Keys to Distinguishing Selfishness versus Self-Protection
What looks selfish may be self-protective acts fueled by previous experiences. Some methods were good when first needed but are now causing damage instead of helping.
It takes awareness, attention, new experiences, caring community, and sometimes professional therapy for our bodies to react in new ways.
We can’t clearly define where self-protection ends, and self-focus begins. We need the Holy Spirit to help us discern. If we’re willing to listen, the Spirit brings awareness and guidance.
Are we stewarding life or contributing towards a self-sourced life, absent of trusting God?
To distinguish between what’s healthy and not, consider asking to God to reveal:
self-protection that’s healthy and necessary to fuel healthy connections with others
self-protective ways that lead to disconnection and even harm
motivations to give beyond what’s comfortable because God is guiding you
motivations to serve self over trusting God and caring for others
Ultimately, only God knows our motivations and needs. He is the one who reveals self-protective measures that are appropriate, ones that require healing, and ones that need to be relinquished.
God is willing to reveal what our hearts need most. He invites us to go beyond instinctive needs so we can experience lifelong provision by our greatest protector.
Jolene Underwood is an emotional health warrior and soul care mentor. She provides practical and spiritual support for cultivating life within the Christian soul by drawing upon her personal journey towards emotional health, her psychology background, and a passion for Christian counseling. Jolene writes regularly at JoleneUnderwood.com. She also leads a community of writers called Rise Up Writers. Her tool, Unleash : Heart and Soul Care Sheets, has helped hundreds experience greater freedom. Connect with her online via YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest at @theJoleneU or via the Cultivated Life Newsletter.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Antonio Guillem