Nowadays everyone is looking for reprieve from pressures that are weighing them down in every direction. Mental pressure; anxiety is rampant in many people and for good reasons. Emotional pressure; is pulling at the insides which makes it very difficult to want to be around people as many are already feeling exhausted due their own emotional turmoil. Physical pressure; the pandemic hasn’t been very good for anyone and it’s taken a toll on our physical health in ways that have aged us many years beyond just the last two years. Relational pressure; how do you build relationships when you yourself aren’t feeling sound enough to give anything to build the relationship? There’s a solution that may go against all conventional advice. In reality, it is the opposite of what we hear from every expert on the subject of personal or self-care.
The answer is found in a simple proverb.
Proverbs 11:25 NKJV-
“The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.”
This is counterintuitive when all else feels hopeless or like you have nothing to give. Trust me I know. These last few months of my life have seemed like the hardest in a long time for many reasons.
I won’t bore you with the details. I don’t want to tell a story of pity but one of overcoming & breaking through the mental fog, feelings of depressions & lethargy. You know what this feels like because you’ve been there or you may even be experiencing these things and more even now.
Something happened in the middle of all this internal turmoil. I tried following what many have said. Take care of yourself first before you can take care of others. While I understand this concept, & it does work in various ways, it cannot be a lifestyle. You may need times of rest & a break from society and quiet to recharge. But when this becomes a mantra of “me first” we can unknowingly cocoon within ourselves. What ends up happening, if we’re not careful, is we begin a downward spiral into self-pity and it only causes us to implode. We become isolated when what we really need the most is pulled out of our “hole” we’re digging for ourselves.
I read this verse in a passage and my eyes were opened in that moment. I realized I had withdrawn due to the constant pressures of my day to day reality. Things weren’t letting up so I withdrew as a defense mechanism all in the name of self-care to protect myself from further anxiety & pressure. You know exactly what I mean as I describe this.
what do we do?
Get outside yourself. Talk to someone. Ask for prayer from someone. And most important of all, find someone else whom you can refresh. Maybe it’s simple things like serving your family around the home with simple tasks they need help with. Maybe it’s taking the time to listen to someone because you yourself know what it’s like needing to be listened to. Maybe it’s meeting a need you know that someone has because you have the resources in that moment to meet it.
The principle is just as true as the law of gravity. What goes up must come down. When we find and seek for ways to refresh others, we ourselves will be refreshed. Why? Because we are pulled out of our own self-pity and delusion that we are not going to be ok. We find ways to overcome our feelings of hopelessness because we come out of the cave of despair. Something happens internally and spiritually when we help others get what they need. We ourselves find healing, help, & wholeness as we do the same for others.
Your life will become more whole & your soul will be made rich! I am experiencing this freedom even now in this season of my life because I was pulled out of the cave. Try and see for yourself. Refresh others & be refreshed…
About the Author
David Grimm and his wife, Kelly, own Chick-fil-A on University Avenue in West Des Moines, Iowa. David and Kelly have been in the restaurant business since 2011. They opened Chick-fil-A in 2015 and have grown the University Avenue location by more than 250% since they started. David is incredibly proud of his top-notch team, quality products, and most of all, the remarkable guest experience his team provides on a daily basis. Since 2015, his location has donated roughly $1 million to the community and team through food donations, support, and education assistance. David and Kelly love being able to live out their faith through their words and deeds every day. They have four children and live in West Des Moines, Iowa.