Christianity talks a lot about caring for your neighbor and community; it talks about being concerned for the poor, the sick, and the social outcasts. And while it is frustrating that not all churches follow those teachings as well as they could, others do. Myself, I care deeply about others for a variety of reasons, but my faith is a big one. And when I look at the work I do, I feel as if I am doing the Lord’s work without using the Lord’s name.
A big part of this is through my role as a recovery support specialist, utilizing my journey with depression and anxiety to help others. It is incredibly rewarding that my journey out of the darkness can serve as an example for others who might be struggling in their own shadows. Just as there were those who supported me when I needed it, it feels right to be able to do the same for others. I rarely talk about my faith in these sessions because they are not there for religious support, so I only talk about it if they bring it up first. Yet proclaiming that I am doing the Lord’s work, while it might buoy my own ego some, does nothing to help others. Yes, part of my belief that this is the right thing to do is informed by my faith. But I believe that God cares more about the results than about the credit.
And as for how this process helps me in my recovery? Many know it as the helper’s high. The feeling of happiness that we get when we help others. Evolutionarily this makes sense because we needed to help one another to survive in the past. And spiritually I believe this desire to help others is written on our hearts early on by God. Jesus and the Good Book teach us so often about having a servant’s heart, and I believe this comes from a God-given desire many have to help strengthen their community. Yes, some have it stronger than others, but I believe we all have it and I believe that the helper’s high is evidence the God is pleased with us for helping others.
Further evidence for this comes from Matthew 25:36-40.
‘I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’Matthew 25:36
When the righteous go on to point out that they never did that, the King replies that what we do for the least of our brothers, we did for Him as well. God wants us to do well. He is there for us. Yet he works through the deeds of others, rewarding them with the helper’s high, even if they don’t always give him the credit. Because the Lord’s work doesn’t always require the Lord’s name.
And I can say from first-hand experience, the helper’s high is a great way to chase away the darkness.