of the problem!”
It may be a simple illustration—but how many times have you helped someone on the condition you get thanked? The principal of the Bible college had the right attitude—he would help clean up the toilet himself. There is no limit to the good a man or woman can do, if they don’t care who gets the credit.
It was Jesus himself who said: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45). Jesus didn’t look for a pat of the back—instead he was nailed to the cross.
It’s no wonder Francis of Assisi is still remembered today for his words: “It is in giving that we receive”. Just as the Bible teaches, “We should help people whenever we can” (Galatians 6:10) and “Care about others as much as you care about yourselves” (Philippians 2:4).