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???

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

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Comments:

  1. 451
    Patti Reavis says:

    It really helps me when friends give me scriptures which are already written out to help me focus on God’s Word concerning the situation. It really helps me if a close friend will ask to pray with me and then pray for me until the situation is solved. It helps me when they are around me to make me laugh, but not to probe-just be there, but not smother.
    It doesn’t help me when they want to talk about my devastating situation all the time. It doesn’t help when my situation is minimized in their eyes.

  2. 452
    Nichole says:

    It really helps me when someone genuinely LISTENS and just lets me feel what I need to feel or say what I need to say. When soemone is willing to let me scream, cry, rant, rave, laugh, sing…whatever raw emotion is flowing. They may sit by my side unjudgingly and let me get it all out. Then maybe they hug or hold me, grab my hand. They may never even have to say a word. Just their acceptance and acknowledgement of MY feelings in the moment can be overwhelmingly comforting.

    It really doesn’t help me when someone supports me to a fault and does not hold me accountable for my actions or part in a situation.

    • 452.1
      Casey says:

      It really helps me when someone refuses to take, “I’m okay” as my answer. They are able to look into my eyes through the Spirit and know that there is something churning just beneath the surface, and they refuse to let me continue to wear my mask.

      It does not help to hear, “It’s just Satan….etc.” I know that, and I am fighting like crazy. I don’t want to play the Blame Game; I want to be loved and listened to.

    • 452.2
      Jessica a.k.a Fearless J says:

      I’ve learned the hard way the it really doesn’t help me help someone else when I try to “fix them.” People aren’t problems to be solved. They have to realize their brokeness in their own time, and when they ask for help it’s disastrous if I try to fix them. I can’t fix them, I can only point the way to the one who can fix them.

      BTW dearest Beth, and anyone else who has advice. I’ve been waiting for an appropriate time to ask this question: Do you have any spiritual advice for someone who is mentoring an individual battling alcohol/drug addiction.

      • Michelle says:

        As one who has dealt with an addictive personality, I know what it is like to not be able to put something standing between Jesus and I down. Because they helped me to numb out, or from really facing my fear of whether or not I could really REALLY trust Jesus. I find that I do best with those who don’t get so caught up in my mess that they drown with me, or take it too personally and then avoid me. But offer a loving place to land in the midst. To know that they don’t have to fix me. But that Jesus is big enough and He’s gonna do this thing. And you as my sister get to be there beside me loving me deeply, patiently, consistently. Ultimately, it is for freedom that Christ set us free. And it is only when the reality of his love travels from our heads to our hearts that we are set free and chains of bondage come falling off. Even if it is just a glimpse of that perfect love. So…practical advice..giving options like group support through AA is helpful (if they’ve already acknowledged it is something they are struggling with and want to work on it). Possibly even counseling. But something I’ve stumbled upon called SOZO is an amazing ministry tool that utilizes the guidance of the Holy Spirit to get to the root of issues and create freedom and peace. It’s like counseling…except greatly accelerated and with the intense guidance of Holy Spirit. To replace truth for lies. But for you as the friend…patience. Compassion. Truth. And all in submission and love to Holy Spirit. Jesus is big enough.

  3. 453
    Sheila says:

    It really helps me when someone sends me a note. Or if they say, “I’ve been praying for you.” or “We miss you.”
    I just got off the phone with a dear friend who is going through a divorce and a woman who she doesn’t even know (she goes to her daughter’s Bible study) sent my friend a book and the sweetest note. It touched my friend deeply.

    In most situations I’m sure it’s great for someone to ask how you are doing, but in personal situations, I’m not going to share how I really am and it only puts me in an awkward position of feeling obligated to tell someone how I am, but not feeling the freedom to tell them. They could touch my shoulder or grab my hand. Touch always means a lot.

  4. 454
    April says:

    It helps me when someone relates to my pain or weakness, when they let me know they can in some way understand how I feel. It also helps when they reaffirm their love for me, even when I’ve messed up.

