In my last post, Listening Isn’t Everything, I wrote to encourage you to be more than “good listeners” when someone is hurting. I challenged you as servants of Christ, to follow His example by asking soul-challenging questions that provide not only better understanding for you, but also that help the person in trouble to look at themselves and their circumstances more objectively–as God perceives them.
In this post I write to offer a Scriptural perspective on the value of humility in helping relationships of the cosmic kind. You may well be wondering what I mean when I refer to relationships of the cosmic kind? Simply put, I am referring to when we enter into God’s presence through the miracle of prayer. I think of my first prayer as a child, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep . . .” and the prayers of now–prayer that cries out to God for loved ones and prayers of thanksgiving for His love and mercy–all miracles that stretch across the cosmos to connect us with God Most High.
I love the picture painted in Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10 and 12 of caring human relationships that ultimately have the potential of becoming cosmic in nature:Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up . . . . Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Initially, it is a very practical picture of the vast benefits gained through caring relationships–“pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” However, the best (and by far the most interesting part) is reserved for the last nine words as it alludes to the entrance of the supernatural: “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Suddenly, the heavens are opened up with the addition of that “third strand” and the scope of relationships is broadened to cosmic proportions as “we” becomes “three”–nothing short of miraculous!
It could be tempting to become cocky at the idea of having such a connection when it comes to helping others, but Jesus reminds us of our need for humility in Luke 6:42,“How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
I think about Jesus’ admonition every time a new Client comes to my office. My inward prayer, “God help me to see and hear this person with Your eyes and mind rather than my own . . . to communicate Your love and mercy.” Every Client is given the opportunity to ask questions about me personally and professionally–they deserve to know who they are talking to. I talk about my role as a Counselor, admitting from the outset that despite my twenty years of counseling experience, I do not have all the answers to their problems. However, I then add that I do know the One who can and will bless them with His presence and His peace as we work together.
Is there someone on your mind who needs help? The pattern for helping that friend or family member is the same. In humility:
Rely on God prayerfully from the outset, to see and hear that person with His eyes . . . mind . . . love . . . mercy.
- Be willing to make yourself vulnerable; refuse any pretense about having the answers they may be looking for.
- Give testimony to the One who can and does bless us through the challenges we face–our God of Hope.
It is as you focus on your God of Hope in humility and in faith that you will see the beginnings a relationship of the cosmic kind start to build. It can be risky business when we offer ourselves to others, but I have learned to stay close to Him and marvel at His goodness no matter what happens–we do serve a God of miracles!
In my next post I will present a very practical tool that I have shared with many Clients and have also found personally helpful.
All to His Glory!