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HELPING WITHOUT HURTING

Lending a helping hand. People helping each other and teamwork c

Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter and not do what is most convenient for us.  Strength is for service, not status.  Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”  That’s exactly what Jesus did.  He didn’t make it easy for Himself by avoiding people’s problems, but waded right in and helped out.  “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way the Scripture puts it.  Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us.  God wants the combination of His steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever He will do next.  (Romans 15: 1-4, The Message Bible)

Rescue the perishing; don’t hesitate to step in and help.  If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,” will that get you off the hook?  Someone is watching you closely, you know.  Someone not impressed with weak excuses.  (Proverbs 25:11-12, The Message Bible)

I don’t see a lot of wiggle room in these imperatives.  Each of us is called to be a helper, to reach out and make a difference to someone else.

 Inconvenience doesn’t excuse indifference, nor do the small circles we draw around our families and our lives.  Oh, yes, of course, we prioritize and take care of our families and our jobs.  However, it doesn’t end there.

Now I’m not saying that you take on every need or set out to single-handedly save the world.  However, I believe that if we are truly listening, staying so intimate with God that we recognize His Voice instantly, we will hear Him whisper or give a heart-shout that says, “Reach out here.  Go there.  Take on this assignment.  I’m calling You to make a difference right here in this situation.”

I experience that in moment-to-moment encounters, and I’ll bet you do, too.  However, sometimes God speaks about a project that is more intensive and more long-term.  As many of you already know, He will do the same in your life as you open yourself to Him.

Whether your next assignment is on the other side of the world or in the grocery store or certainly in your own home, you are called to be a helper. I just don’t see any exceptions in the Scripture.

I do need to add here that you are not called to be an enabler!  Your task is to help others help themselves, to not only support but equip and encourage them to live more effectively.  Your job is not to enable them to become weaker by living with the hand out.  It’s certainly not to inadvertently make a problem or addiction worse by insulating the person from the consequences that teach and invite change!  Sometimes the withholding of unhealthy rescuing is helping.  (This is really important!)

That’s why we must act in the Holy Spirit’s gift of wisdom, accurately discerning the plans and callings of God.  However, no one is immune from the divine mandate to demonstrate the attitudes and actions of a Spirit-led helper!

Lord, please help me touch those You want to touch in a special way.  I want to be Your Hands and Feet to minister to the hurting.  I want to walk in Your particular callings for me.  Grant me wisdom To know how I can help.  Please help me stay tender toward others with Your Heart of Love operating through mine.  

 


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