I remember it so clearly….I was in college and two roommates were having an enormous and emotional disagreement! You could hear their harsh words all the way down the hall; it was distressing for everyone. The disagreements between them went on for quite some time! I decided that the two probably needed a mediator to help them navigate the challenges that they were facing so I walked down the hall and into their room. I felt that I might be able to help them work this out! I was so shocked, after an hour of working with them they were both angry at me and no longer angry at each other!! I was so hurt; I meant well…..how dare they treat me like that!!
When my husband and I were young pastors we wanted to be a blessing; to help others out. Our first assignment was in a small town where there were many needy situations. The were numerous situations where we were invited in and were able to help in very specific ways. However, whenever WE saw a need and inserted ourselves into the situation the outcome was more challenging than we anticipated.
I have a large family where different family members have faced challenges in their lives. These challenges either happened to them or they caused the challenges by the choices they made. Being the middle child I would often insert myself into the situation to be a “help”. Sometimes my help would be received but there were times when the anger or criticism would be turned on me. I was always so surprised; I was just trying to help.
These challenges have taught me some really good lessons:
1. I need to really pray about getting involved in a situation if I have not been invited.
2. I need to really pray and consider whether I am truly the right one to be a help even If I have been invited to.
3. I need to be careful that I don’t think I know all the answers; there may be things I am not aware of.
4. Some people really don’t want to work through their challenges, they like things the way they are.
5. I need to focus the bulk of my energies on those who need my help, want my help, and I am equipped to help.
6. I can’t “save the world” but I can make a difference in many ways.
Perhaps you find, or have found yourself in a situation where your good intentions have not been appreciated. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate “who” God is really calling you to use your time and talents for in this season of your life. It is OK to lay down a situation that ceases to bear fruit no matter how hard you have tried. Time to let go, and let God. 🙂