It has been a VERY LONG TIME since I posted on here; “I’ve been busy” is an understatement!
So I have a question for you: Have you ever heard of situations that others are facing and felt that you HAD TO help them? I have felt that way every time I’ve heard bad news, of a misfortune or a “problem”. This is known as the Messiah Complex; the people who show this behavior feel the need to be a savior to others.
I am very empathetic toward others, and I HATE to hear that someone is suffering for any reason, even if it is as a result of their actions or choices. I think of ways to “rescue” the person so they do not feel pain. Maybe this is coming from feelings of pain in my past, where I had hoped that someone would come and rescue me; I am not 100% sure. Because of my empathy for others I have been gravely misunderstood by many, and I have been thought of as someone who was trying to cause trouble. I would be so confused by their reactions to my offers for help or to my expressions of help that I would withdraw.
A situation arose recently where I felt pain for one of the parties. I reasoned that the other person was extremely self-centered and did not care about the situation. As I thought about my reaction (“I HAVE to help them”) I began to probe my heart even deeper and asked myself a few tough questions:
1. Did they ask anyone for help?
2. Did they come to YOU specifically to seek counsel or advice?
3. How do you know that they do not have a plan in place to handle that situation, which you cannot see or understand from your vantage point?
4. Is it a legitimate problem or are they in immediate danger?
If the situation involves relatives it gets worse for me, and I believe that my mother’s passing over 22 years ago has made me feel “motherly” for most of my life.
Many may say “Why get involved in something that does not affect you personally?” Because it DOES affect me. It HURTS me when I see others hurting. I was preparing to take the MCATs to go to medical school, but I had to change my focus because I could not handle serious illness and death. I would get attached to the patients as if they were family members.
I also hate to see others relive my mistakes, especially if they know my story. Why sit there and watch someone make unwise choices and not speak up? I usually compare not speaking up to knowing that a bridge is out and deciding not to alert the oncoming traffic. I’ve felt that by not waving a red flag to alert someone, I was not loving someone.
So after repeated “run-ins” with people, I am learning how to allow God to take care of them. I mean EVERYONE. The erring husband and his unsuspecting wife (or vice versa). The single parent who does not discipline his or her child. The unwise person who doesn’t save for the future while their personal expenses are minimal. I could go on and on…..
It will be tough for me, but I’ve decided that the best way to respond to others’ life events is to PRAY and RELEASE them to the Only One who has the power to change men’s (and women’s) hearts and minds. God created all of us in our mothers’ wombs, and He has a blueprint for all of us. We have lessons to learn and destinies to meet. He is WELL ABLE to handle all the errors and missteps in each of our lives. Many times our “hands-on” help is NOT required.
I will pray that the erring spouse reconsiders their indiscretions and return to their marital commitment. I will pray that the parent sees the necessity in creating boundaries for their child NOW instead of demanding it when the child is older (when it’s too late). I will pray for the young employee who spends most of their money with no thought toward the future, like I did. I will pray for those who are in unfortunate situations and cannot see their way out. I will pray for those who must accept a foreclosure on their home. And I will not try to “save” ANY of them.
As I recall instances in the Bible, Jesus always asked the people who came to Him: “What do you want me to do for you?” Clearly, I am not even acting consistently with how Jesus lived His life on earth. He never lifted a finger (figuratively or literally) without a request directed at Him. One exception that comes to mind is the story of the woman at the well in Samaria (Read John chapter 4 verses 1 – 42 in the Bible.)
There are instances where I can help someone. If they come to me personally seeking guidance or advice, I can ask God to give me wisdom to know how to respond (if I should respond). If they need food or clothing and I have the means to give, I will.
I am not Jesus Christ Incarnate. I still have to be strong and available for my son and my grandmother. I can’t save or rescue everyone.
But GOD can. I will allow Him to do His job.