I received the question this week, “How can I help others while earning an income?”
Such a FANTASTIC question, right? I mean, it shows her HEART that she not only wants to help provide for her own family, but also wants to be used for the kingdom of Christ and all that He stands for.
Our lives are not willy-nilly. They are not created by some big bang theory over millions of years. We were created with purpose and FOR a purpose. And it’s absolutely RIGHT to think about others, all the time.
The Bible tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Romans 13:9-10).
We don’t need to be taught how to love ourselves. By nature, we are all pretty selfish people who love ourselves. Do we not feed ourselves, clothe ourselves, work hard for the things our little selves want?
Truly we are good to ourselves, even in the midst of things like self-sabotage, we are still taking care of ourselves, still have that inborn desire to meet our own needs and wants.
If we are loving our neighbors as ourselves, then whatever or however we show love to ourselves is how we should show love to those around us and how we do that will differ from person to person.
See in that Bible verse, God is not giving us a list of do’s and don’ts.
He’s not giving us some “chore” list of all the little things we have to do. It is truly up to each individual person how we treat others, based on how we treat ourselves.
That means that if I am wanting to buy myself food, I should also be willing to help those in my path who are in need of food in any way I can.
Maybe that means giving some of your food that you don’t eat or have in abundance (think of all those cans you have in the back of your pantry right now that are just going to spoil over time). Maybe that means working in a homeless shelter or soup kitchen to help meet the needs of the hungry people.
Maybe the people who are hungry, need GOD more than physical food, and so you provide them an encouraging word. You come along side of them, teaching them the Bible, if they are open to it.
Wherever you are, whatever you do, no matter if you have great wealth or your pockets are penniless, there’s always SOMEthing you can do to help others and treat your neighbor as you do yourself.
So this question, I Want to Help Others While Earning an Income, is truly amazing because it shows the heart is wanting to do all that. We want to line our lives up to Christ. We want to live for His glory. We WANT to be used for Him and this precious question was a jewel in the questioner’s heart.
So…how do we live this out, practically? Let’s take a look at some great ways!
I Want to Help Others While Earning an Income
The first thing you need to make sure you’re doing is to walk in the Spirit.
1) Walk in the Spirit
I cannot stress enough how VASTLY IMPORTANT this is. I know in my own life, it’s really hard to maintain consistency in walking in the Spirit.
I’ll do SO good and feel the Lord leading and guiding me and writing blog posts like this and then I’ll go through a day where I just see things through human eyes again. Maybe something triggered it. Maybe a situation happened, someone misaligned me or did something wrong to me. Maybe I was cut off in the parking lot or my kids were especially bad that day.
Whatever it is, it triggers me to look at my situation through worldly eyes and take my focus off Jesus Christ where my focus belongs.
It’s a constant battle for everyone but the more you practice, the better you get (this is true for me as well). I want so desperately for my heart to fully be walking in the Spirit at all times, and, so, right now, that’s my biggest prayer, and should be the prayer of all God’s children.
Help us to see YOU, Lord. Help us to walk in a manner worthy of Your calling. Help us to be the children that You want us to be. Help our lives live out each and every day for Your glory and not our own little kingdoms that we create. Purify my heart, Lord. Cleanse it and make me new this day. Help align all my thoughts, desires, wants, and needs to Your precious will and not to my own selfish thinking.
Once your heart is in a place of PURITY, you will see God work all the more! When we are washed clean, completely repentant (I always pray He wash me clean from known and unknown sins), then He is way closer to us. You feel His presence all the more. He is closer to those who are pure.
After your heart is clean and purified before Him, then you can be used for Him. Then it’s a matter of focusing on others.
2) Filling Your “Love Bucket”
Like I mentioned earlier, because of our sin nature, we always have the tendency to think of ourselves and not of others. We have to make a conscious DECISION, hey, today, I’m going to think about others. I’m going to NOTICE others. I’m going to find ways to focus on them and how I can serve them.
It takes that purposeful decision to LOOK AROUND and notice others.
I remember going to a Bible-believing church a while back and everyone was so scattered.
They were rushing here and there and no one had time to talk to me. I was new and everyone had things to do and places to go and people to see. It was always just a quick “hi, bye” type of thing. So I thought to myself, “Hey, maybe I’m being too hard on them. Maybe it’s just a one-time thing. One Sunday. It’s busy or something.”
So of course, I gave that church another try and kept going.
Over the years, it was much of the same thing, and, in fact, when I met Kyle, one of the things we connected on, early on, was that we both saw the same thing: everyone busy rushing by. No one really taking the time to get to know other people. How to minister or serve them. They were really busy doing things, GOOD things, but the people themselves were not a priority, and so it left some people feeling like outcasts, unwanted.
