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Giving out of Abundance vs Earning Our Identity through “Saying Yes"

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

I’ve learned in my life that it has been so easy to “say yes” to every need and request. Finding my identity in helping people and being a people pleaser has (and can still be) a struggle for myself. True selfless actions are from the Holy Spirit. We human beings are not capable of doing truly selfless actions – because we always have some kind of gain. A compliment, less conflict, endorphins, a sense of accomplishment and identity. These aren’t inherently bad, but I have needed to be humbled by my false identity in being a “doer” and “helper” vs a man who is connected to Jesus and serves out of the power of the Holy Spirit – not myself. There is so much freedom in realizing on one hand I am more valuable and cherished than I ever could know (this side of heaven) and also real truth, wisdom, light, and love come from God. I do not deserve praise; these are not MY strength. I have nothing to offer – by my own strength. I haven’t arrived and never will, but I have seen great growth shifting from a place of clawing for my identity and worth by needing to feel or be significant vs submitting to my humble place as an empty vessel for God to be seen as Great. This is in part of what Jesus means when He says, “my burden is light.” Of course, His burden has it’s own challenges (more later) but His burden is radically lighter than having to defend that we matter, justify our existence and prove that we are lovable – those are all exhausting and destroy us.

Have you ever heard the argument: I do so much for you! But this is said out of resentment and frustration? If we are resentful and frustrated, we are serving and giving out of our own strength and for our own benefit OR there wouldn’t be resentment.

This realization is not to shove in someone else’s face. This is to pause and reflect when we see we are stuck in this cycle or earning, pleasing and resentment. We can all fall into this trap. Good things – serving – can become ultimate things and put in positions they were never meant to hold – such as being part of our identity or how we “earn” relationship.

This can harm, our families and those…

Hear more on the topic on Episode 7 of the Knowing Jesus Podcast “Human Flourishing and the Counter-Cultural Kingdom”

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