Did you know there can be too much of a good thing? It’s taken me time (and a lot of emotional work) to be aware that this is possible. I mean, like you’re living life, trying to be the best person you can, right? You’re trying to live by God’s word, trying to do all the right things; going to church, volunteering, being kind and forgiving, being a great employee, spouse and friend. You know doing your best. And yet, it’s still easy to get off track with all of this goodness!
What’s your why?
At times we have to look at our “why” and really be honest with ourselves. I mean like really honest. That’s hard, and I believe some of us don’t know how to do that. I know I didn’t, but working with someone has helped me to get to the “core” reason behind some of my actions. When we can do this, we may end up seeing our motive (our why) is not healthy. Even though the action is good, kind and honorable we may be doing it for the wrong reason and that my friends is not healthy. Not healthy for us and not healthy for the people we love.
Charity work is a great example of something good that can get out of hand. I’m sure you’re laughing right about now, I mean who on earth can say that volunteering and charity work is a bad thing? God tells us to volunteer, to take care of the widows and orphans, to take care of those who cannot care for themselves, to give generously, to be unselfish and sacrifice for others. How can any of these things be bad? Truthfully, they in and of themselves, are not bad, they are good. The key to seeing the healthy vs unhealthy is taking a look at the unselfish part.
Let me explain
There’s no doubt volunteering and charity are good and we should all participate in some way. When we do, we get some satisfaction and “feel good vibes”. That’s good, we should feel good, we are doing God’s work. But, what if we begin to work for our own benefit, not financially but what if we are so caught up in the “good feels” that we begin to work for our own benefit? It’s easy to accept all of the applause and complements. They feel good, and they are good, but they cannot (even a little bit) be the reason for our work.
What if that applause begins to tempt you in a way that leads you morally away from God’s guidance. Maybe you begin to get caught up in the applause and complements that you neglect other areas of your life? What if your charity work begins to affect your job, or your marriage, or your family? Shall we just ignore the other areas to do God’s work in charity. Shall we ignore the words of people who are concerned about us when they say we are unbalanced, and it is affecting us in a negative way? It’s just my humble opinion, but I think we should pay attention! The bible tells us to pay attention! In Proverbs 12:15, it says, the ways of a fool is right in his own eyes but a wise man listens to counsel. Nobody knowingly wants to be a fool, but when we think we are right, and refuse to listen…well…. if the shoe fits.
Hmmm….how do we know?
How do we know if they are right, or if we are right? Dive! yep, dive right into God’s word, ALL of God’s word. Don’t just pick and choose the pieces you like, the verses that make you feel good. Here’s the deal. God’s word, will NEVER contradict itself. In other words God will NEVER encourage you to follow a command that contradicts another area of His word. That is not God, that my friends is how the enemy of your soul works!
The enemy is a liar, he comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) and if he can destroy your life while you’re “doing God’s work”, he’s won! Don’t be deceived by the liar. (Ephesians 5:6) There was a time when the enemy tried to tempt Jesus. Satan’s statements were so close to the scriptures, just tweaked a little bit to fit his purposes. But Jesus knew the slight differences. He countered those lies with the accurate spoken Word. The Truth. That is how we find any deception, we check it with God’s word.
The solution is simple, we should meditate on the bible daily or abide in His word. If we study and seek his word (all of it, not just the parts we like) we will not be tricked into imploding our life by only believing what we want to hear. The enemy knows where we are vulnerable, and just how to catch us. Don’t get caught! We should shield ourselves with the word of God so we don’t become victim to the schemes of the enemy.
And for heaven’s sake don’t let your pride or self righteousness get in the way of seeing truth and correcting the situation. God hates this kind of pride because it’s a hindrance to seeking Him and doing what is right. You may even want to consider removing that thing from your life, even if it’s a good thing, until you can find some balance. Lastly, take action, seek counsel with someone you can trust to tell you the truth, not someone who will tell you what you want to hear. Proverbs 13:10 says. Where there is strife, there is pride but wisdom is found in those who take advice. If you are fighting to get people to see how you are right, maybe you are too prideful to see just how wrong you are.
I could go on and on with bible references about good works, deception, making idols, pride and so on but to sum it all up, we need to check ourselves. Maybe, when we are doing all of the right things, we should still humble ourselves and not get caught up in the “good feels” and check our motive. Especially when there is strife in some area of our life.
Keep doing good and stay humble my friends.