One lady who was newer than me, felt the same way and commented on it. After 3 other people commented on it, I knew it wasn’t just me and several were feeling like that, too.
How do you stop something like that? How do you combat it? Because things NEED to get done. The nursery NEEDS workers, the food for the potluck NEEDS to be taken care of.
I think that sometimes we can get so focused on what we’re doing, things that are good things, but we brush off the PEOPLE in the meantime. We get so focused on a task to do that the people who are the REAL jewels to God get pushed aside.
It takes a very decisive decision to make sure we are not doing that, because we ALL do that from time to time in certain situations. But we mustn’t be like Martha, frantic and rushing around. We need to be like Mary and sitting at Jesus’ feet, filling our needs, listening, and learning. Because if we are not filling our own “love buckets” with Christ’s love, then we have a hard time serving others.
So, first, make sure we’re walking in the Spirit every day and second, make sure you’re taking time with God every day to be filled with His love, grace, and mercy, so that you CAN focus on others, because your heart is so well watered and saturated with His love and kindness, that it pours out of you to others.
Only then, can we REALLY focus on others. For what would it matter if you’re focusing on others needs to “get the job done”, but the heart isn’t doing it out of a love for the person and for God?
All those GOOD things you do don’t really matter because the heart wasn’t right.
So walk in the Spirit, be cleansed and pure, be filled yourself, focus on others, THEN ask God to use you…
3) Ask God to use you
I think that one of the biggest things we all forget to do is to ASK GOD to use us. We get so busy in the daily grind of our lives that we don’t stop to really think about how God can use us and how we CAN be used by Him.
If we make it a point to wake up each morning and give God our day, how much DIFFERENT our days will become.
This is something that I started doing a few years ago, and, I have to tell you, it’s been life changing.
Nearly every morning, I wake up and pray to God, “Lord, this is YOUR day. You created it, you gave me breath, this is your world and everything in it. I’m a part of your creation. What would you like me to focus on today? What can I do to be used for you today. Won’t you lead me and guide me and show me all the things that you want me to do today for Your will and Your glory, Lord?”
And then I wait. I ask it of Him and I pray it (with a sincere heart) and then, I wait for Him to answer.
Usually, He answers.
There will be a new email from someone in the blog inbox that I know I can serve. Maybe offer some comfort and guidance. Maybe some advice. Maybe it’s a question like this one. 🙂
Maybe someone else will come to me and you can just tell they need attention and so you give it to them. You listen to them. You hear them. You pray for them.
Sometimes He shows me the things I need to do. He leads me to another path. Shows me that I need to redesign my blog or something like that, but He shows me something that I need to do.
Redesigning your blog may not seem like anything, it may not SEEM like serving, but it is!
I can’t reach people if my blog is looking stale-dated, old, and ugly. I need it to look modern to attract the people and once they come, they FIND that great content, such as this piece, that really helps them. Packaging isn’t everything, but it DOES matter!
So just pray that God uses you. Start waking up every morning, and, out of a great desire to want to be used for God, ask Him how you can be used for Him, what He wants your day to look like, what He wants you to do, and then take notice of the things that come your way that day. 🥰
I want to state this very clearly so there is no mistake – the things that we do not notice or do not see as important (like redesigning) can BE the will of God and can BE how we serve others! This week, I reduced my ads on this blog and removed around 75% of all ads! I wanted this to be a place where you feel comfortable reading and not slapped in the face with ads that stay on the screen no matter what you try to do.
You don’t need an ad in your face when you’re trying to read and focus on God!
And while it’s always a balance, I’m a single mom and rely on my blog, courses, and shop for income, I also want to care about YOU also. If I was reading something, I wouldn’t want an ad in my face. So I took off all the sticky ads, so that you can scroll past them. There may be an ad on the screen when you are reading, but it is very light and will be so much better than it was before! 🥰
That is a way to serve others while you are making an income. It’s serving you, while also providing for my family. It’s thinking of you, at the same time thinking of me, and balancing it. Taking a huge loss for my audience readers, but also caring about providing for my family. It’s a balance of the two.
And those kinds of things you can apply in ANY business. Just think about your audience, if you’re a blogger, and the types of things you can do for them.
Maybe they like a certain type of content, but you don’t necessarily LOVE to write it; you’d much rather spend time playing around creating printables or spending time with your family. Those things are good, too, but focusing on what God wants us to do and serving others and meeting the needs of the people is really important also. It must be balanced.
