Thursday, March 31, 2011

The fine line between helping and being taken advantage of...

Disclaimer- If you don't know me in real life I'm not sure how this will come out. I hope it doesn't seem offensive.

When I think of my purpose in life this is what comes out- I want to be available to be used by God to help those in need. I love assisting. I do not love the lime light. I do not aspire to be on stage anywhere. :) I love behind the scenes. For example I love putting water bottles on stage for the guys before the Daniel Doss Band goes on to lead worship. Ask me to step onto the stage- no thanks. So yesterday was one of those days I got to help someone out from church and I was grateful for the free time and the opportunity.

Then today I got a phone call from the recipient of yesterday's help. She needs more help. She needs more assistance. I gladly was able to help yesterday, but I also felt the strong need to set up some healthy boundaries today so as not to get wrapped up in an endless cycle.

This is so hard for me, because unlike Jesus, we don't know people's hearts or intentions. She truly has a need. I wasn't able to offer her immediate help again, but was able to tell her when I would be able to help (it wasn't an emergency situation- so I didn't leave her out to dry by any means). I am so torn in this situation. I wanted to let her know that I care, and am able at times to help. But I also wanted to send a message that I will not be taken advantage of. This is such a fine line for me. I have a heart to serve and give, and I want to make a difference. I just struggle with how far is too far. I looked squarely at her situation (as best I could) and offered a compromise. We will see how it plays out.


Freddy T. said...

Tim Keller has an amazing book called Ministries of Mercy that has the best stuff I've ever read on extending aid and mercy to people. I'd seriously pay $100 for the first half of the book.

Sunny said...

sounds like a GOOD book! enabling a bad situation can be harmful.encouraging co-dependence and personal irresponsibility can't be uplifting either. I understand the pull of a needy person and the guilt that comes with saying no.My thoughts for this season in your life are: you have some time to give, and you give it willingly. You however, have your own calling independent of this person and first & foremost at this time, that calling is mommy & wife. it is a sacred calling and one that requires time...a lot of it. This other person's need may be constant, but other people are capable (and likely called) to help fill those needs as well.

mrs a. said...

It's a really fine line to walk. Love the blog look by the way!

The Beaver Bunch said...

Such a fine, fine line. Had a similar situation a few years ago and ultimately had to begin to point her to community resources. Our relationship fizzled at that point but I know that I pointed her to the truth of the gospel.

I'm sure you did the same. Keep pointing her to Jesus, loving her with limits and doing what you feel called.