Sunday, May 12, 2013

Exploding Bridges and How to Help People

This post is part of Mays Synchroblog about how to help others who are going through tough times.
Other participating bloggers will be listed at the end of this post.

How to help people who are hurting? Hmmm. Big question.
Let me start off with a saying I dislike immensely.

'Build a Bridge and get over it.'

When someone says that to me I want to get some explosives and turn the bridge, that I'm supposed to be building, into a fireworks display.
The problem with sayings like that is they are usually said at the wrong time and they come across as being sarcastic and lacking in compassion.
So my first point is simply this. Don't give people 'off-the-cuff' answers that might work for someone else. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you say and do the right things.

Secondly. As I struggled to put my thoughts on paper I decided to ask my wife, who's a trained counsellor, what the keys are when it comes to helping those who are hurting.
"Oh, that's easy." she said.
What?! Easy?
"Act justly, Love mercy and walk humbly with your God."
That was my wife's answer, Micah 6:8. It's worth meditating on.
And that's my second point. If you're unsure how to respond to a friends needs and issues ask someone who's maturity and insight you trust.
Prov 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

While I'm quoting scripture, here's my third point.
Our actions, words and attitude toward people going through tough times are embodied in the Fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22,23).

We need to show and be:-
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.

If we, as individuals and community, focus on growing this fruit in our lives through prayer and application, then we will find ourselves with a wealth of talent/ability to help the hurting.

So, there you go. Three simple points.

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to help you say and do the right things
  • Seek wise counsel
  • Grow the fruit of the Spirit in your life
There's many more points that could be added but right now I'm off to fix a bridge.

The other participants in this months Synchroblog are:-


Chris Jefferies said...

I love this post, Phil. You've done a great job - it's succinct, offers sound advice, and explosively removes unwanted superstructures!

I've just thought of something interesting. The Latin word for bridge is 'pons' or 'pontis'. Roman priests were regarded as bridges between people and the gods, hence the word 'pontiff' for the Pope. He's supposed to be a bridge. And the word 'pontificate' comes from pontiff.

So what you are suggesting is that we explode pontification. Quite right too :-)

Jeremy Myers said...

Good post.

Yes, that saying, "Build a bridge and get over it" is terrible. It is kind of like, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." These statements are not helpful.