“Then Jesus said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow Me, he must give up himself and his own desires. He must take up his cross everyday and follow Me. If anyone wants to keep his own life safe, he must lose it. If anyone gives up his life because of Me, he will save it.” Luke 9:23-24 NLV
According to HelpGuide.org volunteering goes a long way to bettering our mental health.
Benefit #1 – Doing volunteer work will help you make friends and build relational connections. Each time Jane moved, shyness reared its ugly head and she felt a reluctance to plug into her new community. Leaving her old friends hurt and it was easier to remain isolated than to deal with constant losses of friendship. But she let go of her fear of loss and began volunteering at a local food bank where she soon made many friends and gained people helping skills. The next time she moved, it was easier to “plug-in” because she knew right where to go to make new friends.
Benefit #2 – Volunteering benefits a person’s mental and physical health. Isolating oneself socially can lead to or worsen depression. And that depression hurts, not only mentally and emotionally but physically as well. By giving ourselves, our talents, time and energies to others, we reap self-satisfaction and fulfillment. It helps us get up off the couch and get moving while giving us a reason to feel good about our accomplishments, both of which go a long way toward fighting depression.
Benefit #3 – Volunteering teaches you new skills. You have more of a chance to grow and stretch as a volunteer than in any other place because organizations that use volunteers are often short-handed. Because of their need, they are willing to invest the time to train a qualified volunteer. If you work as a volunteer you will learn new skills and hone the ones you already possess.
Benefit #4 – Volunteering gives you a chance to explore your passion. Is there something you’d like to do, but never had the chance? Find a place that can use those unused talents and desires. It will bring satisfaction and may open up a whole new world – maybe even lead to a career change.
Volunteering allows us to get out of our own comfort zone to do something for others. But it is a win-win scenario. When we give up our time, money or talents to help others we always get something back – something better and more than what we gave away .And when we add Christ to the mix – giving up our lives for others because of our relationship with Him – we truly find abundant life!
Lord, teach me to be a servant that I might find true freedom in You! Amen.