Friday, July 31, 2015

Are You Really Happy or Just Really Comfortable?

I am participating in a blog hop with a few other ladies. After reading my post, click on Lori's link at the bottom, and then follow the circle back here.  


was scrolling through Pinterest the other day and found a pin that just said, "Are you really happy or just really comfortable?"  It's so simple, but so profound.  

I am a hardcore ISTJ, and social situations can make me uncomfortable unless I'm with people I'm really close to.  If it's not risky, I feel safe, and therefore, I feel happy.  But have I been happy or just comfortable?  I fret about being out of my comfort zone, which just means I'm more concerned about my own comfort than what someone else might need.  I feel like my inhibitions about these things are lower now that I know how deeply people can hurt.    

Guess what?  It's not about me.  I'm not here to be served.  None of us are.  If anyone deserves it, it's Christ, but Matthew 20:28 tells us...

For even the son of man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Think about how Christ gained followers.  He served them.  He spent time with them.  He talked to them.  He listened.  He healed.  He fed.  He met their physical and spiritual needs.  He could have gone around hollering about being God in the flesh.  He could have tried to impress everyone by performing miracles just to prove that he had the power.  He could have bragged about what an awesome place heaven is and how selfless he was for coming down to pitiful little earth to save everyone, but he didn't do any of those things.  After Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew says, "When Jesus had finished, the crowds were amazed at his teaching because he taught as one who has authority, and not as the teachers of the law" (Matt. 7:28-29).  Know what he did next?  He healed a leper.  He didn't take a break and let his adoring fans fawn over him.  He served.

A man asked Jesus which commandment was most important.  He replied...

The most important one is this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.  Mark 12:29-31

The two greatest commandments are to love God and love people.  In Galatians 6:2 Paul tells us to "bear one another's burdens," and John tells us to "not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth" (1 John 3:18).  If you are already involved in supporting a cause, that's great!  If you aren't, I hope this post can get you started in the right direction. The point is that we just need to help one another. By doing so, we're fulfilling the two greatest commandments: to love God and love people. 

There are a lot of people who need.  They need things, food, people, healing, and belonging.  God calls us to obedience, and that's what we are responsible for.  We're not responsible for what the homeless guy uses the $5 for, but if God is leading you to roll down your window and fork it over, you are responsible for that.

The greatest joy I have received since Sam's passing is being able to help other families whose children are in the CHSU or have also gone to heaven.  I know how much these people need the help.  It's like we all live in this world where we know bad things can happen, but those people who have actually experienced the bad stuff live in a separate world.
My guess is people don't know where to start. If you've been on earth long, you know there are a lot of people who need some help.  Maybe you don't know which cause to support.  Consider this: what does Jesus care most about?  People.  We won't find the good by trying to get rid of the bad. We'll do it by helping people.  So, what can we do?  

Are you only looking for big things?  Start by just doing something.  Get uncomfortable.  Do something out of your comfort zone.  Courage is contagious.  Find a cause or find a bunch of little ones.  Some people are called to pray and encourage, some are called to give their time, and some are called to give money.  Just help people.  I would venture to guess most people get involved in some type of cause because they themselves or someone they are close to have been through something.  Cures for illnesses, veterans and military personnel and their families, the homeless and impoverished, education, orphans, widows, single parents, and environmental issues are only the tip of the charitable cause iceberg.

If you want to pray and encourage...

Consider speaking with someone who is connected with an organization, church, or other charitable group to find out what their needs are.  For example, the CHSU is always in need of socks and mittens for babies.  They were recently looking for someone who could sew some mittens.  That's such a specific thing to be praying for!  

Maybe you have no idea what is needed or who to talk to--the Lord already knows, he doesn't need us to tell him what to do, so just spend time praying for the cause (Romans 8:26-27). 

Look up scripture to support their needs and share it with those involved.  Call, text, email, or send a card to someone to let them know you're thinking about them. 

If you want to give your time...

Consider speaking with someone who is connected with the charitable cause to find out what their needs are.  There are always lots of little things that need to be done to get something big done. 

If you want to give money and/or gifts...

Again, consider speaking with someone who is connected with the charitable cause to find out what their needs are.

The way to many people's hearts is through their stomach.  Make them a meal, pick one up somewhere, or give them a gift card.  Providing a meal to anyone is a great way to ease their burden.

Many people include in obituaries an organization or two to donate to in honor of their loved one.  These people really actually would prefer your money go toward helping someone.

Kiva is a really cool and unique organization that connects people through loaning money (i.e. your donation, but it's not really a donation because you'll be paid back) in an effort to alleviate poverty.  I learned about Kiva during a Jen Hatmaker bible study.  You (the lender) choose a borrower from their profile, make the loan (i.e. donate money that will be repaid), get repaid, and redonate.  In February, I paid $25 toward the total loan to a dairy farmer in Kenya.  How cool is the internet? 

There are some really convenient ways to donate money to charitable organizations by doing things you're already going to be doing, like shopping, playing games online, dining out, and using search engines:
  • Goodsearch is a search engine that donates a penny to a chosen cause each time you search the web through their site. 
  • Goodshop and Amazon Smile allow consumers to choose a charitable organization, and then a portion of eligible purchases is donated to the cause of choice.
  • Free Rice is a website where you can play a trivia game, and ten grains of rice are donated for every correct answer.  I shared this site with my students when I was teaching, and they loved it. 
Do some research...

First of all, I urge you to find real people who need what you are planning to donate.  Goodwill is great, but if you can find real people who need those clothes, home goods, furniture, etc., isn't that even better?  (Don't not donate to Goodwill.  I donate to Goodwill, but if you can find a living, breathing human that needs what you've got, start there.)

If you aren't giving directly to someone, please spend a little time online researching the organization you plan to donate your encouragement, time, and/or money to.  Make sure you choose an organization that will responsibly use your resources.  If you want to give money to an organization to help fund research for an illness, make sure you choose the organization that is committed to researching that specific illness.  For example, the Children's Heart Foundation is the leading organization solely committed to CHD research.  Donating to the CHF is a better choice for funding CHD research than another heart disease organization.

Where is God calling you to serve?  What would be out of your comfort zone but would greatly impact someone who needs it?

***Leave a comment with a charitable cause you are involved with, what you do to help, an organization you are part of, etc.  Maybe this will help spark an interest for others.*** 

Click here to see what Lori has to say.


  1. We work with Alliance for Children Everywhere ( We work to alleviate poverty in Zambia by providing education and micro-loans for families to start their own businesses. We have a welfare-type program called Milk and Medicine to help the poorest of the poor, but the goal is for them to become self sufficient. We also have two crisis nurseries for abandoned children. They stay with us until they can be re-united with family, fostered by Zambian families, or adopted, usually to Zambian families. The vast majority of all of this is now run by the Zambians with only minor oversight by our American board. It's fabulous!!

    1. I love this!! It's incredible how much impact a small amount of money can have.