How can I help others? Do I really have enough influence? No matter what you do, whether you work inside or outside the home, are a stay at home mom, or retired, you influence other people. Many times through life you encounter others who are looking for help. A friend, neighbor, work associate, or family member will eventually approach you and share a deep concern, trial, or challenge they are facing. When they do, are you ready to help?
Here are a few simple guidelines for preparing yourself to help others:
To be effective in helping others, you must be a loving, compassionate person. You must love the person enough to present the truth to this person, regardless of what the truth may suggest for him/her. When the rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life, “Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me” (Mark 10:21). Even though the truth was strong, and ultimately was rejected, Jesus did not force God’s solution on the young man.
Listen to the problem
While a compassionate person will listen carefully to the problem, he/she must also seek to discover the individual’s attitudes and reactions toward people and circumstances. The process should not be hurried. The person’s current behavior and attitude, which reflects the past, should be the major concern. Listen for evidence of the need for the fruit of the Spirit and specific issues of sin. Do not be afraid to do this, you know that the blood of Jesus Christ can wash away sin! Listening is an art. Improve your asking and listening skills by examining techniques of listening and interviewing. As you gain experience in helping others, you will improve. As Dr. Henry Brandt once told me, “Your one-hundredth interview will go smoother than your first!”
Point the person to a solution
Be sure you correctly understand the person’s situation, attitudes, and reactions toward the problem. Do not jump to a solution too quickly. Many people will talk first about a surface problem before they get to their real problem. When you come to an agreement with the person you are helping as to what the real problem is, and you understand his/her attitudes and reactions, then use the Bible as a mirror so the individual can see himself/herself reflected from Scripture. At this point, you need to be firm, not stern! You do not need to strive with the person but simply need to faithfully, gently, patiently, and lovingly declare the Word of God. If the person is not a Christian, this is the time to present the plan of salvation. If the person is a Christian, this is the time to teach him/her that they are not walking in the Spirit. He/she may repent, or not, go away and think about it, or ask to talk again to clarify a few things.
Use other counseling helps
Ask the person to go to www.kerryskinner.com and click on “Free Audio” to listen to a supporting message. Introduce the person to a small group Bible study. Invite them to attend a worship service with you. Suggest a study like, “The Heart of the Problem” or “Experiencing God.”
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)