The proud helper - Hope 103.2

The proud helper

By David ReayTuesday 20 Oct 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Romans 16:1-2

1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea. 2 Welcome her in the Lord as one who is worthy of honour among God’s people. Help her in whatever she needs, for she has been helpful to many, and especially to me. (NLT)

There are people scattered throughout our churches who find much of their identity in helping others. They may even be ‘rescuers’, those who are forever dedicated to lifting the unfortunate from their predicament. In being like this, they are in danger of turning a good thing (bearing one another’s burdens) into a not-so-good thing: the cultivation of both pride and dependent relationships.

Beware those who are constantly caring for others and who will never receive help for themselves. As our text reminds us, the great Apostle Paul was grateful for the help received from Phoebe. He elsewhere expresses gratitude for the support he has experienced.

Refusal to accept help can be a mark of proud independence. We figure we can get by on our own. The Bible tells us otherwise. Then again, offering so much assistance to others without being open to such assistance ourselves might be a sign of a desire to control others. Our helping might have subtle strings attached. Our assistance gives us a measure of control and results in a measure of dependency. Which might be our secret goal in any case.

God in his wisdom and mercy has provided others to help and support us. By all means bring blessing to others, but don’t forget to gratefully receive blessing from others at the same time.

David Reay