Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Duty of Putting Yourself before Others

I bet the reader was somewhat taken aback by the title of "putting yourself before others," but the concept is actually a necessary one in the spiritual life. Of course it is in our human nature to be selfish and not remember our neighbour at times, but this article is going to focus on a main issue people often don't see.  It's the problem that we put our neighbour before ourselves to the extent that we neglect our own needs. Here's an example, imagine two young men that work on a farm. They have a very labourous job, but the first young man always makes sure he's taking his breaks, that he's in good shape, and that his mental and spiritual health are benefiting from the job. The second young man doesn't exactly do this. He always asks the farmer for more jobs, pushing and pushing himself to make sure every detail is complete, working very long hours and skipping his breaks so he can get more work done to benefit the farmer. Who is doing better in the eyes of God? Maybe to the eyes of the world it would be the second man, since he's sacrificing himself so much for society, but in the eyes of God it would be the first. 

God does not give us merit for straining ourselves because we think we're doing more for the world and those around us. He gives us merits for taking care of ourselves as He wants us to. It is extremely necessary to care for ourselves first before we help our neighbour. How are we supposed to love our neighbour as ourselves if we're not even loving ourselves? It is our duty and obligation to take care of our physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing in every single situation. If you're being overworked and it's beginning to effect you, it's your job to rest and heal yourself. Oftentimes it may seem like rest is the last thing we want to do if we want to achieve great things, but it's always in the little perfections that we merit the most.

If we care for ourselves first, our neighbour will always benefit far more than if we had exerted ourselves too much for their "well being." God spreads merit and goodness where His will is followed, so never forget that if we take care of ourselves first, everyone else will benefit. Even if we're lying in bed, resting finally after a life over over working, the world will gain great grace.

And so my dear reader, care for your own soul, care for your body and mind, and always heed to the will of God. For the will of God guides us to not only happiness, but wellness, health, and peace.