I have been thinking lately about the idea of why we help others.
Sometimes I think we "help" those "less fortunate" than ourselves for credit or recognition. Not always obviously, but sometimes it is even just wanting credit from the person we are helping... Then there are other times when I think we are told to help, and we obey, but in obeying find ourselves feeling incredibly awkward. I have had several instances lately where I feel like God has told me to step in and do something instantly without question. Ironically I find I get incredibly awkward in those moments because I am purely following the Holy Spirit, yet I want no recognition, so it is almost as though I do not want anyone to notice... Even though the particular situations require lots of people around to notice.
Then, on a totally different side, we help people despite themselves. We fight for what is right on their behalf, even though we often are fighting them instead of someone else...
***Pause*** Let me be explicitly clear here, I am not referring to everyone or even close to everyone... It will be clear in a few moments what I am talking about, just stick with me.
Helping can be frustrating business sometimes. I mean really, I have DOZENS of stories of helping people at my church, some funny, annoying, frustrating, infuriating, and many more emotions... and it has only been a few months! Yet ironically, I spend most of my time helping by actually fighting for change within themselves; usually nicely.. but sometimes bluntly... and still other times I completely ignore their bad behavior in order to get them one step closer. (Yup, I just referred to some Christian adults as having bad behavior...)
I find that I keep having to remind myself is that this is purely a season, this is where the heavy lifting comes in, and quite frankly, no matter how I feel I have been told to go and do, and I have no choice but to be obedient.
My job, or at least a huge portion of it is to be a catalyst for change... Actually, if I am being honest, my job is a lot of things... But, mostly my job is to teach people HOW to change. Not because we want everyone to look the same, act the same, smell the same (ew), or speak the same.. But because we want everyone to serve as God has made them uniquely and specifically to do. We want everyone to grow in a way that speaks to their own hearts and minds. A Christ follower should be serving and growing constantly, and in order to do that, we have to change... constantly.
Yet, if we have not ever been in a place or position that has forced change, we tend to stay mostly the same. Sometimes staying the same is reflected in our hair (clearly not mine), our manner of speaking or in the case of "the church" it comes in the form of our comfort zones and the places we are terrified to touch or go. So, my job is to create the space and opportunity for people to learn how to change... I work to give them the tools that will make the process one that each person understands how it works on their level. What makes creating space for change difficult is that, it looks as different as each person that attends our church... which means that everything I do to create space and encourage growth becomes a full frontal assault to someone no matter what I do.
Thankfully (not even joking), the Lord has been with me, and in moments where I was about to lose it on some poor afraid of change soul, God intervened and took care of me and the person I was engaged with. In some instances I was able to clearly see the words and actions for what they were, nervousness. In other cases I was able to respond to what they meant instead of what they were saying. While still other instances, I was given the gift of silence.. No really, for me that does not come easily or often...
I have also been thinking about all of the minor little things I do every. single. day. to help institute change in the hearts of the hundreds of people who attend my church, and subsequently the hundreds of people they have then contact with on a regular basis outside of "the church"... Cause let's be honest here, it only will mean something if the people who currently go to my church learn to grow and change, and then in turn reach out to those they have contact with who do not currently go to church or know Christ.
What I have also been thinking of is how no matter what I do, someone doesn't like it, while at the very same time it is an answer to someone else's prayers. How bizarre... And, talk about having to know where you are going, why you are headed in that direction, and then on-top of it all pray.. lots.
So, if it is so difficult sometimes, why do I help? Because I care. Genuinely. Deep down in my very core, in every fiber of who I am, I care. I was made to care, I was broken to have compassion, I care what happens in your eternal destination. I care what happens to the eternal destinations of the hundreds of people in your sphere of influence. It matters to me that each person be pushed to in turn learn why it matters that they help.
And, no matter what people think or say, I can, and will change the world.
Not me as in Krista by herself, in her own strength; but, "me" as in God created me uniquely and specifically, and He is going to use me to make His kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven unlike anyone else. Just like He will use each one of us to do the exact same thing, especially if we intentionally bow and bend our hearts towards Him.
Why do I help others in the joy, fun, exciting, frustrating, awkward, infuriating, and uncertain things? Because God has told me to. There is no other reason.