Being useful makes you more content

I think we’re spiritually constructed to want to be useful.

When someone we know is going through something difficult, how many of us have thought or said something like, “If only there was something I could do to help” or “I just want to be useful”? In a broader sense, you probably feel a strong internal desire to “make a difference.”

If so, it’s because you’re responding to that deep inner urge. As followers of Jesus, we put this deep inner urge—this spiritual desire to be useful—into action as his hands and feet in a hurting world.

And guess what? Not only is it being faithful… but it makes you more content and at peace!

Check out this research.

Sociologist David Myers of Hope College found that people are happier who do volunteer work, donate more to charity, and help strangers.

In 2013, Dr. Suzanne Richards and colleagues at the University of Exeter Medical School in the U.K. reviewed 40 studies from the past 20 years on the link between volunteering and health. They found that volunteering is associated with a higher amount of overall satisfaction, lower depression, increased well-being, and even a 22% reduction in the risk of dying earlier!

In Ephesians 2:10 Paul writes that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Our desire to be useful—and, more specifically, to be useful to Jesus as his hands and feet in a hurting world—relates directly to our purpose in life, and is something God has prepared in advance for us to do.

As an added benefit, according to modern research, it even makes you feel better!

Usefulness is a part of faithfulness. And not only does it put a smile on someone else’s face, but it puts a smile on yours.

By Matthew Ruttan

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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