Are you Helping or Hurting?

ripples

I begin this piece with a confession of the sin of pride, “My frustrations with most any process or person stem simply from their refusal to do it my way.”

I love working with teams and I’m blessed to work with good-hearted and skilled people in both the arenas of work and church, yet even in such company I can narrow my focus to just a portion of a process or a single person’s response and allow it negatively affect my entire attitude. Thru confirmation bias and my ability to extrapolate this single instance into a microcostic proof of why this matter at hand is dreadful I then begin to act selfishly and in turn spout poison into the process and the people.

Many times it isn’t even a conscious act because words grown out of pride are natural to the human condition. Left unchecked the negative attitude spreads and we find ourselves racing toward a toxic environment.

So how can we begin to identify and modify these attitudes?

I find it helpful to return to 3 basic re-orienting questions:

  • Am I working with good people? (if the answer is no you have a larger problem at hand)
  • Am I working toward good goals?
  • Am I trying to help?

Consider Paul’s words to the Ephesians

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Eph 4:29

Perhaps we should more often pause, breath, count to 10 and ask ourselves if the words we are about to say are corrupting or building words.

Helping vs Hurting. Simple but not easy.

Blame is easy. Seeing the worst in the situation or a person is a trivial task. We master actions originating from perceived hurt or frustration by age 2.

Rather, let us seek to build up, to teach, to encourage, and to humbly listen.

The end result might look a lot more like Philippians 2

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Phil 2:3-4

or in other words like Jesus.

{image credit: gezelle}