“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Caring is tricky business. Caring is a necessary part of living a meaningful life. Caring too much can be destructive. Caring to little can be just as destructive. If I asked most people, do you care too much or too little, I am willing to bet most would say, “I care too much.” Most would make that statement, because at our conscious level, caring too much hurts more than not caring. Yet, at a deeper level, caring too little can be as damaging, or worse.
Many people have been emotionally burned and as a result, have backed away from parts of life that create deep levels of caring. Initially, this appears to be productive, because pain levels become lower. But over time, it limits one’s ability to live life with the passion necessary to accomplish one’s vision and goals.
Kris Gage, in her article, “What To Do When You Don’t Care,” states that caring too little comes to feel like a lack of motivation. Caring too little often feels like fear, anxiety, and uncertainty. These are not comfortable emotions either. Gage argues, “These are all pretty much different words for lowered self-esteem, and self-esteem is almost always the root issue — first causing a lack of engagement when we know it matters, and then causing us to accept a life lacking engagement (when we know it matters) as the norm.” In other words, there is no way to avoid painful emotions. One cannot avoid pain, it must be experienced and overcome if we are to live a meaningful life.
Today, pray for the courage to feel even the most painful emotions. Amidst the pain, seek God’s care and loving support. Trust God to bring people into your life who can assist you in overcoming your pain. Finally, remind yourself that you are a child of God and worthy of God’s attention and blessing. As our self-esteem strengthens, our ability to care returns. God is calling us to care, in God’s name. A return to caring will bring richness and depth of joy back to your life.