Key 5: Share Yourself With Others
Too much introspection into your problems and weaknesses can cause you to become ingrown. If you’ve ever had an ingrown hair or toenail, you know how just a small ingrown element of your physical body can cause pain. This same principal applies to your spiritual and emotional life. You can turn inward and over time cause great damage to yourself, all in the name of trying to know yourself or fix your problems.
The best cure for many emotional difficulties is to turn outward and start giving to others. You may say, “But I don’t have anything to give.” Every person has something to give, even if it’s only a smile, a kind word, or a pat on the shoulder in time of need. Sometimes just your presence can be a gift to someone, especially to those who are lonely, grieving, or suffering with long-standing illness. The happiest people I know are those who have wide-open hearts and who give generously to others. Such individuals are totally secure in God’s love. Give without expecting anything in return. God will see your heart and what you do ... and He will reward you accordingly. Trust Him to take care of you.
By giving freely and generously, you open up yourself. This open stance before God and other people is important to emotional health. It is only as you open yourself that you learn to trust, and being able to trust is vital to your ability to receive God’s forgiveness and healing, and to believing that God will supply all of your needs.
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).