Helping others (3)
Helping other people isn’t all about us. We see someone in need, are prepared to help and then have it all go wrong because the person isn’t ready to be helped. We can’t help someone until they’re ready. That calls for knowing the difference between people who are looking for solutions, and those who may just be looking for sympathy. Sometimes people become attached to their problems and like to talk about them. They ask others for help, but when it comes down to it, they’re not willing to give the problems up. Before the lame man at the temple gate received his healing, ‘he gave [Peter and John] his attention, expecting to receive something from them.’ This man was asking for money, not a solution to his problem, probably because he didn’t believe that there was a solution. And when people have lost hope that their situations can change, we need to remind them that God can move mountains and can make the impossible possible. Jesus said: ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26 NIV). We also have to learn to recognise the difference between what people want and what they truly need. Sometimes they need to be strengthened; other times they need to be stretched. Sometimes they need comfort, not correction; other times they need correction, not comfort. This man didn’t need a handout – he needed a hand up. And that’s what Peter gave him. ‘He took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength’ (Acts 3:7 NKJV). When people are ready, and we recognise what they need, we’re on the right track to being able to help them effectively.
Do you know someone who’s lost hope that their situation can change? Why not send them Matthew 19:26 today.