Three Ways of Giving and Receiving Help


bookshelf-photoI am a “people helper.”  I enjoy helping people understand how their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors affect one another; I love to help them identify destructive emotional patterns. I feel excited when I can help them find the courage and grace they need to develop healthy emotional patterns.  I like to help people discover and develop their unique talents and abilities. I delight in the uniqueness of each individual. And I love to help others grow in their knowledge of God and develop a trusting relationship with Jesus.

I, also, enjoy finding ways that I can do these things more effectively. This week, I’ve been thinking about three ways that we can help  one other. We can tell them what to do. We can do something for them; we can work with them.

Last week, a friend spent two hours helping me sort through my piles of books and organize my book shelves. She told me what to do; she did things for me; and she worked with me.

The first thing she did was to tell me what I needed to do—take all the books off the shelves, find some boxes for the discards, and sort the books into categories. I thought that I had already placed them in categories, but I had not made any labels. So she made some for me and put them on the shelves. When I saw them there, I realized why they were important.

With no labels to guide me when I was returning a book to my shelf, my habit had been to randomly create a space and insert the book into it.  So there wasn’t much order. It was frustrating. Working with me, Stephanie showed me how the books could be arranged in a way that would be helpful for me, and I could find books quickly. Now, if I put books back where they belong, I wouldn’t have to hunt for them.

When we got through with our project, we had eight shelves of books neatly organized into categories. It was beautiful. Looking at it made me feel peaceful.

God uses all three methods to help us accomplish the tasks he’s given us. The result, when we accept is help is a beautiful, organized, and peaceful life.

In giving Moses the Ten Commandments, he told us what to do. The people who received these commandments believed that they could follow them. Although some of them succeeded to a degree, all of them failed in one way or another. Only one person—Jesus Christ—has perfectly kept these commandments.

In sending Jesus to earth, God did for them (and for us) what they (and we) could not do. After living a perfect life, he died on a cross, securing the power for us to do what God-the-Father told us to do.

In sending the Holy Spirit, he now works with us so that our lives become progressively beautiful, organized, and peaceful. By having him as our helper and friend, we can accomplish the things God has called us to do. And more importantly, we can become transformed, so that we reflect his glory.

If these are your desires, here are some questions to think about:

  • Do you think of God, primarily, as someone who tells you what to do, someone who does things for you, or someone who works with you?
  • In which of these ways do you most need God’s help, today?
  • In which of these ways do you most desire God’s help, today?

Here are some action steps:

  • Write down what you will do in order to receive God’s help in the way that you most need it.
  • Share what you have written with a trusted friend and/or make a comment to this post.

Whatever your answer(s) are, here is God’s promise:  “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8 NLT).


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