Helping others can be such a blessing, but when we reach out to help others only to have them turn away from us it can be very painful. We must learn to have patience with them as Jesus has patience with us. I’ve been helping a few people in recovery and watching them come to the verge of stepping into victory and then running in another direction. It can be excruciating when I focus on what I think their recovery should look like. We have to examine our motive for helping others. Is it for them to find recovery the way we think they should? Are we making it about us, or do we trust God to reach them the way only He can?
If we keep in our minds that God knows them so much better than we can possibly ever know them, then we will have patience and peace when they seem to go down a road that doesn’t make sense to us. It’s so easy to get resentful and discouraged because we want to see a specific outcome based on all the hard work we think we’ve done. We need to realize it’s not about us, but it’s all about us. It is about us in a sense because God works on us at the same time He’s working on the person He’s called us to reach out to. That’s how cool God is; He weaves a beautiful tapestry out of all the interactions we have with others. When we allow Him to work and focus on ourselves rather than others, He has free rein in their lives and we can have peace and abundant patience with them.
Have you ever had someone give you a gift only to get upset with the way you chose to use it? In many ways that’s what we do when we invest our time helping somebody only to get angry when they don’t appear to walk the journey we were expecting. They can actually become an idol in our hearts. We can get so wrapped up in what we have done that we forget it is God who is doing the work through us. We can do nothing without Him. He gives us the ability to meet others where they are. He gives us the discernment to know what they need to hear. If we lose that dependence on God we can actually make it easy for someone to fall backwards in their recovery. We must continue to be mindful to focus on ourselves and our own recovery and not on how someone else is choosing to walk out their recovery. Learning to control ourselves and how we react to others makes the experience so much better. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for everyone else’s choices; that would be terribly overwhelming.
I am so grateful to the Lord for being in control so I don’t have to be! Now I can stop making others recovery about me and release them to God so He can do what none of us can.
Who can you let go of today to bring more peace in your life?