Ways to Help
It’s impossible to live a sinless life, unless your name is Jesus Christ. Remember how easy it is to slip into a wrong response or an old pattern. You’ve been there, and so has everyone else. There are ways to help.
When you see a person caught in sin or paralyzed in a pattern, it’s critical that you respond. You can’t just turn away. However, what you do next, how you think and interact, reveals your character, your maturity, your dependence on God, and your heart. Your best response should be to please God and to help a brother or sister in need. If you want to respond like Jesus, side-step fear and follow these help steps.
Steps 1 – 3: The Prep Steps
The first step is to humble yourself before the Lord. He will lift you up into helping. (Jas. 4:10) Remember Jesus is the only one able to lift people out of places and start them on a path of change. Never think yourself above falling into sin. Part of being humble is to think soberly about yourself. (Rom. 12:3) Don’t be wise in your own eyes. (Prov. 3:7) This first action step is critical. It determines your direction and approach to everything that follows. And it marks you to be like Jesus – or not.
Next, pause to pray. Ask God to open your eyes and heart. Tell Him – “What do You see? What would You like me to say? Would you show me what this person needs from You? What do You want to teach me in this?”
Then spend time in thoughtful contemplation – how to show the love and holiness of God to this person. Not one without the other, but both – because both accurately represent His nature.
Steps 4 – 6: Active Engagement Steps
Now add gentleness. People respond to gentleness. It has power. “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” (Phil. 4:5) This suggests your gentleness is a preparation for Christ’s intervention.
Another attribute needed is kindness. There is no meanness in the heart of Jesus. Since you are His child and representative, there should be no meanness in you. Scripture proclaims God’s loving kindness.
Another step is creativity. How can you help your person? What resources can you engage? How can you carry their burdens without them becoming your burden? Color outside the lines with creativity.
Steps 7 – 8: The Protect Steps
Guard yourself. It doesn’t take much to fall in a wrong place. Be alert and watchful. There is always a danger of falling into the same pit your person is in – or some other place that incapacitates you. Or it could be a fall into pride. Pride always blindsides you.
Don’t compare. Stay free from personal ownership of their issue by not comparing yourself to them. Comparisons lead to poor self-image or self-pity on one hand, or pride on the other hand. The only safe comparison is with Scripture. It encourages you, teaches, corrects, rebukes, protects, and trains you.
Step 9: The Best and Most Valuable Step
Give your person Scripture. This is part of being truthful. Your person needs God’s words more than your words. Scripture has power. It is “God on paper.” It comforts and heals hearts, memories, and motives. It guides. Help them connect to Jesus and teach them to depend on Him through Scripture. Show them how to use their Bible, how to claim promises, and how to apply God’s principles.
Nine Ways to Help Summary List
- Humble yourself.
- Pause to pray.
- Thoughtfully consider how to show God’s love and holiness.
- Be gentle.
- Be kind.
- Creatively explore “how to help” tools and options.
- Guard yourself, especially against pride.
- Don’t compare.
- Give your person Scripture.
How to Apply “Ways to Help”
How will you apply these tools today? Develop action steps engaging these 9 helps for your person. Put pen to paper as you develop these steps.
Pray through your steps. God knows what needs to be done for every person. He will guide you. “You will hear a voice behind you, saying – ‘This is the way. Walk in it.'” (Is. 30:21)
Claim that you will not carry out what you think – but rather what God wants accomplished for your person. Jesus, Himself, said – “I do nothing on My own, but speak just what the Father has taught Me.” (Jn. 8:28) This is your model.
Article developed from Gal. 6:1-5.