You know – as friends, family members, etc – we do try to “help” one another don’t we? At least a lot of us do. And I believe our hearts are in the right place. I do. When we see someone we care about struggling in an area that we’ve already been through – or they may be even headed for a brick wall at break-neck speed, we want to try & stop it. Because we love them. Or at least try to cushion the blow. But how many times does it actually work? Not so many. Why is that?
I think the answer is pretty simple. We, as humans, are mostly all hands-on learners when it comes to life. Most of us have to stumble the road on our own – scraping our own knees, breaking our own limbs, banging our own heads – to really learn. And there may actually be times where a word spoken in due season may stop someone from making a bad decision. But we have to be careful that we are timing our help right. Sometimes bad timing can cause bad results. Sometimes we just need to love someone through something – being careful not to judge, encouraging, & not tearing down. Sometimes we may need to distance ourselves a little to let them figure some things out on their own – not adding to all the hellish noise they are already hearing & facing & can’t seem to make any sense of. But don’t abandon them. Remember, everyone’s adversity is unique in its form & reaction. Because we are all different. Choose wisely my friends.
That choice can determine – on the flip side of our help – whether a relationship stays intact. Or takes a hit. Or worse, it’s severed. An unwanted means to an end.
One day we may be in the hot seat and we will need the right people there to gird us up, to love us through, to extend grace that will help us to get up again. And sometimes again. And again.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7