How do you combat being selfish with your time? As a single person, it's easy to get caught up in our own little independent world. There are those moments when we are needed for extra church things, hanging with our friend's kids, getting caught up with something on the one night you could stay in, etc. where we get frustrated that the needs of others are taking away from our own time. How do you avoid this selfish tendency and what do you do to avoid becoming frustrated with "sharing" you time with others?
My grandmother has a saying "friends take you but they don't bring you back", I heard it practically daily as a teenager to warn me against the dangers of following bad company. However the Bible tells me that iron sharpens iron, Proverbs 27:17.
Friends have definitely been very helpful in sharpening me and keeping me from selfishness. I do have the other kind as well but over the years I have learnt to recognised and choose the kind of friend who will enlighten, inspire and encourage over the ones who will keep me stagnant or drag me down.
It is so much easier to give of my time when there is someone else in the trenches with you. Recently my friend called me up to be at a conference as prayer support. I did not want to go, it started early Saturday morning and would take up most of my day. I had errands to run and I had had a long week so I desperately wanted some veg time. I did go simply because my friend asked me and we hadn't spent much time together in a while, I am so glad I went. The time I got to spend with my friend was great though it wasn't much in the way of hanging out but doing something with her, serving with her and just serving was even better.
Sometimes I also need to examine my motives. There will be times that I am genuinely tired and NEED that me time. Those times I'm okay with saying no. There are the times when I just feel like I have given enough and I just don't want to or need to give any more. Those times I need to really look at what is driving that which I don't always feel to in the moment but when I have a quiet moment and feeling a little more at peace I can look back at why I was feeling a certain way.
Doing something I love is a great motivator for me when it comes to being of service to others. You never have to ask me twice to babysit or watch the kids at an event where mommy and daddy are busy. I love children, especially babies, so I am always up for giving my time.
I am also for serving in one area that helps me avoid another task that I particularly don't like. I am a queen of the retreat registration desk by now. It keeps me away from the initial mingling with retreatants and the big welcome talk where I have to be out front talking, I need time to warm up before I am surrounded by a swarm of people I don't know and most people hate the registration desk anyway so I get to be of service and bonus I meet people one on one for a short period and ease my way into the whole thing.
Where can you be of service? What are some ways that you avoid selfish tendencies?
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