We are called, as Christians, to help and to serve one another. I have heard talk that there comes a time when you should stop helping so that the other person learns to help himself. I don't think there can be a line to draw when helping others. There is a line that you can cross when you go from helping to enabling.
My three year old is DETERMINED to do it all on his own. I still help him fix his plate. I help him get dressed. I help him make his bed. But he participates in the activities because all I am doing is helping.
My older boys (10 and 12) appreciate when I do things for them but they see them as acts of service and not as help. They can make their own beds, so if I do it then it is an act of kindness (just like if they make mine – and they have).
We can serve each other or we can help each other. Understanding which is which and then giving the thing that is truly needed will help each of us stand up and pursue our own purpose with boldness.
What is help? Help is assistance – joining you where you are to give you that boost to where you are going. It REQUIRES joint participation.
Ways I Can Help
1. Walking the walk and being an example.
2. Offering prayer and study support.
3. Lending a hand when things become over-burdened or overwhelming.
What is service? Service is doing for others as unto God – without expectation of return. I can do service all by myself.
Ways I Can Serve
1. Doing something for you with out being asked.
2. Doing something for someone that the COULD do themselves.
3. Giving generously of my blessings without expectation of return
There is no limit to the help that we should offer to those around us (and that does include the family). Both help and service are acts of selflessness. It means putting others before self. But service can be overdone when the one being served refuses to do any thing. Be willing to help and to serve but be wise enough to know who and when to do each!
Do you think it is possible to over-help or over-serve?