Day 4: How Would You Respond to this Situation?

This is Day 4 of a five-day exercise on loving and caring for others based on the Good News of Jesus that the Father loves and cares for us. You can read the introduction to these exercises on the Day 1 post.

What do I do now?

You have an acquaintance who needs help again. It’s just one more situation; they seem to need some sort of help or rescue on a regular basis. In fact, they seem to be a continuing black hole of need.

What is your response? Think about it. Is this situation tougher than the previous ones What are the issues?

In this series:

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5

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12 Responses to Day 4: How Would You Respond to this Situation?

  1. mike says:

    we help… again… if we can and how we are able.
    yup, this one is hard. and we encounter it fairly often.


  2. sheila0405 says:

    Help until I am no longer able to. Especially if it’s family.


  3. jesuswithoutbaggage says:

    Thanks for participating guys. Good answers!


  4. Pingback: Day 1: How Would You Respond to this Situation? | Jesus Without Baggage

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  8. I’m going to go slightly against the consensus here and say that I’m not sure it’s always best to go on helping someone in this kind of situation.

    Of course, it depends hugely on the situation, your relationship to the person, what exactly it is they need (or are asking for), and what’s underlying their long-term neediness.

    But I know that in the past I’ve experienced various situations with people who seemed to be ‘a black hole of need’ – some financially, some emotionally (some both). At the time I felt that the ‘Christian’ thing to do was to be kind, compassionate, sympathetic and help out as much and often as I could. Now looking back I think I was often just colluding with them, contributing to their own sense of being powerless and dependent. It made me feel nice and needed, but it wasn’t really helping them long-term. And ultimately it was burning me out.

    So these days I’m more of an advocate, albeit a reluctant one, for that horrible phrase ‘tough love’. It’s really hard, but often we do more harm than good by offering help again and again, when the person is not really taking responsibility for their own life or their own issues. Sometimes we have to offer conditional help, with compassion and empathy but not simply bailing them out every time.


    • sheila0405 says:

      Which why I had said “as long as I can”. I believe we need to have discretion.


      • Sorry – work spam filter blocked responses so only just seen your reply! That’s great – compassion and discernment are needed hand in hand, I think. Innocent as doves, wise as serpents.

        I was misreading your ‘as long as I can’ to mean ‘until I’m completely burnt out and can’t possibly give any more’, which was my own experience!


  9. michaeleeast says:

    No, not tougher.
    I would help.
    7 times 70.


    • I hear you, and applaud your commitment. But we’re called to forgive 70 x 7, not to bail out 70 x 7. As Sheila points out above, we need discernment as well as compassion – sometimes our help is genuinely needed, but other times our continued bail-outs actually hinder the other person’s long-term growth and recovery.


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