One of the hardest things to do when you’re in a slump is to shift your thoughts to someone else in need. But lifting others is often just the thing to lift you too.
Acts of service do this in two ways. First, service takes your focus off of yourself. Second, as you give, you feel joy. That joy comes from the Spirit of God, and as you invite that Spirit into your life your own pain begins to subside and happiness takes its place.
Feeling the Spirit
As the day of His crucifixion grew near, Jesus spent time with those closest to Him, assuring them He would never leave them alone. He promises us the same thing.
“Peace I leave with you,” He said. He was referring to the Spirit, which can help us any time and any place.
Feeling the Spirit is different for everyone, and even each individual’s experience with it can vary from one situation to the next. One common thread between most people and most experiences is a feeling of joy and peace.
Jesus spent his life ministering. He fed the hungry. He healed the sick. He wept with people who were mourning. He loved people who made mistakes and even compassionately guided those who were selfish and self-righteous. He washed dusty, weary feet. He was kind to those who insulted him. He put others first, knowing that His life would become the example for the rest of us to follow.
When asked which of the Ten Commandments was the most important, Jesus said it was to love God. The second was to love our fellow men and women. He asked us to lift each other on his behalf.
Many Ways to Serve
Service to someone else doesn’t have to always be delivered in a casserole dish. Maybe even more powerful would be a text or quick phone call, a compliment, or sincerely asking how someone is doing. These things open the door for others to be honest and for you to listen. Your neighbors might need help moving a piano. A single mom might need a babysitter. Maybe your friend needs to hear a kind voice or a really good song. Ideas will come as you reach out and then listen.
Why It Works
God often answers prayers through other people. He sends His Spirit to guide you when you have the potential to be one of those answers. You could prayerfully ask, “What would Christ be doing for those around me if He were here? Who does my Heavenly Father want me to help?”
Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught that we are happier and more fulfilled when we give. Follow his counsel and consider who you could think of today.
Do you have a great story of service you gave or received? Tell us about it in the comments!