The WHO trumps the WHY

There are some legit reasons to take steps out of your comfort zone but there are also some bad ones.

A few common drivers that come to mind off the top – the “I’m somebody with something to prove” mantra. Or the lovely “I can do it better than you/them” attitude. Throw in a little dash of bitterness and now you’re cooking.

I think we could all agree that inferiority, pride and revenge aren’t great long-term motivators in life, but how often do we let those purposes creep in when we plan our next steps with our jobs, our ministries and our lives?

Or maybe we do the opposite. We tell ourselves that nobody really cares about what we do.  And if nobody cares, the pressure to succeed seems to dissipate. Because, let’s be honest, the only thing worse than failing is doing it while other people are watching.

All of these impetuses revolve around one question: why should I go outside? So we look inside for reasons.

We live in a culture that tell us that self-discovery is the key to joy and happiness. If we can just take one more personality quiz or read one more inspirational book or find one more hobby, the clouds will part and all of life’s troubles will melt away.

But here we are. Disappointed. Frustrated. Depressed. Anxious. Unfulfilled.

I read an article last week about how volunteering and serving others lowers depression, increases sense of well-being and decreases your risk of dying by 22%. U.S. News and World report had a similar article.

So that got me thinking. What if we stopped focusing all of our energies on figuring out why we should go outside and changed our mindset to ask: who am I doing this for?

Philippians 2:4 spells it out pretty clearly. “Each of you should look not only for your own interest, but also to the interests of others.”

Others. We do it for others.

And the crazy reasoning – the part that explains the “focusing-on-others-actually-helps-you” phenomenon – is laid out in these words in Luke 6:38. “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

So as we head outside in our daily lives, let’s remember that the best self-help is helping others.

To join our ongoing conversation about God’s call outside the camp, visit us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the Go Outside Podcast.


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