Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Are you helping too much
You might be helping them too much and hinder any progress for them and yourself, but we can learn new ways of helping and see the change we want for them and ourselves.
She was helping too much, and the person she was helping didn’t mind one little bit. In fact, he was very adept at throwing guilt trips and manipulations to keep her supporting his lifestyle.
It wasn’t that she was doing anything wrong. Many people thought she was so wonderful how she took care of him and others. She was so generous and kind. What a lovely Christian woman, they said.
But underneath that mission of martyrdom, there was a dying soul. Life was being sucked out of her, and resentment was taking a foothold. For all the help, she was giving out, and nothing was coming back.
She had hoped for something different, but now patterns had been formed. Expectations of her compliancy were normalized. She was a slave to the foolishness of others and not a servant of truth.Nabal and Abigail
In the bible, there is a fascinating story of an interplay between a husband and wife.
The husband, Nabal, was a wealthy and successful farmer. He is described as being ‘crude and mean in all his dealings’ and ‘ill-tempered.’ His servants lived in fear of him. When they had bad news for him, they were too afraid of him. Instead, they told his wife, Abigail.
Abigail is described as being ‘sensible and beautiful.’ She was one that the servants felt safe with. Most likely, she probably nudged and prodded Nabal into making good decisions and kept from making bad ones.
So the story goes that Nabal’s flocks and shepherds had been protected and kept safe by David and his men. David wanted some payment for his work, so he sent messengers asking for payment. Nabal, in his arrogance and foolishness, refused David and was unwilling to be generous.
David was furious and was going to come with 400 hundred men and attack Nabal.
Word of this gets to Abigail, and she intervenes with ‘sensible and beautiful’ wisdom. She meets David and his men before he gets to Nabal and calms the whole situation down.
When she returns to Nabal, he is partying like a king. She waits till the next morning, when he is sober, and tells him all of what had occurred.
He has a stroke in the shock of it all, and ten days later, he is dead.I wonder
As I read this story, I wonder how many times had Abigail, and the servants had tiptoed around an angry, arrogant Nabal. How many similar stories were in the background that had enabled this fool to remain in his foolishness.
We all do it, though, don’t we? We tiptoe around some people, not wanting to rock the boat and cause upset.
But all along, a growing resentment and bitterness can eat away at the soul. Even Abigail considered Nabal a wicked and ill-tempered man, a fool, and not worthy of paying attention to.
We don’t know exactly what kept Abigail and the servants enabling Nabal’s bad behavior. Perhaps it was fear, often it is.
What we do know is that Abigail told it like it was. She told the story, and the story had the natural impact it needed to have.Natural consequences
A natural consequence is anything that happens naturally.
If you go out in the rain, you are going to get wet. When you don’t eat, you get hungry. If you don’t pay your bills, such as Nabal, then the debt collectors will come.
You reap what you sow, and you don’t reap unless you sow.
When we intervene and protect people from the natural consequences of their actions, nobody learns anything. People often keep doing foolish things, and then we intervene, and they reap a crop different from what would have naturally grown out of their decisions.
Much of our kindness, I believe, is actually keeping people in systems of dependency.People change when they
One of my favorite quotes about change is this one from John Maxwell.
People change when they hurt enough that they have to, learn enough that they want to, and receive enough that they are able to. John C. Maxwell
You have to have all three.Let’s get pragmatic about helping
We can get so easily swamped down in the emotions of our problems. The fears and anxieties become giants towering over our lives. We cower and live in fear of the unknown.
At times we need to get very logical and pragmatic about the situations we face.
Pragmatic – dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.
It’s nuts and bolts. What can and can’t be done.
This is why I love the Problem-solving process. It takes the problem out of the emotional realm and into the practical realm.
When we can become quite pragmatic about the problems, we have then practical solutions can emerge.
Quotes to consider
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Barry is a writer, coach, and course creator that has a passion for Mental Health and Spiritual Formation.
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