Compassion & Humility

I listened recently to an amazing teaching that included the subtleties of the heart we may or may not have when helping others.

The most compelling part to me was the point that unless we reach out from a place of humility, we will seldom be effective.  Why?  Well probably because our agenda is tainted.  And that rather than trying to help them in the reality of who they are and the circumstances they are in, we will in all likelihood be trying to achieve something else…. like self-fulfillment, rescuing, being the hero, guilt, or some such other ulterior motive.

We will often miss the point of what real help for them is.  We will be fulfilling first our own need.  And yes, they may in some way benefit from our efforts even if born out of our tainted motive.  Our effectiveness may simply be limited… or nil.

What lurks in our hearts?  Only God knows.  Only God can reveal.



(find minute 19:00 or so in the Dec 26, 2010 talk)


About Chaz

Husband, father, brother, son, friend. Sober member of AA. Grateful for the life God gave me and for the happy struggle of recovery.
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4 Responses to Compassion & Humility

  1. I agree. While we should take feelings of guilt, wanting to be heroes etc. as spurs to help people, we should never let our self-interest get in the way of being effective. There is something unsettling about being helped by someone who is doing it to feel needed or what-have-you. Although, some kinds of help are welcome no matter the motive. Still, it’s better to lost the self-importance.

    • Chaz says:

      Thanks Rainy. Yes, some types of help can’t wait for us o sort ou our internal motives and complexities. I know there was a time in my life when I was helped by someone who’s ulterior motive was to take from me financially… Which he did.

      Yet much to my surprise years later, I came to recognize that I did actually benefit from his help to some degree. So I believe this odd duality can exist in some measure.

  2. Great thoughts here Chaz. I am fully aware how my motives are selfish. If I am in a meeting, or in conversation and see an area I think needs fixing, say someone present has chronic relapse issues, I figure I’ll grab the bull by the horns and bring a topic up so I can fix em real good. After I rise from the dirt from that miserable failure, I ask God to help me say what He brings to mind…always. It is that realization of the Holy Spirit’s presence in me, compelling me to speak, or not speak, so Christ is exalted, God is glorified. I just have to die to self-will, self-exalting.

    The funny thing is how I am lifted spiritually. My ego is stroked, but in a way that I feel satisfied that it was not my intent. That feeling never left me face-down when I shared, I wasn’t trying to fix anyone, just be Jesus. Thanks for the post! Blessings!

    • Chaz says:

      Yah…. those selfish motives eh? They lurk waiting for an opportunity to jump in and grab the glory or whatever other payoff they seek. Something rooted in selfishness… even subconscious selfishness.

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