Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Are you a kind, loving, concerned Christian? An active pray-er and a do-er? The person they call when they need help?
Ask yourself why you are doing all of this.

Is it to please others? Is it to please God? We cannot save and cure a needy and hurting world with our own strength and talent. We cannot earn our way to God.

If you find yourself taking on problems of others, becoming well-versed in all the details of their lives, then you need to pause and take stock of what’s going on.

It’s good to be concerned!
There’s a good side of being involved in others’ lives: it helps develop our compassion and mercy, it demonstrates kindness. Christians are expected to be hard-working and conscientious. People are helped; they are grateful. Our active participation can lead us to a deeper prayer life. We can be used by God.

It’s not good to be overloaded!
There’s another side. It’s the overloaded side of being involved: it can become an obsession. Those hurting people can become dependent upon us as their only source of a listening ear. We can get entangled in their affairs.

Our time is consumed more and more. We may neglect, irritate, or even alienate our own families. When we get weighted down with the problems of the world we can wear down the body’s immune system. We become vulnerable to physical problems and emotional problems.

If we are “man-pleasers” eventually we run out of time, energy, and bright ideas. Stress and frustration can lead to burnout.
In addition to ordinary time management techniques consider these spiritual safeguards to help avoid becoming overloaded.

Twelve Safeguards:

1. Listen to God. Ask God if you are to become involved in the matter. Ask Him to show you the extent that He wants you to be in it. If He does not call you to do this, relinquish it and relax. He may have someone else for this assignment, or He may want you to have a limited part in it.

2. Feed yourself FIRST. Start the day like Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet. Don’t let all of the Martha tasks crowd out this time of intimacy with the Lord. Throughout the day have Scripture close at hand so you can refill your mind with His powerful promises.

3. Pray with confidence. After you’ve prayed with and for the hurting person remember Who’s been listening. (I John 4:21-22)

4. Point them to Jesus. The hurting person(s) need Jesus more than anything else in all the world. Salvation is first. They need to know they can go directly to Him and pour out their hearts to Him. Show them Bible verses that will help them learn about our wonderful Lord. Encourage them to pray aloud to Him after you’ve prayed aloud over them.

5. Point them to their Father. Many people are hurting because they did not have a father who understood them and gave them attention. Perhaps they had an abusive father. Point them to our Heavenly Father who loves them unconditionally. Show them Bible verses that teach these important facts.

6. Point them to the Holy Spirit. They need the power of the Holy Spirit. Show them Bible verses that point them to the wonderful truth of God in us. If we — or they— try to do everything excellently on our own we are setting ourselves up for a fall. Only by the indwelling Holy Spirit can we please God.

7. Let go. As the tales of woe and prayer requests pile up, take them daily directly to the foot of the Cross. Leave them there. By His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 and I Peter 2:24) Jesus Christ paid the penalty, the price for our sin. (Romans 5:8-9) We must not carry these burdens back with us!

8. Praise God. Turn Satan’s bad news back onto him. Praise God. Thank God for every possible aspect of the situation that comes to mind. Then thank Him for the things you don’t even understand. He can intervene and do wondrous things. Put on the garment of praise. (Isaiah 61:3) The joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)

9. Keep in balance. The Lord has made us body, soul, and spirit. Each part needs attention and care. Do not get out of balance. Every day we need rest, good healthy food, fun with our family, light-hearted leisure, exercise. We need a regularly scheduled Sabbath rest.

10. Give Him glory. Be careful you do not turn out to be the “indispensable person.” There’s almost a glory in being over-involved. People look at us like we’re plaster saints. They clamor that they need our prayers, as if we are the only ones who have God’s phone number. We must be very careful that this does not feed our ego. Who is interested in stoking our ego? It is not God; it is Satan.

11. Keep confidentiality. It is vital that you agree on the limits of the information you are acquiring from the hurting person. To repeat it to other people makes you recite the woes over and over. Set a limit.

12. Enlist a personal intercessor. Pray that the Lord will help you find a person who will back you in prayer when you are doing the work of ministry. Each active intercessor, each church worker, each pastor and teacher needs at least one personal intercessor. Like Moses at the battleground we need the help of Aaron and Hur. (Exodus 17:10-12)

You can be a blessing!

There is a tremendous blessing in being faithful and obedient to the Lord. You will be a blessing to others and you will bless yourself and build yourself up on your most holy faith.

Make a new beginning today. Repent and be converted. God will send times of refreshing and bring the restoration of all things. (Acts 3:19)

God will equip us
with everything good
for doing His will
and He will work in us
what is pleasing to Him,
through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory
for ever and ever.
(Hebrews 13:20-21)

By His grace we will avoid becoming overloaded. Praise the Lord!
# # #
by Elaine Hardt ©1996.
(Dear friend Dolly recommends I share this with you today.)