Stop Helping the Ones You Love by Christine Lindsay
Author Christine Lindsay is the guest today on Inspirational Moments. She speaks about a very tough subject...as a Christian, parent, and friend. I hope we all can take home a bit of wisdom today.
Please comment on this blog. Not only would we like to know your thoughts but you also have a chance to win a remarkable book. She's offering a copy of Sofi's Bridge. The drawing will be in one week (see details after the post.)
God wants us to help others, ease their suffering, doesn’t He? No one can be faulted for lending a helping hand. But what if our help is actually hindering the Lord from what He wants to do in a particular person’s life?
Standing back and letting a person suffer doesn’t sound very Christian.
I’m a mom and a grandmother. Like most moms, the last thing in the world I want to do is watch the ones I love hurt, even if that hurt has been caused by their poor choices, and by not following the Lord’s direction. As moms and dads we used appropriate discipline when raising our kids. As we matured in our faith we grew to accept God’s discipline in our own lives, but yet we still want to step in and “fix” the situations in our families.
Sometimes I have been in the middle of helping my adult kids and wondered, is my help what they need? Or do they need to learn from this mistake to gain the wisdom they lack?
I come from a long line of “savior” type personalities. My mother has an extremely strong bent towards helping others to the point of “fixing” their problems. People with this particular personality trait often choose careers in caregiving, such as doctors and nurses. Even me as an administrative assistant for most of my career; one of my strongest desires was to give aid, solve problems, fix situations. A good thing, but on the flipside this personality trait can bring very negative ramifications.
This has been especially true with one of my sons. He grew up with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. He’s very intelligent but never did well in school. His dad and I are so prone to helping him, even after he was married and had a family of his own. But time after time when we would help our son and his wife out of another financial snag, they would go out soon afterwards and get themselves into another tough spot with money.
Eventually we did one of the hardest things we ever had to do as parents. We had to draw the line. We cut off our financial help, and would no longer “fix” their problems. When they suffered, I added more power to my prayers for them. Gradually I started to see them develop some Godly wisdom.
Our personality traits can have a flipside. What happens when we let an unselfish nature hurt our loved ones and us?
This particular truth inspired my latest historical romance Sofi’s Bridge. In Sofi’s Bridge, the hero and the heroine both had to learn the same lesson that I had to learn—that we cannot save our loved ones. Only Christ can do that.
This often means letting our loved one go through a time of suffering, one of the hardest acts of love on the part of a parent or grandparent. Step back and let God work.
Here is a brief excerpt from Sofi’s Bridge where Dr. Neil Galloway recognizes this important spiritual lesson while he is waiting in a prison cell:
Neil rested an arm over his eyes. If only he’d taken that ship in June, he could have been in Indochina by now. And what little time he had left on this earth, he couldn’t imagine not seeing Sofi. Touch her hair, the color of August wheat. Hair that never would stay pinned up. He pressed the heels of his hands into his eye sockets. There was no sense thinking of what could have been. He’d sacrificed everything for his brother, everything, and what good had it done either of them?
Da’s face came to him. Back when he and Jimmy were only lads, the two of them hanging on to their father’s hand as they walked to church on a Sunday morn. Bells chimed all over Belfast. Inside the gray stone building, Neil had listened to the minister preach of what Christ had done on the cross for all mankind, taking the punishment that people like him deserved.
Neil sat up and leaned his elbows on his knees. His hands dangled between them like heavy weights. As a boy, he’d believed in what Jesus had done. But as an adult, he’d demeaned that sacrifice. Instead, he’d tried to be Jimmy’s savior. How could he save anyone, him a fallible human being? Lord, I’ve been a fool. He dropped his face into his hands. The dye had been cast though. In only a matter of months, maybe weeks, he’d be facing his Maker.
He picked up the Bible Joel had brought him and opened to the psalm the preacher had spoken on last Sunday. “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path...refuge failed me...I cried unto thee, O Lord...and said, Thou art my refuge.”
He wiped moisture from his eyes with an impatient hand. He couldn’t save himself, but needed to accept the salvation so freely offered. The church bells of home rang in his memories.
Remember, the next time you are tempted to step in a fix something in the life of someone you love, 1 Peter 4:19 (NASB) “Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.”
Click HERE to read chapter one of Sofi’s Bridge.
Enter by commenting below (include email address) for your chance to win a copy of Sofi's Bridge by Christine Lindsay.
Winner selected by random draw from eligible comments on 4/17/2016. Minimum of 5 entries required to validate contest. Winner shall be notified via email provided.
About the Book:
Seattle Debutant Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from shock over their father’s death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium—a whitewashed term for an insane asylum—so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety.
Read the complete first chapter of Sofi’s Bridge HERE
PURCHASE LINKS FOR SOFI’S BRIDGE:
Amazon.com Sofi’s Bridge (Paper & Ebook)
Pelican Book Group (Paper & Ebook)
About the Author:
Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction. Tales of her Irish ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and the explosive finale Veiled at Midnight.
Christine’s Irish wit is evident in her contemporary romance Londonderry Dreaming and in her newest release Sofi’s Bridge Coming August 2016 is the release of Christine’s non-fiction book Finding Sarah—Finding Me: A Birthmother’s Story.