Helping Someone in Need

One of the most enriching aspects of life is to help another person in need. It is essential to the person in need to be helped by another, it is gratifying to you when you are able to help another person and it is inspiring to others to do the same when they have the opportunity to help another person. We often don’t think we either have the time to help someone else nor do we think we have the means or skills to help another in need. We live in a busy world where we are distracted all the time. We are filled with anxiety and often feel overwhelmed with all that we have to do. Just thinking about adding one more thing to our lives makes us feel anxious and stressed. Yet it is in these moments that we are most often given the choice to help someone else. I think God often presents opportunities to help others when we are personally anxious and overwhelmed because the gift of focusing on someone else’s need is just what we need to get our minds off of our own problems.

When confronted in the moment to help someone, we sometimes forget what we don’t have or the skills we don’t think we possess and we just jump right in and start helping the best we can. If we took a lot of time to think about helping, we might change our mind. We might talk ourselves out of it by thinking of our busy schedule…reviewing our to-do-list…or by telling ourselves we wouldn’t know what to say or how to help. In other instances, if we took the time to think about it, we might decide that the other person and their problems don’t deserve our help…they deserve what they are getting…or that we already tried to help them and they weren’t appreciative. But here is the thing – every time we are given an opportunity to help another person, it is also an opportunity to check our own hearts. The question is, “where is our heart?” when it comes to this person. More times than not, opportunities to help others is as much about our own heart’s condition as it is about helping the other person.

And it is true – we aren’t always called to help every person with a need every time. There are times when saying no is the right thing to do. Perhaps someone else is in better position to help…perhaps you need to help someone else who has a greater need…perhaps you have been called to do something else in that moment. These are fair and honest responses…but only after you have checked your own heart first. There are always more needs than we can fill. But helping people in need makes a difference – sometimes an eternal difference. For example, I heard a black man recently tell the story of having hatred for white people. But an act of kindness toward him by a white man when he was in great need completely changed his view and heart toward white people. It has made him much more whole and healthier because of what this white man did for him. Another person helped to rescue a woman who was being abducted recently. Imagine if she hadn’t intervened. This woman may have been kidnapped, abused, trafficked or even murdered. She may have saved that woman’s life. Imagine the gratification these two people got from helping in these situations! And even more, imagine how these two person’s lives were changed and how they might return the favor to someone else one day and help to change other lives! As we live looking for opportunities to help others, we get healthier because we are no longer living self-absorbed lives, but rather living to help and serve others. I can’t think of a more Godly way to live! See you next month…

Bob Mlynek