Digital & Church Partnerships Coordinator
Jesus was a master at helping people. He came to serve people and do all He could to love them. He gave His life for them. Throughout the Bible there is a call to help people in both small and big ways. Today that might be holding open a door to standing up for racial justice. Some of us are just naturals, it flows out of us. For others, it’s something we have to be intentional with. Either way, we’re to follow Jesus’ example and give of ourselves for the sake of those around us. This is something we can all grow in!
However, even in our desire to help others, we have to be wise. If we aren’t, we can end up getting hurt, feeling rejected or actually become unhelpful.
Proverbs 26:17 says, “Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.”
I’ve never actually grabbed a stray dog by the ears, and I really hope I never do, but I can imagine it would bark, growl, get angry, bite and really want me to stop. I have rushed in to help where my help wasn’t needed, and I’ve felt the effects of that. Anger, biting remarks – and it hurts. But it wasn’t wise for me to help.
There are a few things we can check our hearts on when it comes to helping others:
- Am I doing this solely for their benefit or is it to ensure they value me more/like me more/feed my sense of self-importance? Those who help from this place, often find themselves feeling rejected if their help is unwanted.
- Is my help going to make things better or will I just get in the way?
- Has the Spirit prompted me to help in this or is there something else going on?
- Even though I can help and potentially fix the issue, is that what’s needed in this moment? (Sometimes people need to be listened to before they’ll accept your practical help).
Wisdom produces discernment, understanding, good judgement, and takes the time to listen.
There are moments to get involved in someone else’s quarrel, to help with a project, or to stand up for a cause but wisdom doesn’t rush into things.
Wisdom produces discernment, understanding, good judgement, and takes the time to listen. If we take our time to evaluate whether our help is needed or not, we will save ourselves from those angry stray dogs.
Of course, there are moments we just help in the immediacy of a situation. If someone falls over, we aren’t going to evaluate if we should really get involved. We’re just going to act. But you get the point.
So, help is something we should all strive to do, but wisdom will teach us where and when our help is best placed.
What situation around you could you help in, but need some wisdom first? Surrender it to God and ask for His wisdom.