In what emotional, psychological and spiritual state do
you find yourself after being swept away by other people's issues?
You love your family and your friends. They look to you
for answers because they like to talk to you. You listen and empathize with
them. You laugh, talk and cry with them when necessary; but you find yourself
being swept away mentally into their lives. Even when you're finished talking
to them, you somehow still feel connected to their situations and problems that
you've discussed with them. Isn't it OK to help family and friends with their
problems? After all, if you don't listen to and help them, who will?
The concern you have for others in this day and age is
very rare, yet necessary. The Bible tells us to love one another. However, can
a bound person help others get free? No. Therefore, in order to extend help, it
is imperative that you let go and become free.
In the Bible, there is a story in which many people are
seeking Christ and He speaks to His disciples, saying they need to go and seek
rest. Jesus commanded they seek rest after they did a lot of ministering and
healing to the crowds of people around them: "And he said unto them, 'Come
ye yourselves apart into a deserted place, and rest a while,' for there were
many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat" (Mark 6:31
Jesus instructed His disciples to step away from the
needy crowds and rest awhile. It is a non-productive, deceptive trick of the
enemy to try to convince us that we always need to be there for everyone we
know. If you are not careful, you'll get burned out and not be of any use to
Your physical being is important. Your family is
important. Your relationship with God is most important. Without ensuring that
these things are taken care of, you won't be able to be the kind of help you
want to be.
So what do you do when they call? You don't always have
to answer. There are times when I have to let the answering machine get the
phone, then call certain people back later, especially if I know they are going
to cause an emotional strain. You can always pray for them. Remember, prayer
works; you are not leaving them without hope. Jesus prayed for people without
being in their vicinity. You can do the same.
Sometimes we want to talk to people because in some ways
we just want to know what's going on in their lives. Everyone has a curiosity
about what's going on with other people. That's one reason talk shows are so
popular. However, we must be careful and keep the right perspective. We need
only to grasp enough information to make a conclusion and offer productive
We instruct people what to do to better themselves, pray
for them and let it go emotionally. As the adage says, "Give a man a fish
and he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a
lifetime." The translation is that we are not responsible for rescuing
everyone we know from each difficult situation in which they find themselves;
you just instruct them on how to deal with or overcome their situations.
Otherwise, you'll have them coming to you daily for emotional support.
Some people will lean on you as long as you will allow
them. Your immediate family needs you, so set aside time to work on
strengthening the family to promote its well being, as well as your own.
For a couple of days, you need to step away from others'
situations, which may seem hard and heartless; but if God had to pull Himself
away from people for strength, you need to do the same.
If it's any consolation, you can view this strengthening
period as an action to gain more strength for your friends and family; so
technically you're still helping them. How can you give answers if you don't
seek the One who has them?
For two days, only spend time and energy with your family
or friends who don't lean on you so much. Take time to read your Bible and
listen to spiritual songs. You will gain the strength that is very much needed.
Please understand this doesn't mean you have to neglect
anyone, but a leader or anyone in a leadership position must learn to say no at
times. If others walk away because you stood your ground, you must let him or
her go. No one will care for your well being as much as you will.
Also, remember to eat fruit and vegetables; your body
needs the vitamins to remain vital. Do puzzles or play thinking games to
Take a deep breath and begin your journey toward finding
yourself once again. Once you gain the strength you need, you're more likely to
find that you'll be able to help in more productive ways than you ever have