There are times, maybe even lots of times, when I don’t help people (maybe even one of you).
I am not referring to times when I say I will do something but forget or put it off. I am not referring to times when someone asks for something and for whatever reason, I say no.
I am talking about when I don’t feel any compulsion to help. Interestingly, this seems to occur most often when:
- someone can’t be clear or specific about what they need
- I think the person should be able to take care of it themselves
- in my mind, they have brought the situation on themselves
In each of the above scenarios, there is some subconscious part of me that isn’t moved to compassion or motivated to do something. I would also add that I definitely don’t like to clean up other people’s messes.
A recent conversation I was part of got me thinking about WHY. Why don’t I always come to the aid of others? After all, I am not particularly cruel, mean, or uncaring. I believe it is good to help others. So, I think the answers lies deep within, in the places that are beyond reason, but hold much sway over me. The following may sound a little too pseudo-psychological to you, but bear with me. Even if I don’t explain it well, there is something here…
First, there is some part of me that feels like I wasn’t helped or protected. I am NOT making any sort of accusation against anyone, particularly my parents (hi mom, I know you are reading this). I am not referring to anything specific. Rather, I am referring to a FEELING. We have all felt that we were alone, that no one cared, etc. I have just had a few incidents that reinforced that in my mind. Again, I am talking about my perception, so not blaming anyone. Actually, I think these are lies from God’s enemy, who comes in times, or after incidents, and accuses, saying “where was God, where was anyone, you are alone…” Lies. But they get embedded deep in us.
Connected to this is that for a long time, I’ve felt the need to clean up my own messes. Part of this goes with the above – who else is going to do it? Also, there is some part of me that believes this even about God – that I must fix myself. Obviously, that is the role of Jesus, not me. But like I said, I am talking about subconscious thoughts. In both of these cases, my perception is that I have taken care of myself, and so should you. I would NEVER say this, but it goes on in my heart, resulting in NOT helping.
Add to this the fact that I am reasonably capable. So, if I can handle a situation like this, why can’t you? Do you REALLY need help? Sounds cruel when I say it like that, and again, it’s not rational. At this point, I would like to add that I DO help people most of the time! But I also know that too often I have let people down by not helping.
Fortunately, God has brought all of this to my attention, and does not condemn. He just asks that I sit with Him, consider, and let Him change me. A friend has prayed specifically with me through these issues and I believe God has broken any sort of blockage in this area. Doesn’t mean it’s all gone away, but it doesn’t hold power over me anymore. This friend also felt that connected to this and some other things God was going to start speaking to me in dreams (I don’t generally dream that much, and never remember them).
Sunday night, I had a dream… with friends in a car, another car pulled up and was hassling one of the people in our car. Things escalated and all of the people in our car got out to confront the other people. This is where the dream ended (really, could it have gone farther – I am a pacifist after all). I feel that this dream was significant. I think God was saying to me that He is changing the deep parts of me that don’t help others when they need. I think it came in a dream so I couldn’t dismiss or argue with God about it.
I have also been able to apologize to a few people for not having helped them when they needed. Each has responded with forgiveness and I have already seen and felt healing.
May God continue to make my heart like His.