    It doesn’t help when someone comes across as an “expert” who can address my problem or as someone who has it all figured out. (When I’m struggling, I feel even worse when I feel like the other person has never struggled.)

  5. 455
    Tamara says:

    It really helps me when someone comes alongside me and is willing to tell me the truth in a loving way – no matter how hard the truth may be. And then lets me know that they are still there to listen, encourage, and offer hugs when I need them as I get things back on track. Not someone who is there all the time physically, but who is a part of my life and will stick with me through it.

    It really doesn’t help me when someone points out the truth about something and then walks away like that should be all I need. Sometimes I know the truth, but need encouragement or suggestions of ways to get back on track.

  6. 456
    Poorna says:

    Mine has to do with discouragement that stems from failure on some goals at work. You see, I was recently given new responsibility, a promotion…and am totally out of my comfort zone, and learning a ton. However, in the process of learning, I made a few mistakes this year…which caused my team to miss some goals. I was very disappointed with myself.

    So, what did I find helpful and unhelpful in this situation?

    Helpful: talking with my mentors and receiving encouragement that this is not the first time (or the last time) someone, who is still developing her career, has gone thru this “crisis,” or made a mistake. encouragement is helpful…

    Unhelpful: my boss repeatedly telling me that I failed as a leader. I know Corporate America is a lot of “tough love” but, focusing on the negative, the mistake, in ANY environment, is unhelpful in a situation of discouragement.

    God has taught me a lot thru this situation…I KNOW there is a purpose to it! 🙂 thanks for asking us about this.

  7. 457
    Shelly says:

    It really helps me when someone…
    1) Speaks the tough (biblical) truth in love. Sympathy and empathy are appropriate for a season, but I don’t want to be enabled in the long run by it either. Tell me the truth, whether my flesh wants to hear it or not.
    2) A hug can go a long way.
    3) Prays with me, over me, the Scriptures. I’m going to need to cling to those truths.

    It really doesn’t help me when someone…
    1) Notes that ‘this’ is only for my present season. Yes girlfriend, but that doesn’t bring much much comfort in this ‘present’ season.
    2) Assumes and responds as if I am stronger than what I’m feeling or have communicated. It can be scary or challenging for individuals to let you be the ‘weak’ one.

  8. 458
    Christi says:

    It is helpful when…Someone encourages me with a specific scripture, written note or a listening ear. It’s also helpful when someone, in love, encourages me to look at the positives or see a problem from another perspective.

    It’s also helpful when someone offers me a little chocolate :).

    It’s not helpful when someone turns the conversation to their problems or tells me they know just how I feel.

  9. 459
    Kathy says:

    just saw this post- hmm my friends for over 40 years are the answer, my family could not offer that support- as imperfect as we are and no matter how we irritate each other, we have been there for each other- from youth to senior citizens (we still think we are cute, we are now beginning to celebrate 70th birthdays, what in the world????) I believe our Lord stationed us together in this walk- through good and difficult- no answers, just support

  10. 460
    Paula Williamson says:

    I missed my date – sorry, but here’s my memory verse:
    Paula, Houston, TX

    Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips.

    Psalm 141:3 (NLT)

  11. 461
    Elizabeth says:

    A simple heart felt hug.

  12. 462
    Hayley says:

    It helps a little when someone says, “I’ll pray for you.”

    It helps me in a HUGE way when someone busts out praying right then and there. Brings me to tears every time it happens.

    I think most of us have offered to pray for someone in need and then neglected to remember it in our prayers. When I called a prayer warrior a few weeks ago to ask her to include my ailing dad in her prayers, her response was, “Hold on, I’m getting on my knees…” Then she interceded for him over the phone with me right then! It ministered to me in a way that made me want to make an effort to pray with people when they need it, rather than agreeing to pray for them later.

