Have you ever read something really inspiring, encouraging, or enlightening and immediately had the urge to share it before you even finished the article? This happens to me all the time.
My thoughts are flooded with a list of people in my life that could benefit from what I just read. The speedy texting and emailing begins. “Check this out, you will LOVE it.”
I’m a notorious sharer. I’ve always been this way. If I see a really good movie, everyone that I know and love HAS to go see the film before it leaves theaters. If I’m eating an amazing meal, it kills me inside when someone turns down my offer of a taste. “You don’t understand. This bite will literally change your life!” (I’m not dramatic).
I don’t think it’s inherently bad of me to feel this way. Though, I have noticed something lately that has made me second-guess this seemingly innocent habit of mine.
Often times, especially after reading a convicting chapter in a book, I rarely let the message sink in before I’m thinking of people who I need to share it with. Even if a book was titled, “Caitlin, you need to read this.” I would probably subconsciously replace it with my husband’s name.
Could I potentially be avoiding the work that needs to be done in my self by always deflecting the truth to others? Totally.
Is it because I love him? Yes. Is it because the message is awesome and I’m excited to share it with others? For sure. Could I potentially be avoiding the work that needs to be done in my self by always deflecting the truth to others? Totally.
Do you catch yourself doing this? It’s a humbling pill to swallow, though by admitting this to yourself, you are opening a whole new door to a healthier life. I had to get off of my prideful high-horse and tell myself, “Caitlin, you are not everyone’s doctor. You cannot ‘fix’ someone if you constantly avoid what you need to work on in yourself.”
I see this happening in comments on our blog posts all the time. Comments like “Wow, I have two ‘friends’ who need to read this” or “I wish my ex knew this years ago” are not uncommon. If you have commented like this, don’t worry, my mind tends do the same thing! Though, you know what’s really refreshing to read? Comments like “Wow, this is me, I have a lot of work to do.”
Hear me out; I think sharing an article that you find inspiring or interesting is great. Keep doing that. However, before you shoot out your posts, texts and emails, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this something I need to work on?
If your honest answer to that question is yes, hit pause on your urge to share. Take a moment, or take an entire day, to really search your heart on the matter. Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be shared at all. After doing so, move on to number 2 and 3.
- Is my reasoning for wanting to share this coming from a place of pure love?
I have definitely felt this ugly, pious inclination to share something simply because I think others have some work to do in that area. I’d be very careful with this. Odds are, you’re judgment is going to be sniffed out and whatever you shared wont be received very well (this is coming from experience).
- Will this actually encourage someone?
Is your sharing of that email or blog post going to bring life to someone? Is it going to positively challenge them to be better? Or is it going to upset them, annoy them, or turn them off? Think about the place of life your friend might be in before you send something. Maybe now isn’t the best time to share because they just had their heart broken. Give it a few weeks, and it could be substantially more effective!
Our like-and-share-society opens the door to causing a lot of unnecessary pain and judgement.
Listen. I’m telling you this because I’m the worst at sharing things when maybe I shouldn’t. Our like-and-share-society opens the door to causing a lot of unnecessary pain and judgement. On the flip side, it creates an awesome opportunity to quickly give hope and encouragement to those who need it most. Let’s do the latter.
Share away! 😉