I am a giver. A hardcore Enneagram type 2 through-and-through. I love to give and I love to help people – specifically with their relationships with food. I also just love to help in general. If you are like me or know someone who is, you probably know already what I am learning more than ever right now. Sometimes it is so good to give… time, energy, support, etc. and sometimes I just need to shut my pie hole, mind my own business and take care of myself. This lesson comes up for me often in life, but a few years ago the Lord brought it up in a striking and absolutely hilarious way.
I was running my first 5k and so excited about it. I was by myself which I didn’t mind because there were thousands of people there and the excitement was contagious. I was happy to be getting some movement on a beautiful morning and happy to be supporting a great organization at the same time.
Two miles into the race I heard this couple arguing about 10 feet in front of me. The man was trying to encourage the woman to keep going and continue jogging. She was having none of it and seemed to just want him to run ahead, but they only had one phone and were concerned they wouldn’t find each other in the finish line chaos. They were annoyed and arguing and without even thinking about it I started to devise a plan.
I would go in there, introduce myself, give him my cell phone, run with her the rest of the race and then we would meet up at the finish line. I had it all figured out and I was going to be so helpful to them!
THANK GOD I had the sense to realize what an absolutely inappropriate and terrible idea all of that was. I just started laughing at myself and thankfully I had the sense to leave the poor people alone to work out their issues themselves. Can you imagine if I would have done that?
I have never been able to forget that incident and often think about it when, with the best of intentions, I take on other people’s burdens that they either didn’t ask me to take on, or I have no business carrying for them. This has been hard for me, but in obedience to the Lord, I have worked hard to learn this and will continue to.
You know what I have found? When I focus on my own stuff, my health, my issues, the areas of my life that need attention and the ways God is calling me to take care of myself, I have a lot more to give to those around me.
If you can relate to this in any way my hope for you (and for me) is that we can trust the Lord to help us use our gifts when it’s healthy to and ordained by Him and let go of the need to be needed and to give when it really isn’t our place to be involved. May we grow in wisdom and obedience to Him. It really is the better way!
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Kristen is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in eating disorders, oncology, and pediatrics. In private practice and in life, Kristen desires to incorporate the truth of God's Word into her life and the lives of her clients, knowing that it is the Truth that sets all of us free! She and her husband Keith love being part of their local church community and seeking God's will in all areas.