Nice post Ruby.RubySera_Martin said:To this, Wil replies:
I've got a problem with that. If I follow the conversation correctly, then this refers to people who had worked in the mission field in situations that did not nurture their spiritual life. My question would be: Did God call them to the mission field or was it the church or some other human idea? How do we discern that God wills it?
Which brings us back to the original question on what God wants. Except that the question regarded whether God wants us to have the Christian religion or some other religion. In all cases, though, we are talking about discerning God's will.
Many Christians probably won't agree with me but I conclude from my own experience and the stories of other people's experiences that we must be and do that which best nourishes our own spirit.
This will look like selfishness and lack of self-denial to many Christians. Maybe it is; maybe it isn't. From a psychological perspective it makes no sense to deny myself to the point where I become a nobody. Why? Because nobody can serve God i.e. a non-person cannot do God's will. We must take care of and nurture ourselves if we hope to be in any condition to help others.
"Helping others" brings up its own questions. If we live in an affluent society far from the poverty of jungle peoples how can we help anyone? Should we not go into the mission field to the poverty and disease-ridden and aleviate their afflictions?
I will focus here on helping others in our own affluent societies. I see it as a basket in which all strands are woven together to make a complete whole. A basket is a useful item. However, if one strand is broken the rest is weakened and perhaps the whole thing will fall apart and spill the contents.
To avoid this from happening, each strand must focus much attention on self-care. The strand that would isolate itself from the other strands is little good. The strand that is so focused on serving others at cost to itself becomes weak and broken.
For this reason I think it is important, and also God's will, that we focus primarily on self-care. This will include finding a niche in society. When we find our niche in our focus on self-care we turn into guiding lights for others. Thus we draw strength from each other and support each other in the various struggles of life.
Sometimes the biggest thing a person does for me is to hold the door for me. This is especially helpful when I am feeling very discouraged and question my value as a human being. The other person's little act of holding the door validates that I am a human being worthy of respect. This can put a smile on my face. And who knows who all is encouraged to see a smiling face?
On the other hand, a person who feels dry and under-nourished spiritually very likely becomes short-tempered and sets in motion a lot of negative stuff, even if they manage to paste on an appropriate smile.
That is why I think self-care is of top priority i.e. seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all the rest shall be added unto you.