Helping without interfering
What can we do if we long to help people, but they won't let us? If they think we're interfering in offering advice? Or if they're shut up in grief and are actually hostile to any words of comfort?Skip to next paragraph
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Maybe we arem unnecessarily interfering. And yet the desire to help is certainly God-derived. What we may need to do is discriminate between uninspired sympathy and God-inspired love.
Sympathy and caring are, fo course, essential. Yet, in and of themselves, they often aren't enogh to break through layers of grief or malevolence. Christ Jesus, the unequaled helper of mankind, relied on God, divine Love, for power to comfort and heal. Sufferers in mind and body were consequently drawn to him. Human affection, so easily suspected of including a desire to dominate or improve another, may be repelled. Love born of God, which includes deep love and affection for mankind, embodies the recognition of an individual's right to choose his own course. Those in need of help intuitively feel this.
The Psalmist knew the real source of effective help. "My help cometh from the Lord," he said, "which made heaven and earth." n1
n1 Psalms 12:12
To be powerful helpers of troubled persons, we can't simply seem ourselves as their saving lifeline. We canm mentally acknowledge their native dependence -- and ours -- on God.
This prayerful meekness frees us from any desire to steer another into a path of our own choosing. We listen for God's promptings before speaking. Mary Baker Eddy n2 assures: "Meekness, moderating human desire, inspires wisdom and procures divine power." n3
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science
n3 Miscellaneous Writings,m p. 360
Jesus is the highest example in how to aid others. His christly compassion got through effectively to the sinful and the long-term afflicted. He comforted and healed deeply because he saw purely. He knew that the one perfect Spirit is our true Maker. He realized with permanent joy that every individual's real selfhood is spiritual and perfect, not physical and faulty.
There's nothing impractical in seeing oneself and others as higher and better than the physical. It is true vision -- beholding the truth that God knows of His creation. Obviously a material view of things can't do justice to Spirit's unerring craftsmanship. It is our spiritual sense that makes us aware of the sublime reality behind illusory material appearances.
The very impulse to pray is itself an indication that we belong to a dimension above the physical. Spiritual qualities such as purity and unselfed love are divinely natural to our true being. Developing them in ourselves, we call them out in others, as people discern in us something of the real, spiritual manhood that is theirs also.
Immortal Love not only inspires the right words but also prompts helpful silence. Silence need not be empty. If talk seems unacceptable to a sufferer, we can be dynamically quiet.
The Christ is active in everyone, urging reliance on God, prompting conviction of sonship to Him. To know this great fact is to help bring spiritual warmth, the sense of the presence of God, to people. When the Christ is recognized, dark moods lighten and hope reawakens. "Christ," Mrs. Eddy explains, "is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness." n4
n4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 332.
It is, after all, omnipotence that we're relying on to put things right, not ourselves. Impartial, God-reflecting love has no element of interference in another's life. It doesn't provoke resentment, because it makes no claim to personal wisdom or superiority. In a sense it is a sharing of total dependence on the loving Father of all.
Such dependence opens the door for ourselves and others to divine comfort and healing. DAILY BIBLE VERSE This is the will of God, . . . that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter. . . . But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God. I Thessalonians 4:3, 6, 9