21 October 2017
We can’t do it all
‘You cannot handle it alone.’
Exodus 18:18 NIV
Helping others is something we’re called to do. The Bible says that we should care about the ‘interests of the others’ not just our own (Philippians 2:4 NIV). But sometimes we can take this too far. We try and be everything for everyone, seeing it as our responsibility to help everyone with their problems. And that can be dangerous because we can end up feeling overwhelmed. Instead we need to remember that we’re part of the body of Christ (have a read of 1 Corinthians 12:12-31) and so all of us have a responsibility to be there for other people, but we can all offer different things. Sometimes God will use us to help others, other times He’ll use someone else. It doesn’t always have to be us. Moses had to learn this when he was leading the Israelites. Moses was wearing himself out physically, emotionally, and spiritually trying to keep up with the demands of two million Israelites and be the one everyone turned to when they needed answers to their problems. That’s when his father-in-law told him, ‘You cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice’ (vv. 18-19 NIV). It takes wisdom, maturity, and humility to ask for help or to say no to helping when someone is in a bad place. When we’re taking on too much, we can end up not helping anyone because we can’t cope. What Moses was doing was neither good for him nor the people depending on him. Sometimes we may need to guard ourselves from becoming overwhelmed by too many people offloading their problems to us. And doing that is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Feeling like you’re taking on too many people’s problems? Next time someone asks for your help, try suggesting they speak to someone else who might be better placed to help them, but commit to praying for them.