Blessings can sometimes turn to a curse in one’s life. Even kindness may be overdone. One may be too gentle. Love may hold others back from their purpose and wreck their destinies. There are times when in the process loving others we meddle with God’s discipline for them.
Of course, we are to be helpful to others. No aim should be put higher in our life-plans than that of personal helpfulness. The motto of the true Christian cannot be other than that of the Master: “Not to be ministered unto, but to minister.”
Even in the ambition to gather and retain wealth, the spirit of the desire must be, if we are Christians at all, that thereby we may become more helpful to others; that through, or by means of, our wealth, we may be enabled to do larger and greater good. Whatever gift, power, or possession we have that we do not seek to use in this way is not yet truly devoted to God.
There are many ways to help others, yet too often most people think if you are not giving material things out, you are not helping, yet the truest and best help anyone can give to others is not in material things, but in ways that make them stronger and better. Money is good alms when money is really needed, but in comparison with the divine gifts of hope, friendship, courage, sympathy, and love, it is paltry and poor.
Usually, the help people need is not so much the lightening of their burden, as fresh strength to enable them to bear their burden, and stand up under it. The best thing we can do for others isn’t to make some things easy for them, but to make something of them.
This is where most of us make mistakes in our friendships. We over-help. We help by lifting away loads, by removing obstacles out of the path of others, when we could have helped them and wiser by giving them hope, strength, and energy.
Perhaps you may be reading this and want to disagree with my thinking on this, but consider this definition of a friend:”Our real friend is not the man or woman who smoothes over our difficulties, throws a cloak over our failings, stands between us and the penalties which our mistakes have brought upon us, but the man or woman who makes us understand ourselves, and helps us to better things.”
Love is weak, and too often pampers and flatters. It thinks that loyalty requires it to make life easy as possible for the beloved one.
Folks we should be careful to never indulge or encourage weakness in others when we can in any way stimulate it into strength. We should never do anything for others which we can inspire them to do for themselves.
So we should be thoughtful in our help and love. It should never tend to pamper weakness, to encourage dependence, to make people timid, to make parasites of those who turn to us with their burdens and needs.
We must take care that our help and love does not reduce the achievement of others, instead, we should rather stimulate them to growth in their purpose. Think about the way God helps and loves us.
He never fails us in need, but He loves us too well and is too wise to relieve us of weights which we need to make our growth healthful and vigorous. We should learn from God, and should help as He helps, without over-helping.