The Dangers of Filling Your Own Bucket

Welcome  It seems like everywhere I look in media these days, there is promotion of self.  It may come in the form of “selfies,” self-care, or self-affirmations.  To be honest, I take part in these activities myself. I even used to subscribe to the magazine titled, Self.  But now I’m beginning to worry about all this focus on SELF.  If I’m so busy building myself up, how can I possibly be focused on God or building up others?

Food For Thought  When I was teaching kindergarten, we used the book, How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids.  This book is very popular among primary teachers for building classroom climate and character, especially at the beginning of the year.  The idea is to get kids to understand, using the visual of a bucket and drops of water, that by doing good and kindness for others we become full and satisfied.  If we are mean and unkind, it’s like a leak in our bucket that lets out all of our happiness.  This is a great book to use with young children because of its illustration of an important concept…thinking of others first.

Young children are very egocentric.  There world is still small and they feel they are the center of this world.  It is normal for their stage of development, but eventually children grow and mature and learn they are not the center of the universe.  Well, that’s how it’s supposed to be anyway.

It appears to me that many people in our current society have missed this stage of development.  This is an oversimplified statement, I know, but I think many of the world’s problems come from selfishness and demanding our own way, thinking we are entitled to whatever it is we want.  And it may just start by trying to fill our own buckets.

I’m not talking about filling our bucket by doing good for others, although we can become quite fulfilled in this way.  I’m talking about the need to put drops into our own buckets, intentionally telling ourselves how wonderful, amazing, talented, important, smart, etc. we are.  God made each one of us special and talented in many different ways, but if I’m spending all my time giving myself these compliments and affirmations, I’m putting too much focus on myself.  I’m literally becoming FULL of myself!  That time is better spent worshipping God and lifting others up.

I think we should love and value ourselves as God’s creation.  This includes taking care of ourselves physically, protecting ourselves from burn-out, and not treating ourselves with unkind words or thoughts.  But we are to love God first and above all else.  And we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Today’s Scriptures  I like to use these verses as reminders for putting others before myself.  I have a LONG way to go on this path, but the more I read and study these words, the easier it is to keep my focus in the right place.  These are just seven of the many passages addressing this topic in scripture.

Today’s Bible Journaling Page  This page was inspired by (not identical to) a page seen on Pinterest, done by artist Peggy Thibodeau.  Unfortunately, the link was broken and I’m unable to refer you to her website.  But if you look her up on Pinterest or Instagram, you will definitely find some great art and inspiration.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Bible Journaling
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Bible Journaling; black ink and colored pencil; inspired by Peggy Thibodeau Art