News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

Rev. Edwin Jenkins

Through helping others, you can help yourself

Most of us learn at some juncture in life that we need encouragement on a regular basis. We live at such busy paces that sometimes our encouragement batteries require recharging. Some of us are discovering one of the very best “rechargers” for the batteries of life.

What is that, Edwin? I am glad you asked.

When you feel low, when it would take an upward leap to reach the bottom of the barrel, try the following simple exercise.

Help somebody else.

“Oh, no Edwin,” you say. “I’m serious and you’re playing games with me.”

I assure you that I do not intend to add to your frustration or burden. What I am sharing with you has worked for others, and I believe it will work for you.

Think of an act of kindness you can do for someone. Then think of a specific someone for whom you could do it. Then do it. It is as simple as that.

Now, you may be wondering if such a simple action can truly result in positive personal benefit. The answer is a definite “yes,” but let me offer one qualifier.

When you are thinking about your proposed action and the person or persons for whom you will act, try to forget about yourself. Focus on the person and the action as a genuine contribution to that person’s life. Self-forgetfulness is the direct opposite of self-absorption. It’s tricky, but you can do it.

Forget about yourself. Focus on an action you can do to help another person. Get started on your plan to build another life through a positive action of helping.

One more thing — I am going to offer you a guarantee. Try this approach at least once. Then if you are bold enough, or should I say “blessed” enough, try the approach a couple or three more times. Then, if it hasn’t worked, call me and complain.

You may think this is a silly guarantee, but at least you will be able to vent your feelings to someone. In reality, I don’t expect that anyone will ever call me to complain. Why?

When you help others you really do help yourself. It is the way God designed us. How do I know that? Simply because Jesus Christ, the ultimate life model, according to the Scriptures, “came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many.”

The Rev. Edwin Jenkins, pastor of Athens First Baptist Church, is one of several local ministers writing religion columns for The Daily. For more information, call Melanie Smith at 340-2468.

Rev. Edwin Jenkins Rev. Edwin Jenkins

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