To refuse a request for just cause is as praiseworthy as to grant a request that is worthy. It is for this reason the “no” of some people please more than the “yes” of others. A refusal accompanied by sweet words and a civil manner gives more satisfaction to a true heart than a favor given with bad grace. ~ Marquise Magdeleine De Sable
Do you serve others from your heart or your head? I know that when I am serving from my heart, my investment of time does not drain me. It actually energizes me, and fills up me up with a feeling that I have “done good”.
Self-sacrifice is not always a noble thing. There is nothing noble about doing things for others out of a sense of expectation, or obligation – rather than as an expression of gratitude, talent, or love. It is not beneficial to anyone involved. It makes me feel burnt out, and resentful. I am sure my body language, and attitude – without intending to – lets the person I am doing things for know that I really do not want to be there, and that I really do not want to be helping them. I would imagine that it creates hurt feelings, and resentment on their part as well. As a result, I have come to a point in my life where I believe that every good deed, favor, and act of service should be done from my heart, rather than my head. This of course means there will be people I will disappoint.
As a side note: I have discovered that my positive attitude/outlook on life makes it easier for me to do acts of service from my heart.
It is not easy for me to intentionally disappoint someone. It feels like I am letting them down, and being selfish. It is hard for me to face the anger they may feel because I could not/did not do what they wanted me to do. It has taken me time to learn that sometimes it is okay to disappointment someone. I think it is better to do that than to perform an act of service that I feel a great deal of resentment about. I do not know about other people, but sometimes when I am doing things for other people – while feeling a great deal of resentment – I do not do as good of a job as I should.
While disappointing someone is not a pleasant experience, it is necessary – at times. When I use it to set boundaries, and prevent myself from doing things for others solely out of a sense of obligation, it makes me mentally healthier. It prevents me from feeling drained, overwhelmed, and resentful – things that have been known to lead to depression symptoms in me.
If your gift is serving others, serve them well. ~ Romans 12:7
I want to serve others, and I want to do it well. I want what I do to be a blessing – not a burden.
Are you doing a favor or service with bad grace, and attitude, because you feel obligated? Try to only take on projects, and favors that are true to your heart’s calling, and do not be afraid to say no to the rest. Someone will be disappointed, but the service you do perform will be a blessing – for you, and the person on the receiving end.