Lessons Learned in Helping Others:
Knowing When Give Help and When to Hold Back
Staying close to the spirit is key.
Sometimes when we help others, the answer is to let go of their hands for a while and let them walk on their own. When we are involved in helping, sometimes we feel that WE need to be there to help them through every difficulty. That is not what the Savior does for us.
Over involvement can actually prevent their learning and growth
because they do not gain confidence in their ability to change on their own.
Letting someone go can be a scary thing...
to let them choose when you know they could stumble,
but stumbling is the only way we learn to catch ourselves.
It is the only way to grow.
Our caring must be pure in motive. That takes some deep introspection and turning our will over to God. We have to want to help someone because we want what is best for them, not because we want anything in return. That also means restraining ourselves and subjugating our own wills to God. A story about my son illustrates my point.
I wanted my son to do well in school, and we were having a lot of conflict over grades. I realized that my desire for him to get good grades was mostly about my desire to control his life plan. I did not want him to have to suffer any bad consequences, but my plan for him was not necessarily God's plan. I had to change my focus. I needed to accept that maybe God needed to teach him important lessons. My plans for him to go to college and medical school may not have been in line with the things he needed to learn. I was equating success with my son's ability to provide well for a family. Although God wants husbands and fathers to do that, His greater plan focuses on the man He wants my son to become. When I finally accepted this and tried to turn my will over to God in this matter, He enabled me with understanding. I knew how to better deal with my son, and the grief and worry that I felt was lifted.