Helping someone and doing something for someone can be very different things. Doing something for someone means you do something the person can’t or won’t do. Sometimes it’s a good thing. It’s helpful. But sometimes it’s not. Sometimes the best thing is to take a burden away from someone, and sometimes the best thing to do is the help them deal with the burden. When we take away someone’s burden, we often help the other person feel better (and we feel better, too!), but we also take away an opportunity for that person to strengthen faith, resolve, skills, and coping abilities. We take away preparation they need for something that is coming in their future. Along the way, we might even take away their dignity.
Of course, it’s not our intention. We just want to help.
I’m not suggesting ignoring the problem or the person. But why not pause long enough to ask, “What can I do that will be the most help?” Be careful. We have difficulty assessing what will actually help when we don’t set ourselves aside. We want to quickly fix the problem, or we remember what helped us in the past, or we want the person to learn a certain lesson (and we don’t hesitate to be the expert teacher).
Helping isn’t about taking matters into our own hands. It’s letting God use our hands.
Helping is humility.
Be willing today. Look around. Help someone. God will give you plenty of opportunities. He always does.
Be willing. Be attentive. Be helpful.