At some point in life we need help. Whether we fall on hard times, need help with the kids, help on the job or within our community, or whatever the case may be. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, and there’s nothing wrong with being a helping hand. A helping hand is supposed to help a person up. It’s no longer a helping hand when you or the person you’re helping becomes complacent, comfortable or dependent. When you’re helping someone, you’re working with them to attain something or reach a specific goal. The person you’re helping doesn’t put all the responsibility on you, and neither should you put all of their responsibilities on yourself, unless it’s your child… not your adult child, your child. Sure, you should help your adult child up, if they fall on hard times, but you shouldn’t be playing Lord over their life because that’s dangerous, and many people are doing this without realizing it. They’re trying to be God to their grown kids, their spouse, their pastor, their boss… meanwhile they’re stressed out and missing out on everything else God has for them, because they’ve allowed people to stretch them thin. They have nothing left for God. Let me tell you something, the world isn’t going to stop if you stop being everything to everybody! If you start following the dream God put in your heart, your loved ones dreams won’t suffer! The same God who has carried you, will carry them, but you must stop hindering them from reaching their full potential in life, by trying to be their everything. God should be their everything! You’re not the only person God can use to help people. It’s not all on you. Stop thinking, if you don’t do it, it won’t happen for them. It will happen, you just have to learn to let go and let God! Do what you can, without doing too much! You’re doing too much when your entire life is only about making sure this person is straight or that person is okay. Who’s going to make sure you’re straight, if you’re too busy being everything to everybody else? Take care of yourself. You need time to rest. You need to work on your own dreams or goals. You need to make sure that you’re maximizing the gift God has given you, and not just using it within your home. God has called us to help people outside our homes. Not just our family or close friends. Your gift wasn’t made for you to sit on it, because you’re too busy being there for the people around you. Find some balance. Be there for them, and be there for yourself. Don’t hinder yourself or the people you’re helping any longer. Teach them to be responsible for their life, and how to depend on God. They can’t walk by faith if they know you’ll always be there. What’s going to happen when you’re no longer here, and God has called you home? I’ll tell you what. God will continue to make a way. They will be thrown out of their comfort zone, and learn to walk by faith and not by sight. They’ll go through hard times but God will see them through and show them that it wasn’t because of your efforts, but His! So, don’t feel guilty for living your life and doing what’s best for your overall well being. You’re not being selfish, you’re being responsible for your life. No one is going to be angry at you for living. Life doesn’t revolve around them, God has many other plans for you, but you have to change your thinking. You can’t help others up if it’s weighing you down, physically, financially, spiritually or mentally. Do what you can without driving yourself crazy, and trust God to do what you can’t. I know you may feel like Super Woman or Super Man, but we’re not super human. We can only do so much, and the rest is meant for us to trust God with. Again, it’s not all on you. If you truly trust God with your life, then trust Him with your family’s life too. Trust Him with everything that concerns you. 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.”

So, a plank, for those of you that don’t know, is timber that’s long, flat and rectangular. It is used in construction of ships, houses, bridges and other structures. So, in Matthew 7:3-5, when Jesus was giving a lesson on discernment, He basically told us that we need to take care of our personal obstruction of view before trying to help someone else see clearly.  How can we use godly discernment if our own feelings and self righteousness is in the way? When someone chooses to point out wrongs in others without dealing with their personal faults; I call that the invisible plank.

It’s really a spirit of hinderance. Think about it. A plank is used in construction to build something. When someone judges others for sinning differently than them, just what are they building? I’ll tell you what. A wall of darkness, that’s not only keeping that person from seeing the light, but also keeps them from being a light. Self accountability is the light that chases away the dark cloud of Hinderance.

I mean we have to be real with ourselves when pointing the finger, because when we point one finger, three points back at us. It’s like when you’re on an airplane, and the flight attendant is giving you information on how to apply the mask. The attendant always tells you to put on yours before trying to help someone else. Why? Because you could possibly pass out while trying to help someone else!

You must take care of yourself before properly caring for someone else. Are you carrying around an invisible plank in your eye? You may have been if you’re doing more blaming than acknowledging. You may be if you accept one sin and frown on others. 😕 Let’s do better by ourselves and our fellow man or woman.

The truth is, we may genuinely want what’s best for others, and are trying to lead them the right way, but we can’t lead effectively if we ourselves are in darkness. People look more at your actions than they hear your words. If you don’t practice what you preach, you’ll be seen as hypocritical, and no one will take you seriously. Remember, self righteousness and a lack of personal accountability hinders one from becoming! Becoming what?

Becoming the very best you that God created you to be, and becoming a living testimony to others of the grace of God! People need to hear your story. They need to see that you too have weaknesses and that none of us will reach perfection until we reach Heaven. Still, as Paul said, “I press.”

Keep pressing towards the mark! You’re going to make mistakes and guess what? IT’S OKAY! Jesus died and rose again one time for your lifetime of mistakes! 🙌🏾 Through Christ we are perfected, but we’re not perfect. The only way to keep it real with others, is to first keep it real with yourself! 😉

Be blessed.

Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.