Do you ever notice, that the more you do for some people, the less thanks you get …and the more you get taken for granted. But you keep on giving. Why? Maybe it's because,somewhere along the way, you've been told that this is what is required of us as Christians, that this is Jesus meant by laying down your life for others.
Do you want to be healed? Jesus asks the crippled man in John 4. The man’s response, I need to get into the water. I have no one to do it for me…and what does Jesus say? Pick up your own mat and walk… in other words…..Do it yourself!
Somewhere in our Christian psyche, we have planted an image of a Jesus who goes out of his way to give people what they are asking for of him....the God that keeps on giving himself away, no matter what. Jesus' attitude in this situation is a good reminder for us. We are not here to do what others ask of us. There are some things, many things, that they need to do for themselves.
It is not always easy to decide when to help and when to challenge. Conditioned as many of us have been over the years to feel bad if we don’t do what others expect of us, how do we know that our helping is …..helpful?
I have come that you might have life and have it to the fulllife for us so that we might have life. And there’s the clue…..life. Firstly, you can't really lay down your life, if you don't have a life of your own. And secondly, good help, GOD-help, will be obvious because it will bring life into the situation. There will be growth; the person you are helping will be offered the chance to become better version of themselves because of your help.
Another clue in the situation is that God's at work usually comes with inbuilt freedom - this includes you feeling free to say a firm and gentle 'No' to someone asking for help....even if it means you disappoint him/her by saying it.
What about you and the situations you face in your daily life? Do you feel trapped into helping? Are you worn out by the amount of help that seems to be required of you? We are complex beings; perhaps the following links will help you to understand yourself, give you more freedom and a greater sense of the God who sees and understands the pressures you face.