Thursday, May 30, 2013

When you have a good heart...

I would like to take a minute to discuss this image. I saw it circulating on Facebook quite a while ago and I had to snag it up, which is something that I do from time to time when something in particular bothers me. (Which it is actually probably not a really good habit to go collecting things that bother you. But I do it so I can discuss it - if with no one else, then with my husband, poor guy.)

Anyway, what bothers me so much about this is that I don't think that these qualities are necessarily those of someone with a good heart. In fact, it sounds more like someone who is trying to make an excuse or make a reason for the fact that they think they are a good person doing good things, but somehow they always seem to feel hurt instead of having good emotions.

I see a lot of things crop up on Facebook where a person posts something with the intent to receive compliments, comfort, and consoling, and this, to me, just smacks as one of those things.

So, I ask you: what is a person who helps/gives/loves too much?  

In my experience, this is a person with low self-esteem and low self-worth. They want to help solve your problems or give you advice/items because they want to feel valuable. They love you "too much" because they want to feel loved and they don't know how to love themselves (or because they don't realize that God loves them).

Since these people have a low value of themselves and use the opinions and views of others to define who they are, they often do not know their own limits or boundaries. This causes them to overextend themselves, whether you have asked them for help or they have taken up the cause on their own. They don't know how to stop and say, "I love you, but I can't do that for you right now." And since they don't have a high value of themselves, they often don't know when to say no to things that compromise their values, morals, or beliefs.

These so-called heartfelt gestures, though, usually are not committed with the best interest of the recipient in mind. A person with low self-esteem can actually be an incredibly selfish person. They move from person to person, action to action, cause to cause in an effort to create value for themselves through the appreciation of other people and organizations. When their desperate and frenzied attempt to earn someone's love backfires and the recipient becomes angry or irritated, the person with with low self-esteem can't face the fact that maybe they behaved badly. Instead, they feel sorry for themselves and think, "Well, I guess I just help/love/give too much because I have a good heart. I should be appreciated more."

It certainly isn't the sign of a "bad" heart if you know your limitations and boundaries and can say "no" when appropriate! And we learn what times are appropriate by having an active relationship with God and regularly spending time with Him in His Word.

And, what about trusting "too much", you ask?

There is no such thing as trusting "too much", in my opinion. The person who is truly trusting might get hurt from someone who takes advantage of that trust, but it is the deceiver who is in the wrong. 

A person who believes in and trusts God can take heart knowing that God sees all things and remembers the times that His child is hurt or taken advantage of. We need to trust that God will choose the appropriate action to discipline those who have done wrong, and we also need to trust that He will choose the appropriate time to do it.

Additionally, when we have an active relationship with God and regularly spend time with Him in His Word, we will have a better idea of where our trust can be placed because God will direct us. We certainly can't expect humans to be as trustworthy as God, but that doesn't mean that humans are untrustworthy to a fault. We can trust that in where God leads us, our efforts will return fruit.

So, what if this image seems reasonably true?

I would suggest that you examine yourself and your motives. Are you truly helping, giving, and expressing love because you love the recipient, or are you doing it because you want them to love you and express love to you? Do you have an active relationship with God where you regularly talk to Him and spend time with Him in His Word? 

If you read this, and you find that you're facing feelings of anger and resentment, I would suggest having some prayer time with God and really digging deep into your heart and motivations. I am not trying to point any fingers or place any accusations, but an intense emotional reaction could indicate that you are in denial. It's best, in my opinion, to lay it all out bare before God and let Him help you sort it out. It could just be that you're having a really rotten day... or it could also be a sign that God wants to do some work in you. ;)

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