  13. 463
    Jennifer Z says:

    My dearest friend Dawn who is a mighty, mighty woman of God turns up with tea and sits on my front porch and rocks with me when there is drama, which I find very helpful. She does not fuss at me for any lack of wisdom or for taking actions she herself might not take (which is not helpful), nor does she offer advice when she doesn’t have experience (also not helpful, and very frustrating) but she DOES talk about God’s plans and perspective and that time of sharing our mutual faith and trust is VERY helpful. And she shares when she does have experience (which in her case is often because she has eight wonderful children and she has seen a lot in her mothering and bless her for being willing to share her wisdom with me). Love, love to have a good female Godly and amazing friend at times like this and love just as much when it is my turn to be the Godly listening friend too.

  14. 464
    Andrea V says:

    If you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you are called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face. Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Romans 12:7-9 The Message

  15. 465
    Louise says:

    Sacramento

    Find rest, O my soul,
    in God alone;
    My hope comes from him
    Psalm 62:5 (NIV)

  16. 466
    Priscilla says:

    I am amazed at all the wisdom posted on these messages. Since this is an example of God’s special “Siesta’s” I have more hope and joy for today that we are out touching lives and revealing God’s glory. He must be honored also!

  17. 467
    Stephanie Solomon says:

    It really helps when my sisters in Christ pray with me. They always direct me to God’s Word for truth, comfort, and love. A hug and encouraging words help too.

    It doesn’t help when my friends turn away from me and avoid me.

  18. 468
    Reeder says:

    It helps me when people send a note. Notes always lift my spirits and I can go back to the notes later on and reread them.

    Starbucks with a friend is also helpful!

    It is not helpful when they correct me and tell me how I should feel and think.

  19. 469
    Sharon says:

    It really helps me when someone listens to me–truly, genuinely listens instead of being judgmental and critical. It also helps to receive prayers and hugs.

    It really does not help when people say “I know how you feel”. No, you don’t until you’ve been where I am. It also doesn’t help when friends talk about themselves and their problems. I have one particular friend who does this all the time and she’s going into Christian counseling? Only God knows…

    Love to all the Siestas!!! It’s a privilege to be a part of such a group of Godly women!

    Sharon

  20. 470
    Nancy C. says:

    An extended “hold” not a hug, not words.

  21. 471
    Candice says:

    I’d echo many of the comments above. In our desire to help,I think it is incredibly important to be in prayer OURSELVES about our involvement asking for discernment regarding what to share and speak to each other.

    I think we should be careful not to make statements we don’t know to be true or not, specifically, “I know you’ll find a husband one day” or others similar. But, this goes back to discernment, I know a woman after suffering two miscarriages was told, very simply in a card, “You’ll be a mother again” and this blessed her soul so much.

    Knowing that someone is praying for you- huge in my mind. Knowing that a friend is “wrestling” with God over my circumstance…humbled me before God and had me appreciate my friend’s love and care in a deeper way.

    Having someone share that my circumstance is difficult and that they are thinking of me- blesses my heart each time the sentiment is shared.

  22. 472
    Christina says:

    It really helps me when a godly girlfriend comes to my house for an hour or so, doing whatever I was doing during that time: folding laundry, drinking coffee, whatever. Cuz over the coffee and the laundry, His comfort and love and truth is both felt and spoken.

    It does not help me when someone I don’t know well wants the details, says “I’ll pray for you”, or let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

  23. 473
    Lisa Christopher says:

    It really helps me when my sisters in Christ pray with me about the hurt by inviting Jesus to show me Himself in the scene. I know Jesus never has left me, never forsaken me…so I repent if I felt that way during the painful situation and then we invite Jesus to show us where He stood during the event and what He has to say about what happened. Then we wait in prayer as Jesus brings comfort and Truth to heal me.

