To help is to assist and possibly make something easier for someone. They may have difficulty getting out of bed and you may need to offer a hand of support. They may have financial problems and you may loan money to help pay a bill. We are called to help one another. The Lord reminds us to be generous givers and help those in need. However, there is a thin line between helping and enabling. So, how do you determine which side you are on?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I putting in more work than the person?
- Do I feel drained after helping?
- Have I made more attempts to make a change than they have?
- Have I been putting their needs before my own?
- Do they have difficulty with accountability?
If you answered Yes to any of these questions or all of them, you or more likely enabling than helping. The problem with enabling is that it never solves the problem. If anything, the person enabling will begin to feel overwhelmed and may reach burn-out.
Today, I encourage you to be mindful of the position you are putting yourself in to ‘help’ someone else. Think of it this way, you can provide a fish daily to someone or teach them to fish so they can provide for themselves. When they learn to fish, they can now teach others to fish. The best thing you can do for yourself and others is avoid enabling. The feelings of guilt, shame or regret may occur but remind yourself of the long-term solutions. It is better to help than to enable.