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Eric’s Sunday Sermon; ‘Helping Others’

A life long pursuit and the results. Doctorates and experience sometimes do not mean much. Just listening is my expertise.

The Climb Up

He will catch me if I fall.

He will catch me if I fall.

Helping Is Hope

Helping others is the single most effective practice to cure depression, anxiety, and apathy. Yes helping others is an outright cure for our current personal angst. Helping others is an actual evidence based curative emotional and mental boost toward a whole wellness. Add in love and a spiritual component and I promise an improvement in your life.

Big old blessings to one and all. Yes, I ask that you call it a blessing that you are up and at ‘em and have the ability to read this. One of my favorite authors wrote to the effect that we should call all trials and tribulations a blessing for they teach us resilience and patience. This is hard to remain grateful for, but it is perhaps the number one mindset that can keep us upright mentally and spiritually in these times.

If we have that engrained grateful mindset, then we can get out of ourselves and truly heal by helping others. Perhaps if we do not have that grateful state of love, we only pass forward our own angst. There is that running theme in life that we cannot give away that which we do not have. It would be theft if we did. So obviously we must fill our hearts with an overflowing love so that it is that which is passed on. What is in the heart is what is received. Look inward, are you filling your heart with your God’s love. Or the world’s problems.

It is very fair-minded to worry and fear currently. Truly it is essential that we have these “fight or flight” survival instincts during the woes we face. It is said “you may not act in courage unless it is in the face of fear.” And I would suggest that it is not the conquering of fear that lifts us up and beyond that instinct but rather in a surrendering it to God. Surrender not being defeat or retreat.

My quite wise son and I were going on one of our adventures into the mountains and began to talk about heaven and hell. We went over it time and time again and agreed that hell and heaven are well thought of as here on earth. We also agreed we could get used to about anything that was our reality, no matter what torment. But that hell would be knowing that there was no end to it, ever. No hope and no faith and no love.

If you are feeling a degree of such despair, there is really good news, there is hope. The bad news is that it takes some hard effort and sometimes a bit of time. If your way of helping others is the way that is easiest for you, you will not get the abundant fruit yield from your labor.

Help to Climb Up to the Point

Somewhere looking up.

Somewhere looking up.

Just some thoughts that guide mine:

We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us thru that darkness to a safe and sane future. JFK

If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path. Gautama Buddha

God saved us by serving us. We often think we are the ones who serve God. No, he is the one who freely chose to serve us, for he loved us first. Pope Francis

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"There can be no greater gift than that of giving one's time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return." Mandela

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.

Dalai Lama

Today, see if you can stretch your heart and expand your love so that it touches not only those to whom you can give it easily, but also to those who need it so much.

Aristotle

Mark 10:21: “And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, 'You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and ...

I have had some time off from giving much to others as would seem right to me. I would start and stutter trying to get back to the me I so enjoyed. And that was a gift in a way that showed me that I could not. Cancer and hard core bi-polar took a little longer than I would have liked to deal with. Of course abusive self-medication and wrong prescribed medication hindered progress. The doctors and I seemed to do more trial and error than success. But as Edison explains of his 1,000 tries at the lightbulb, we did not fail 1,000 times, we just found 1,000 ways not to do it. Perhaps I mention that because Doctors are in the business of helping others and I try to help myself and even working together it took a couple of years for our “help” to help.

Home

We are helped by nature.

We are helped by nature.

True Peace and Joy

But a very good thing happened. On the occasions of helping others I found an acceleration of healing. A stronger connection to Love which is God. The proper treatments seemed to amplify and do better, the improper began to lose their grip and slip away. And this seemed to have a snowball effect. Well anyway with no chemo or radiation there is no longer evidence of cancer. With a change in lifestyle into more meditation, prayer, exercise, outdoors, better eating, loosing 50 pounds and above all, helping others, the bi-polar is more like a gentle wind than the raging fireball going abruptly up and down rugged cliffs.

It could easily be said that our way out of the hole we have dug as a society begins with simply stopping digging. Maybe we stop adding fuel to the out-of-control fire. I think too often we speak to ourselves “as soon as I get in shape I can do more exercise.” Once I get my own life in order, I can help others? I can only love you if you love me first? I will stop smoking when God tells me to? My feet are just too cold to lend my extra shoes to the woman who has none? I don’t like him?

An interesting concept coming from adolescent psychology basically affirms what us folks growing up in small towns and country have known; “let the child fall so he learns to overcome adversity and carry on when things don’t go his way.” Seven Cs of Resilience: Confidence, Competence, Connection, Character, Contribution, Coping, and Control. (Probably control should be changed to acceptance in Love because that is all we truly control) Perhaps it is only by falling that we may truly be raised up.

It can only be through sleep that we can become awakened. Only through giving can we truly receive. It is by lifting up our neighbor that we have the gifts that can lift him up. And it is truly through gracious favor that we can give. The finest gifts are those that the receiver needs but does not know it. And the greatest of these is Love.

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