Enable For Growth

I have often encouraged you to ask others what you can do to help them, to pray for them, and to then commit your resources (time, talents, money, etc.) to fulfill their needs. When we cannot meet the needs of others directly, we should do what we can to meet their needs indirectly. But sometimes we cannot meet someone's needs at all because we are simply unable to do so. And sometimes we are able, but it is better if we do not offer help, because the other person needs to grow by learning to do things for himself.

When we cannot provide for someone, we should try to teach him how to provide for himself. He will receive a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from working toward his goal, instead of us just handing it over to him. And he will be better equipped to help himself the next time he needs help.

Too often, we look at a situation and offer someone whatever kind of help is the easiest for us to provide at the moment. Unfortunately, the easiest thing to do is usually to do nothing. Or it is easiest for us to pray, but take no action. Sometimes it is easier for us to just give someone what he needs directly, than it is for us to take the time and the energy to teach him how to provide for himself.

When you offer someone help, prayerfully consider what kind of help is best for the other person, not just what kind of help is easiest for you at the moment. Also consider whether God wants you involved in the situation, or if God would prefer to handle it through means that do not include you.

We must pray for each member of our congregation and for each visitor. We must minister to the needs of each person, if we expect our church to grow. When we cannot give someone what he needs directly, we must give him what we can indirectly. And when we cannot provide for someone, we must enable him to provide for himself. We must be creative and persistent.

Our actions and our prayers must reflect a God-serving, not a self- serving, attitude. Our efforts to help others should not increase their indebtedness to us; our efforts should increase their gratitude and devotion to God. The greatest help we can offer anyone is to help him realize his need for (and his dependency upon) God's great love.

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