What’s Help? What’s Not?

Hey Siestas! Happy Monday! I saw such ministry in action in your comments to the last post. Thank you so much for your compassionate hearts and authentic walks with Christ. You are a true privilege to serve.

I’ve been meditating on something for the last few days that I thought you might get all wound up in, too. We all know – I pray – that God is the only true Redeemer and wonder worker and that He alone is our Savior but, according to Scripture, He very much wills for His people to minister to one another through the power of His Spirit. Here’s the question I’m pitching on the table today:

When you’re trying to get back on your feet, whether you’ve fallen into sin, discouragement, distraction, pain, betrayal, or anything else that can tumble you to the ground, what do you find really helpful from fellow human beings and what do you find UNhelpful?

Really reflect on the questions before you answer them because I want you to think in terms of what is authentically HELPFUL. Not what your flesh or my flesh craves when we’re down. Not what simply soothes us for the moment but does us no real help in the long run. What really does help? And what doesn’t?? Also make sure that your answers are reasonable. In other words, our mentors may not be able to move us in with them for six weeks and cook for us while the two of us hash all of this through. Grin. No one can make us his or her whole life. Only Jesus is meant to be our lives. (Col. 3:4) Think within the bounds of what people are reasonable capable of doing. Within those lines, all is fair game.

Here are the ground rules: Be genuine. Be kind. Please do not try to get back at someone on here who has disappointed you. Let’s have pure motives here today. You know that I say that in love. It’s just human nature. Lastly, please answer succinctly. Just a few sentences for each question so we can read them all. If you want to participate, start each of the two answers like this:

It really helps me when someone…

It really doesn’t help me when someone…

We’re not looking for right or wrong answers. We’re just reflecting today on what reasonable things we can do for one another to actually help and considering what things simply do not. We are liable to discover that what helps one Siesta doesn’t at all help another. I think this is going to get very interesting.

You are the most wonderful blog community on earth. I am NUTS about you. Go for it, Girls! WHAT HELPS???


600 Responses to “What’s Help? What’s Not?”

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  1. 501
    Jen says:

    it really helps me when someone says “you are not alone/you are not the only one who’s gone through this”

    it really doesn’t help me when someone says the complete opposite of what i wrote above.

  2. 502
    Beth says:

    Thank you for these thought provoking questions! I am going through a difficult transition right now and was dealing with what was right and wrong for how to help friends/family as well as how I wanted to be helped and not helped. What helps me-for this current situation the most is JUST LISTEN! Also, when a treasured friends asks me what I need from them-what a blessing!
    What doesn’t help is questioning me. Sometimes questioning a friends decision is ok, but really think about what you know about your friend and their current situation because there is a “time for questioning and there is a time for just listening”.

    And for those of us that have those treasured friends during these difficult times-thank you to our Heavenly Father for each and everyone of them!

  3. 503
    Jewels says:

    It really helps me when someone…
    Prays with me on the spot after I have expressed my heart and LOVINGLY leads me back to the truth of HIS word, no matter how hard it may be to speak the truth. Who later checks in to hold me accountable and continue praying.

    It really doesn’t help me when someone… gives only their opinion with no biblical guidance, or withdraws. Even if you don’t known what to say, listen and cry out in prayer with me. Knowing others are making intercession on my behalf is empowering!

  4. 504
    jewels says:

    It really helps me when someone…
    Prays with me on the spot after I have expressed my heart and LOVINGLY leads me back to the truth of HIS word, no matter how hard it may be to speak the truth. Who later checks in to hold me accountable and continue praying.

    It really doesn’t help me when someone… gives only their opinion with no biblical guidance, or withdraws. Even if you don’t known what to say, listen and cry out in prayer with me. Knowing others are making intercession on my behalf is empowering!

  5. 505
    Bobbie says:

    It really helps when someone allows me to talk about how I feel God is working in and through me in a situation. It helps when they offer a hug, a smile or an encouraging word.

    It doesn’t help when it is only a criticism only or if it is an attempt to diminish my feelings or the situation.

  6. 506
    Lindsey E. says:

    It really helps me when I am just flat out honest with a friend , ” listen, I lost my patience with my kids today and I felt like a psycho mom” and they listen, don’t even remotely judge me because they are too busy encouraging me and accepting me for who I am! I know I am safe with them. Or when I can call my church secretary crying and say would you please pray for me and she does on the spot. That’s so comforting!

  7. 507
    Sandra Dobbins says:

    Prayer, I know when I’m down and I’m being prayed for. Sounds crazy, but in my spirit I know when those who care are praying. Prayer trumps words everytime.

  8. 508
    Kris W. says:

    What I find helpful is when somebody just listens to me, I mean really listens without trying to judge me or correct me … they just hear me out.
    What doesn’t help me is when they tell me to “just forget it,” “get over it” or imply I’m ridiculous.

