I don’t usually read Forbes magazine, but I can’t keep myself from picking up the yearly edition in which the magazine announces its roll of billionaires. I like to check whether or not I made the list. I know this may surprise you, but I have never seen my name alongside Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Before I became a Christian, I used to think making the Forbes list would be the ultimate sign of greatness. But God defines success differently, doesn’t he? Just because the people on that list are great in the world’s eyes doesn’t mean they are great in God’s. Then again, they may be, but if they are, it has nothing to do with their financial achievements.
The good news is that you and I don’t have to be on that Forbes list, or any other list, to be great. God has another way for you to be great. And God’s path to greatness is also something that is a key to your health. Isn’t it just like God to arrange things that way? You can wake up every morning and be extraordinary. You can go to bed every night knowing you are partnering with God to make a difference. How? By being willing to help others. Jesus said, “The greatest among you must be a servant.” (Matt. 23:11).
Serving others is good for your spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Though helping others may not get you featured in a magazine, doing so in ways both big and small will have a significant effect on the quality of your life and your overall health. In fact, a principle–often referred to as the Greatness Principle–says that when you bless others, God blesses you.
Though helping others may not get you featured in a magazine, doing so in ways both big and small will have a significant effect on the quality of your life and your overall health.
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Of course, many benefits of serving others are tied to the benefits of having strong relationships in your life, since serving often leads to deep connection with the ones you are serving or the ones you are serving alongside. Serving is also scientifically linked to a longer life-span, better pain management, lower blood pressure, and greater happiness.
Studies show that when you do something to help someone else, the reward center of your brain pumps out the mood-elevating neurotransmitter dopamine, creating what researchers call a “helper’s high.” That sense of well-being has long-range effects.
Here are seven ways to start seeing and meeting needs around you, doing your health and well-being a favor in the process:
- Encourage the people around you.
- Help someone in need.
- Invite your friends to church.
- Connect with your family.
- Pray for your friends.
- Serve your city or town.
- Join a volunteer team at your church.
Stay open and sensitive to God’s guidance. Act on small opportunities that present themselves daily. Pay attention to your passions and gifting as you think about how you can serve in bigger, ongoing ways. When you do those things, you will be able to step forward into the world ready to serve others well–and boost your own health and happiness immeasurably at the same time. Plus, you will have the joy of knowing you are engaging with God in a meaningful, tangible way. What could be greater than that?
Stay open and sensitive to God’s guidance.
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– Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson
The above excerpt is from p. 109-116 of The New You: A Guide to Better Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Wellness.
With your copy of The New You, you will come away with specific strategies on how to lose weight, get more sleep, lower stress, nurture better relationships, connect with God and much more! Anyone who wants to trade in the frustration of average living and less-than health for the hallmarks of the new life God promises will find The New You an effective personal guide for the journey.
Your partner in ministry,