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Help or Hindrance

Sunday’s Monday This has been a viscous week for me as I have worked a lot of long hard hours. However, it has been very rewarding in meeting new people, connecting with old friends and serving the Senior Nutrition Services on behalf of Meals on Wheels. No matter how tired, sick or whatever, I thank God for His many blessings on Pat and me. This weeks thought is a hard one for me as it has a personal connotation, plus it seems to be a subject that no one wishes to voluntarily enter. The subject matter that God is leading me in, is helping or enabling a lost soul. For some reason, over the last couple of months I have found myself in several conversations dealing with this subject. I asked God to show me the difference in helping verses enabling. This is the simplest reasoning that I could find. Helping; is doing something for someone else that they are not capable of doing for themselves. Enabling; is doing things for someone else that they can and should be doing for themselves. Back in early February of this year I was chastised for not continuing aid to a certain person of whom I had helped (enabled) for a long while. I was told that God said, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” To which I replied, “what your saying is, you would want me to enable you to remain in the same stinking state that I found you; instead of wanting me to help you become a better person to improve everything. I love him or her enough to allow them the opportunity to suffer, hard enough and long enough to make the necessary heart changes for their life, to come under God’s control. This is what is known as spiritual healing! God showed me in Hebrews 12:10-11 (NLT), 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. In other words, I that I had been hampering God’s work. I thought that I was helping in exampling my love for God, my love for that person and my day to day living, but I was wrong. Somewhere in the midst of all my effort, this person became expectant of my kindness and fell even deeper into their own self-reliance. That is when a decision had to be made to let go! That’s when God showed me the warning in 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NLT), 33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” It seems I was unknowingly condoning the bad behavior this person had chosen to continue to live. The Holy Spirit is teaching me prudence, which is found in Proverbs 22:3 (NLT), A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Recently a friend of mine along with several of us were faced with the same situation and we had to cut the rope. Now this doesn’t mean anyone has been abandoned! It simply means that I’ve been instructed to pray and place my faith in God’s ability to get the job done. I am still ready to serve God with the same eagerness in seeing someone else lead this person into God’s fold. My bottom line is to see them saved through God’s mercy, healed by His grace and comforted in His love. The lesson that God had for me in all this is, knowing when to withdraw before becoming a hindrance to Him. As I stated earlier, sometimes discipline from God becomes necessary in drawing someone into His flock. Suffering is never fun or easy, but it is an effective tool to be used in the teaching of right from wrong and when I’m in the way, I could prolong the suffering. This is where it is critical that I be constantly in touch with God, consistently seeking His wisdom. After all my job is to live a passionate life of following Jesus and as I’m told in John 6:44 (NLT), For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up: "God draws them in." There is no shame in withdrawing when God says it’s time, my job description never changes, although my duties may vary. Pride has no place in God's grace!


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