Knowing How to Help Others
by Angelia Sanders
Every morning before I go to work, I give my day to God and ask that He will bless me to be a blessing to others. Recently, my husband and I had the awesome privilege of being able to help a young military couple who had been living in a motel outside of the base gates with their 24-month-old daughter. Like most of us, they had made some not-so-smart financial decisions and quickly found themselves in a crunch for the finances needed for everyday living. We were able to help them find a cute little cottage-style home to rent and my husband allowed the young soldier to ride in to work with him every morning to help the couple get on their feet. I took over a bag of groceries and as the secretary and ladies ministry coordinator of our church, I asked that the body of Christ consider sponsoring this family through our food pantry program. I was so amazed at how wonderful it felt to be in a position to be able to help this young couple and knew that it was only because of God. He had set me in the correct place with contacts to bring about what this couple needed.
A few weeks passed and I began to notice that I felt overwhelmed by the constant need of the couple. Our finances and our sanity started to take a major hit. I started to loose my joy about being a blessing. It became clear to me that my husband and I needed to step back and access this new relationship. When we took a closer look at things, we saw that we had become everything to this couple. We were their life line, their security, their bank, their grocery store, and their negotiator.
When someone depends on you to meet their every need, BEWARE! A person in perpetual need of you has no need for God. We have to realize that there is a definitive line between helping someone and “carrying” them. My husband and I realized that the reason for the lost joy in our giving was because we had taken on the sole responsibility for the lives of this young couple. Jesus couldn’t be Lord because we were striving for His position. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 that we are to cast our cares upon God, not upon other people. We had forgotten our Christian duty in witnessing to the couple about Jesus and how He is the ONLY one who can be EVERYTHING to everyone.
Pastor Clint Brown, pastor of Faithworld Church in Orlando, Fla., once said, “Sometimes people require more than you can give. In those cases you’re not what they need.” I knew after reading that quote that God had supplied us with what we needed to help the couple and He would continue to do so if we would allow Him to. In a moment of weakness, we had tried to operate out of our flesh to do the work ouselves. We realized that we could still help this couple with the wisdom held within the Word of God through prayer and His direction but we knew that we needed to step back and let God do His work.
Our next effort of helping others will start with first seeking God for wisdom to know what that person needs and second, beliveing that the things that we can’t provide will come from our Heavenly Father above, in His way, and in His time.
About the Author:
Angelia Sanders has been an Army spouse for four years, and endured an entire dating life long-distance with her (now) husband. She is currently stationed with her husband at Fort Riley, Kan., and is the church secretary and ladies ministry coordinator for the New Life Church of God in Herington, Kan. She is a full-time medical office receptionist for a local physician in Herington.