Helping others is a good thing. In fact, one of the reasons we are created is to do good works in the world. Paul said it this way:
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
There are so many ways to do good works and so many people who need help! It can feel heavy and overwhelming at times. And we can never work hard enough to meet all the needs around us.
But there are some things only YOU can do. And because you are the only person in the world who can fill certain roles, those relationships must take priority over everything else.
Your Unique Relationships
Think about family.
If you are married, you are called to be the husband or wife of your spouse. No one else can fill that role. So that relationship, and those needs, take priority over others.
In the same way, if you are a parent, you are called to be a mother or father to your children. No one else can fill that role. So, meeting the needs of your child or children takes priority.
If you are single but do life with people who become your family, those relationships and their needs are going to take priority over other things.
You get the idea.
Your Ministry Boundaries
Most of what we do in life could actually be done by someone else. Someone else could serve at the food bank or teach your Bible study class, or probably even do the extra work at your job that threatens to take over your world.
It’s nice to feel needed. But when I believe that I am so important, none of the things I do would happen without me, it’s not healthy, and it’s really not true.
Sometimes we get so caught up in ministry to others that we neglect those closest to us.
And no one else can be a mate to your spouse or a parent to your children.
That’s why healthy boundaries are necessary. Taking care of yourself is essential. And being available to meet the needs of those closest to you is vital to maintaining and growing these precious relationships.
Prioritizing the Roles Only You Can Fill
When a husband or wife sees their spouse working so hard for Jesus and they are never around, the marriage suffers. And children feel neglected or unimportant when a parent is so busy helping others, they are never present at ballgames or band concerts or even just dinner at home.
Even those just-like-family friends won’t stay close friends if you never, ever have time for them.
At Mercy’s MPower workshops, we equip Christians to offer effective help when others are hurting and suffering. But we also teach helpers about healthy boundaries. And we make it clear that when it comes to helping others, you must prioritize your own family.
Because you are the only person in the entire world who can fill certain roles.
Truly, every one of us could spend all day every day helping other people. And it would never be enough because the needs in the world never end.
But when we take care of ourselves and our primary relationships—when we fulfill the roles assigned to us alone— we aren’t so stressed out. In fact, we cultivate and nourish peace.
And then we can go out into the world as healthier people, prepared and ready to help others in meaningful ways and carry the hope found only in Jesus.
Mercy Multiplied exists to provide opportunities for all to experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power. We offer multiple programs and resources online and onsite designed to equip people to live free and stay free in Christ. For more information about the services we offer, click here.