On Pursuing Self through Giving to Others

10 Jul

It is very common to pursue self through engaging in charity.

Giving to those you consider in greater need than yourself can do a lot of things for yourself. It can temporarily relieve a sense of guilt you feel about how good you have it and allow you to enjoy more material pleasures less self-consciously. It can help you feel like you are a good person and enable you to ignore some of the other sins in your life. It can cause you to feel like you are important and powerful as people in need often are willing to trade respect and gratitude for financial gain.

In some ways getting involved in giving to those in need is one of the “best” ways to pursue self because it is not as obvious a way to pursue self as some other activities we might engage in.

The fact that many people use charity for the pursuit of self is not a good reason however to stop caring about people who are in difficult and sometimes impossible situations. I don’t stop eating because some people are gluttons. This sad reality should cause us to be very careful and prayerful however about our motivations as we seek to help those who are in need. That we can take such a beautiful endeavor and use it for such a selfish end should humble us and cause us to cry out to God for His mercy as we seek to show mercy.

One Response to “On Pursuing Self through Giving to Others”

  1. Gospel Enthralled July 10, 2012 at 11:46 am #


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