Kindness post #8 – kindness a form of narcissism ?

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I took the day off from work today, enjoyed sleeping in. Read my Bible while I enjoyed a fresh cup of coffee. Watched a movie with my kiddo, listened to the rain beat down on our tin roof… Decided to do some kindness research and I came across the quote above from the song “Hands” by Jewel. That was my quote selected when I was a senior in high school. I’ve always tried to be kind to others; my parents have told me stories of how I was generous even as a child. But I also recall times when I was completely the opposite. It’s easy to focus on self…it’s natural. Still, deep down I have always felt compelled to be kind. Anyhow…while conducting my brief research I came across another quote I really liked so I made this pic too:

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Then, I came across this quote:

“helping others is often about your own narcissism. What you think people need is often not actually what they need” -Barbara Oakley – (Judah, 2013).

At first I was offended by such a statement. I’ve tried to be kind and loving for as long as I can remember, but I’m no narcissist. In the great words of Michelle off of the tv show Full House, I thought “How rude!” :). However, then I allowed myself to remember that God has tugged at my heart to make sure that during this kindness campaign that I keep a firm eye on Him so that this does not become about me. I do not want people to say “wow, Amy is so kind” – because it isn’t about that. Amy is a hot mess. Amy screws up daily. Amy NEEDS Jesus. And Amy is just trying to make the world a little brighter for His sake. Outside of Jesus – I am nothing. I believe that there are many things in life that are “good” but can be tainted by the wrong heart. Jesus discussed this in Matthew 6:1-4 when He said:

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you”(Matthew 6:1-4 NLT).

We must guard our hearts (Prov 4:23). Even in doing good we should take caution to be sure that it is for the glory of God and not to lift up our own selves.

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I am praying about how to continue this campaign. I will certainly continue the campaign on my own and in private & in an effort to glorify my Father and to bring joy to the face of others but I will not be sharing my specific acts for they are to honor God and to lift Him high…not myself.

I will however continue to share about ways that others can give and meet needs of people that are in need of hope. I do still ask that you ask yourself often, what you can do to share the love of Christ in practical ways with the people in your world. In your community. In your life. Strangers. Friends. Loved ones. Neighbors.

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT)

Make a difference for Christ. Don’t choose to not act because of apathy or busy-ness but do good things that God may be honored. Someone is always watching – let them see Jesus in you. Remember to guard your heart in the process – let your acts be for His honor and not for your own gain.

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In Christ,
Amy

#thirtythreegifts

#kindness

(Judah article referenced above: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24548023 )

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