I am stubborn and I am selfish, I know this, but when my skill set is required, I believe that I can be extremely helpful.
In most cases, when someone asks me for help with something, I get so excited that they even thought of me that I am glad to help. I help because I can and because I can remember times when I needed help and no one was there for me- I do not help because I want someone to owe me a favour.
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” Luke 6:35 ESV
But I’ve learnt that despite giving myself (my time and effort), to people without selfish intent, sometimes it is imperative that we are selfish. This is because unfortunately, not everyone knows how to receive your help. After recent experiences, I’ve had to learn where to draw the line at being a helper. There are two main situations:
When you are being disrespected
People may not always appreciate the things you do for them, such is life. But you should never go out of your way to assist someone that doesn’t show you an ounce of respect. Respect yourself, know your worth and bounce!
When it is having a negative impact on you
If helping someone is taking its toll on you, whether physically or mentally: chill. You don’t have to cease from helping completely, but YOU are your biggest investment! Learn to put yourself first. Don’t get so caught up in trying to be a saint that you put everyone else’s issues before your own. I’ve been in situations where I’ve been more consumed in people’s problems than they are- big mistake!
It’s also important not to be too quick to offer up your services. As contradictory as it sounds, not everyone that comes to you for help actually wants your help. Sometimes people just want to vent. Sometimes people just like for you to know what’s going on in their lives. Sometimes people simply like the sound of their own voice.
I’ve been in situations where people have poured their hearts out on topics I simply couldn’t relate to, but at that point in time, I believed that this person just wanted any advice that could be of use, from anyone that was available, and so, like I’m sure most people would, I gave it. Looking back on it now with a little more wisdom, I really have to ask myself “Na who send you?!”. This person really had the nerve to say that I was ruining their life and causing them stress when I all I had done was tell them what I would do in that scenario. But regardless I learnt my lesson.
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” Proverbs 3:27
I’ve also had the pleasure of dealing with people who want your help but don’t use it. My thoughts on this are that you should give it (as long as it doesn’t cause you obscene stress) and leave the rest to them. I used to get so annoyed with having to repeat myself to people, or feeling the need to warn people about something we had already discussed. But the older I got, and the more time I dedicated to my biggest investment (myself), the more I realised, that if other people weren’t willing to do the same for themselves, it wasn’t my problem.
You can probably already tell that I get a bit excited when people come to me for help- I try to do my best to help them the best way I can. This isn’t a bad thing.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” Galatians 6:2
“Don’t think only about your own affairs but be interested in others, too” Philippians 2:4
But be wise and know when to give yourself in moderation.