Tag Archives: control

How To (Actually) Help

I saw a woman who looked like she had been out in the rain for a while as I exited the gas station.

I knew I had a poncho in my car that I thought may potentially help her not get any wetter than she already was.

I found her inside and asked if she would like the poncho.

She looked at me like I was crazy and said no.

I may have said okay. We both exited the store.

Now. I could have made a deal of sorts and told her why I thought she should take it.

I was trying to be helpful.

She didn’t ask for help. Her decision to say no indicated that she didn’t want it.

Often we force what we think is best on people and call it help. But. They didn’t ask for it. And, for whatever reason, they don’t want it.

We gotta let that be okay. We gotta respect that people are different and what we see one way they see another.

If it isn’t beneficial in the eye of the recipient, it is likely not actually helpful at all. And to push it or force it or make them feel bad if they don’t want it, turns “help” into control.

Let’s be mindful. Even when our initial intentions are good. 🙃😊😍

Proverbs 25 (The Message MSG)

Further Wise Sayings of Solomon

The Right Word at the Right Time

1 There are also these proverbs of Solomon,
    collected by scribes of Hezekiah, king of Judah.

God delights in concealing things;
    scientists delight in discovering things.

Like the horizons for breadth and the ocean for depth,
    the understanding of a good leader is broad and deep.

4-5 Remove impurities from the silver
    and the silversmith can craft a fine chalice;
Remove the wicked from leadership
    and authority will be credible and God-honoring.

6-7 Don’t work yourself into the spotlight;
    don’t push your way into the place of prominence.
It’s better to be promoted to a place of honor
    than face humiliation by being demoted.

Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be
    a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.

9-10 In the heat of an argument,
    don’t betray confidences;
Word is sure to get around,
    and no one will trust you.

11-12 The right word at the right time
    is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,
And a wise friend’s timely reprimand
    is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.

13 Reliable friends who do what they say
    are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!

14 Like billowing clouds that bring no rain
    is the person who talks big but never produces.

This is for me.

15 Patient persistence pierces through indifference;
    gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses.

And this too. Both timely for different reasons.

A Person Without Self-Control

16-17 When you’re given a box of candy, don’t gulp it all down;
    eat too much chocolate and you’ll make yourself sick;
And when you find a friend, don’t outwear your welcome;
    show up at all hours and he’ll soon get fed up.

18 Anyone who tells lies against the neighbors
    in court or on the street is a loose cannon.

19 Trusting a double-crosser when you’re in trouble
    is like biting down on an abscessed tooth.

20 Singing light songs to the heavyhearted
    is like pouring salt in their wounds.

Eek. Ouch.

21-22 If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch;
    if he’s thirsty, bring him a drink.
Your generosity will surprise him with goodness,
    and God will look after you.

23 A north wind brings stormy weather,
    and a gossipy tongue stormy looks.

24 Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack
    than share a mansion with a nagging spouse.

25 Like a cool drink of water when you’re worn out and weary
    is a letter from a long-lost friend.

26 A good person who gives in to a bad person
    is a muddied spring, a polluted well.

27 It’s not smart to stuff yourself with sweets,
    nor is glory piled on glory good for you.

28 A person without self-control
    is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.

Do you

That is a powerful couple of words.  Sometimes it’s so hard to just “do you.”  We are conditioned to cater to and pander to others.  It’s part of our human nature.  We seek approval and validation outside of ourselves in others.  It is natural to desire praise and recognition for what it is that we do.

It is also dangerous to depend on others to create how we see ourselves.  By giving people permission, the keys, to dictate our worth and our value we become prisoners to their fickle, human minds.  By giving others the keys we unintentionally allow them the authority over all of who we are.

By allowing others and the world to tell us how great or horrible we are, we get on a wheel, a merry-go-round, a seemingly unending cycle.  Once we allow another or a thing to control us, once we seek permission from others to be who and what we are, they/it will never be satisfied.  They will always want more.  One day we will look up and be shattered remnants of the person we once were.

By being unwilling to “do you” when no one looks or applauds we are holding captive the passion and what we were created to do.  As individuals, we should seek to be free.  Free to follow our hearts.  Free to follow our passions.  Free to fulfill what we were created to do.  Free to be happy.  Free to have joy.

Society places an emphasis on external measures of success and beauty.  Society says we have to look a certain way, act a certain way, wear certain things, own certain things, talk a certain way or we just aren’t good enough.

I submit that we are all good enough.  We are all beautiful enough.  We are all talented enough.  We just have to own our own keys.  We have to be willing to “do you” no matter what.

I don’t men be rude, ruthless, mean, cutthroat, or disrespectful.  While we “do you” it is imperative that we value us enough to value others.   Poor behavior is often indicative of poor self-worth.  If we can’t treat others well while we “do you” we cannot “do you” well. We may lie to ourselves and justify our behavior.

But there is a conscious effort we make when we “do you” and being ourselves that, when done with the purest of motives, will not allow us to “do you” at the expense of others.  Sure, people appear to be successful who have done it at the expense of others.  But those people often live with regrets and that success comes at a price they may be unwilling to pay if they had it to do over.

So today, I challenge us to “do you.”  Even if nobody notices.  Even if nobody ever recognizes it.  The self-satisfaction in being true to our authentic selves will far outweigh anything any other person could ever give us.  People’s accolades are temporary.  The internal power, strength, and love that we receive from our decision to “do you” far outweighs anything any other person can give.

“Do you” boo!