Yes, play with your kids. Yes, have fun. Yes, do all the things you want to do in life, but make it a priority to serve those around you.
Here’s the point to all of this, no matter WHAT YOU DO, whether you work at a bank as a teller, in a grocery store in checkout, or collecting garbage for a living, you CAN be used for God.
4) You can be used today
The truth is, that you don’t NEED a certain TYPE of job (think: men who are Pastors or an elder’s wife, etc.) in order to be used by God. You don’t have to BE something like that in order for God to use you.
Listen…God can use you WHEREVER you are!!!!
Right now, right this very moment. Wherever you are.
Maybe you’re feeding your newborn baby right now reading this.
Maybe you feel stuck at a dead-end job.
Maybe you’re chasing your toddler around the kitchen because he got ahold of something he shouldn’t have.
Maybe you just started up a Shopify store or a new blog. YAY!!! 🎉
Wherever you are, right this very minute, God can use you.
You don’t have to have a special job in order to be used. All you have to do is look around for the opportunities with a pure heart to be used for Him, and, I promise you, HE WILL use you!!!!
How can you help others while earning income?
If you’re working in a checkout stand at a grocery store, it’s the gentleness of His love pouring through you to your customers who come through your line. It’s putting a smile on their face, being friendly. It’s helping them and always being cordial even with the stinker customers.
If you’re a teacher, it’s caring for the students that no one else seems to notice. It’s taking the time to think of it like investing in other people’s futures instead of just a day to day, time clock in and out job.
There’s service everywhere. We just have to have a willing heart to BE used by God in wherever we are.
When we become a Christian, God doesn’t ask us to immediately give up our job and do something else. He uses us where we are. Listen He KNEW what you’d be doing when you first came to Him to be a believer.
You think this is all unknown to Him? You think He didn’t know? Didn’t ordain it? Didn’t allow you to be where you are? He did. He knew. And He has a plan for you.
It’s just a matter of LOOKING around and seeing what opportunities YOU have that only YOU can do.
After that, spend time thinking about how you can serve more, reaching more people.
5) Look for ways to reach more people
For me, I had a lot of friends coming to me asking me questions about saving money and how I was living so well on just a tiny income amount ($18k/year at the time). So I wanted to start a blog. I thought if I could only have a place online to put this information, because a lot of their questions were the same, it would save me time teaching and re-teaching the same information over and over AND I could go more in-depth online of what I could in say 30 minutes in person.
They’d have more time to be able to absorb the information because they could do it on their own time, whenever they wanted and go back over the information to really soak it all in.
I didn’t even know at the time, you could make money online. My blog was password protected; I only gave the password to my friends. It wasn’t public at all. And I found that they were telling me they were giving the password to THEIR friends and it was just becoming this thing I had no idea it would become.
Then I thought that it would be cool if I could reach more people than those in person and how I COULD reach many, maybe.
It was really difficult for me, at first, to put myself online. I was a single mom (still am) and having that information public, is maybe not the safest thing to do. The blog is my name. People could find me. There’s all kinds of crazies out there. So I had trouble with publishing it.
But I did and the rest is history.
God used those situations, where I was AT THAT TIME, to get me HERE, what you see standing before you today.
It didn’t start out as much. It didn’t seem like anything. But because I was praying, Lord USE ME over and over, He did! And look what He’s done. Look where I am now.
So I say to you very clearly also, you may not seem like much to yourself right now, but if you keep praying and have a sincere willingness and desire to BE used, He WILL use you. He will line your life up to His will and mold and shape you into the person that He wants to use and He can use you MIGHTILY!!!!
After all that, then the point of this question becomes, what is God leading you to do more long-term?
What is YOUR “blogging” story?
Because if you are doing all those things and asking Him to use you, He will light up the path He wants you to go on. He will show you where to go. He will lead you to His will, but FIRST, it’s about all the other stuff that I talked about above.
I can’t tell you, “Hey do this or do that”, because everyone’s journey looks different! There’s no one size fits all. Maybe you should start a blog, maybe you shouldn’t.
Maybe you should start a printables shop, maybe you shouldn’t.
Maybe you should work a job outside the home, maybe you shouldn’t.
Everyone is different and I can’t tell you what GOD wants you to do, only that I know HE WILL show you what He wants you to do, if you do the things I mention in this post.
So do them and look forward to Him leading you and guiding you and giving you an amazing life on fire for Him, a child of God who’s heart is so aligned with His, that we become a “man after God’s own heart” like David.
Will you start today down this path He wants to take you on?