  9. 509
    Sandra says:

    When I have fallen I am most comforted by those God sends me that have experienced the same or similar shame and are willing to share that with me. Knowing that I am not alone and that another has found a way to face the pain, fear, grief, or humiliation and find God’s love within it, gives me back my hope and joy. The gift of being free to “confess our sins one to another” in an atmosphere of humble understanding, the gift of being safe to take off the mask of “okay-ness” by sharing our weaknesses while seeking God’s will in the circumstances – that is what God has given me when I thought I really wouldn’t make it and all was lost…

  10. 510
    Erika says:


    I am not a new Christian, but I am new to the type of faith and Christian walk that I have now. I grew up in church, believed that Christ was sent to die for our sins, was burried and raised again, I didn’t live a life striken with frequet sin…then it happened I was getting a divorce! It was not what I wanted for myself our my 2 beautiful daughters but I was in a relationship where I knew the only way I could protect them was to get out. It has been a very trying, very ugly, very long divorce. I have studied Gods word and clung to scripture like I never had in my life, like I didn’t know I could! I have a very loving, very supportive family, and great friends which have helped. I have one friend who is a prayer warrior, you would love her! She has no problem stopping what she is doing so she can pray with you, over the phone, in public, heck I am pretty sure if I asked she would pray with me in the bathroom! We are not close friends and have not been friends long, but she is one of my dearest friends. The thing that she does most that has helped me is she simply checks on me, she might call me just to say hi and see how I am doing, she will send a little note or text that lets me know she is thinking of me. Sometimes when she asks how I am doing I say I am great and she is happy for me, other days I can’t even speak I am so full of hurt and sadness. I love that she doesn’t tell me what she thinks is best, I love that she doesn’t tell me everything will be ok, I love that she doesn’t try to fix it. Her response is always the same, if you need anything from me please let me know, and I would like to pray for you right now is that ok? It’s just nice to have a sounding board, it’s nice to know someone is thinking of me while I am in this horrable place in my life, it great to know that I have someone praying for me and my girls. Its a comfort that can’t be explained in words. I think the most unhelpful thing that people do is give superficial false reassurance, you know that “oh that would never happen’s” and the “this will all be ok”, ect… I would just like to know how they know that 🙂 I know you don’t know me but thanks for your constant love, support, and encouragement. xoxo

  11. 511
    Gay Tuttle says:

    Hi Y’all!! I’m reading this kinda late because I don’t have time to turn around these days. Praise God for full and abundant LIFE!!! As I perused the entries since I last checked on you girls, I particularly resonated with this one. Most of you know by now that I have been on a 2-1/2 year journey of CHANGE. I don’t know any other way to describe it without typing up a paragraph of beautifully descriptive words like Restoration, Renewal and Rebirth. I’ve been Recreated. I didn’t just wake up one morning as a new creation either. God required a lot of work on my part including, but not limited to, listening to others who had recovered before me and following their instructions.

    One of the biggest gifts that God gave me (and He gave me A LOT!) was the willingness to listen to the truth about ME from someone who loves me enough to tell me that truth. I couldn’t see some of my faults, my shortcomings, my motives, my parts in differences between me and other people. Some of them were glaringly obvious but some are very subtle and hidden. I can’t see them but someone who spends time with me very probably can. I wanted to change so badly that I had to let a trusted friend tell me where I was going awry. It wasn’t always pleasant. Lol!! MOST times it wasn’t pleasant and sometimes I adamantly disagreed. However, some time later, hours, days, even a week, I would come to see that they were correct. I couldn’t see that I was being judgemental, selfish or arrogant, for example, but she could see it. It takes a lot of practice, a lot of giving yourself a break because you’re human, and a lot of faith in the God that brought you to the willingness in the first place. In time, in His time, those traits began to lessen. I’m not saying that they are gone completely. I so wish they were but I expect that I am a work in progress and I’m ok with that. So is God. He is so full of grace and mercy. One most precious gift that he ushers in during this process is HUMILITY and that’s a good thing. We can always use a good dose of that. There is always a gift, a blessing, because God is good and His mercy endureth FOREVER!!!!

    I love you girls,

  12. 512
    Jane says:

    I really helps me when people are honest and tell me when I am wrong. Although it may make me “feel” worse at the moment, I’d rather start on a path to the truth than have someone agree with me only to make me feel better. A true friend is willing to spin you around and point you in the right direction even if you don’t want to hear it. 🙂

  13. 513
    Gail says:

    It really helps me when someone just tells me they love me.’It really does not help me when someone says “oh we don’t worship that way here”

  14. 514
    Figuration says:

    Helpful: Genuine friendship – the kind that picks up the phone or sends an email. Truth in love. Accountability if I’m trying to pursue a new behavioral pattern. The Word. The Word. The Word.

    Not Helpful: Solutions. I’m a problem solver and if I haven’t already solved the problem it’s because of a heart attitude rather than not knowing what action to take.

  15. 515
    Lynn says:

    Sorry to be so late responding. I actually started a reply two weeks ago and grew too sleepy to finish (it was after midnight).

    What is helpful:

    A phone call, email, or card when I am going through a hard time.
    Following up on my prayer requests.
    Listening when I need to talk, reserving your comments until I am finished.
    A hug.
    Telling me I am missed when I’m not there.

    What is not helpful:
    Telling me I “shouldn’t feel that way.” Maybe not, but at the moment it is how I feel.
    Continuing to question me when it is obvious I don’t want to discuss the matter.
    Judging me when you haven’t walked in my shoes.

  16. 516
    karen says:

    This is an interesting question and one I’ve been thinking on the last few years since I’ve had such a rotten time during the last 3 years.

    It really helps me when someone… lets me talk; get out my anger or cry if that what I need to do without condeming me or judging my words.

    It really doesn’t help me when someone…isn’t genuine and says the ‘typical’ response to a situation.sometimes it comes out as canned and really in-genuine.

  17. 517
    Susan says:

    What helps me is for someone who you knows really cares and is willing to listen.
    Not to be judge, or for them to give an opinion right away, just listen.
    Then seek God, before offering any advice. So few people really care!
    Christian’s and nonChristians are to busy to really hear what you are saying.
    Today, most people are so consumed with self.

    But, praying for me with sincerity and listening with your heart!

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