Recently, I’ve been dwelling on the idea of helping. Helping is dangerous. Very dangerous. In fact, it’s become such a dangerous thing that a lot of the time I’m afraid to help someone in need.
Now, don’t get me wrong, everyone needs a little help sometimes. God even calls us to help those who are in need, especially the widows and orphans. We are commanded to care for those who have less than us and to put the needs of others before our own. We are called to help level the playing field, so to speak, and create a community of sharing, giving, helping, loving and ministering (truthfully, everything listed there gets lumped into ministering, but you get the idea).
However, like I said before, helping is very dangerous.
And here’s why:
When someone is in need of help, our first response as Christians, and fellow human beings, should be to help them, to do what we can to make sure they get the help they need, whether it is a ride to the store, mowing their lawn, babysitting their kids, watching their house while they are on vacation or simply talking them through a tough time in their life/faith.
Soon, they start to rely on you to do things for them. They stop doing the things they eventually become capable of doing themselves. Or they never start doing it because someone is always there to do it for them. This is known as enabling someone, letting them be lazy because you are such a nice person.
Parents, don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to do these things for your kids, especially if they are still in middle or high school. But when they become full-grown adults, you need to make sure that they are able to do those things for themselves. Otherwise, they end up on their own, unsure of how to go about basic things such as those listed above or unwilling to do it because there has always been someone there to do it for them.
(FYI: this is where a chore wheel or chore assignments come in handy, and yes, they work just as well for college/adult age people as they do for children)
It’s like Lao Tzu said, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Not only that, but he will expect a fish the next few times you come around after fishing. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Not to mention he stops taking your fish.” (italics are my own commentary, FYI)
So, next time you see someone who needs help, help them out. But if they keep needing help with the same problem/chore/situation, then maybe it’s high time you taught them how to do it, that way, you are helping them, not enabling them. The more people we enable, the lazier this world becomes, and trust me, this world is lazy enough.
Until next time, my friends, keep the faith and look to Jesus.