Trials are a part of life all of us. We will struggle in this life because of sin. When Adam and Eve sinned, it changed everything for the future of mankind. Their choice has led to sickness, rejection, sorrow, sin, and death for each of us. As followers of Christ, we look to each other for help and comfort as we face trials in this world. We need to know how to respond in a way that’s pleasing to the Lord, promotes the gospel, and brings comfort to those who are in need. In this blog we will begin to explore the unhelpful helpers along with the helpful alternative.
Felicia loves to be a part of someone’s suffering because she knows she can fix it. As she listens to someone in need, she is calculating how she can solve the problem. She sees herself as wise which reveals the pride she has in her own opinions. Felicia may interrupt the speaker in order to get her thoughts out in the open. She will use the following phrases.
“If you would just…”
“Listen, you need to…”
“This has happened to me before and I…”
“I don’t understand how you got this far. Why didn’t you…”
“You need to be more like me and …”
Do you recognize any of these statements? Are you a fixer? It is so easy to think that we have all the right answers to problems. We feel good about ourselves and consider the sharing of our opinion to be helpful. But is it? As a fixer, we fall into the trap of thinking there’s only one solution to a problem. Of course, it’s our solution. A fixer has a way of making the person going through suffering feel like she is inferior because she didn’t think of the same solutions. The bottom line is the fixer is unhelpful because she is more concerned about her solutions than the person struggling.
“When pride come, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2
Harriet is a helper who actually is helpful to those who are suffering. Harriet listens well. She focuses on the words that are being shared with her in compassion. Her heart is filled with compassion which is the driving force for her help. She wants to not only hear the words but seek to understand the emotions behind the words. It is her goal to understand the pain her friend is feeling and to respond in love.
The most important thing Harriet knows is that it isn’t her job to fix her friend’s situation. It is her job to walk alongside her and give comfort. Harriet knows that God is the great physician who is the only one who can fix anything. She prays and seeks his wisdom in order to walk well with her friend in need. Harriet remembers when God has taken her through a hard time and how his love and care was a comfort for her. This is what she shares with her friend, not how Harriet has answers, but how God walks with her in the difficulty.
Harriet knows that she’s not perfect. She realizes that she has problems too and needs God’s answers just as much as her friend. This keeps her from thinking more highly of herself than she ought. In knowing this, she wants what’s best for her friend but doesn’t need to receive any credit for her help.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
We need to be humble helpful helpers. Are there areas of pride you need to work on in order to be humble before God and your friends? Humility comes with wisdom, not ours but God’s. Let’s seek to be helpful helpers by offering the comfort God has given us to others in need.