  24. 474
    Luanne Walling says:

    It really helps me when people Listen, Love & Lift. Whether I’ve fallen into sin or disappointment, there are some basic needs that, when met, will help me to get back on my feet and have those feet pointed toward the cross: 1) Listen – really listen – not only to what I’m saying, but to what I don’t say; 2) Love – Speak and show unconditional love – after opening up my heart to someone and showing them a glimpse of my darkness, it is unconditional love “I love you for who you are…not what you’ve done” that redeems and begins to heal my broken soul; 3)Lift – Lifting me from the shallows below to the heavens above by simply reminding me “whose I am” and that no matter what I do or happens to me, my Father God will never leave me, Jesus will never give up on me and the Holy Spirit will never quit empowering and guiding me. Also, gently remind me to take a stand against the enemy, pray & praise with a thankful heart and ask God to use whatever I’m going thru to help others see Jesus clearly.

    It really does not help me for people to Diminish, Deceive or Divide. Please do not diminish what I’ve done or the pain I may be experiencing in an effort to lift me up. Please do not deceive me and tell me that it will be okay or “better soon” in an effort to show you are listening. Divide – if my sin or diappointment involves a relationship of any kind, please do not divide my love for that person by taking my side and badmouthing the other person in an effort to show your love for me.

    Simply walk side-by-side with me to the cross, listening, loving & lifting.

  25. 475
    Sarah says:

    ooops! left this message on the wrong post — sending again! That’s UNhelpful, right?…LOL

    Such a great question…
    1.)Helpful: I really have been blessed when others share scripture to help me through a tough time. Also, genuine listening and support with phone calls, emails and text messages. I just need to know people have my back. Also hearing other similar situations and glorious outcomes gives me hope that the Lord isn’t finished with me yet…that I can make it through with His support.
    2.)UNhelpful: When others discount my need to “vent” and immediately start telling me how it’s “going to be okay…” right off the cuff. I don’t like the feeling that my current state is making others uncomfortable, burdened or irritated.

  26. 476
    Trina says:

    It really helps me when a friend sends me a hand-written note filled with words of encouragement and/or scripture. I can imagine them taking time out of their busy lives and investing it into mine as they write for my encouragement. It’s real. It does a thing in me.

  27. 477
    Kristy says:

    It really helps me when someone sympathizes, has open arms, but speaks the truth (even and especially a hard truth) in love. When they point me to Christ; to His Word.

    It wouldn’t help for them to be critical or if they held back God’s truth for fear of hurting me. It doesn’t help when someone suggests I can be a “better” me, or some other sort of self-help thing – if it doesn’t point to Christ’s work in me.

  28. 478
    Candace says:

    It really helps me when someone encourages me to pray WITH them, out loud, on the phone, in person, however, when I am down, discouraged & ready to throw in the towel. As we pray, the Lord will bring Scripture to my mind that comforts me and changes my heart.

    What I find unhelpful is “controlling help”, where someone becomes overbearing and not respectful of my opinions,preferences, dance space and overall personal boundaries. They seem to try to BE God in my situation rather than leading me to Him.

  29. 479
    anonymous says:

    It is helpful for me when I can study God’s Word in a Bible Study. I appreciate my Christian friends who I know are praying for me. When they tell me they are praying for me it encourages me. As a single mom struggling financially it is very hard to have people, with financial means, that it is all going to work out. When you can not pay your bills it does not feel like it is going to all work out.

  30. 480
    Pat says:

    During the darkest days of my life (so far), my dear friend spent so many days and hours walking,talking and listening with me. I cried so many tears over her kitchen table and yet she was always ready to talk with me through the pain, again and again. Her theory was “you just have to keep talking through it until your’re done”. How long we grieve is different for each one of us. She most lovingly and unconditionally “was there for me” without her own agenda. She was truly an angel of comfort from God–and she didn’t even know it.

  31. 481

    When my husband died from dementia at age 59 (2008), I realized how important words spoken in those situations were. “Well, at least he’s in a better place” were the ones spoken most often, and though they meant to be encouraging, it bypassed the terrible loss I was feeling in the “here and now”, I knew about the joy I would be feeling in the “by and by.” Those who ministered to me most were those who shared not with words but with deeds and most of all, an arm around the shoulder and free-flowing silent tears. I chose not to waste my pain and turned it into a book about that journey into dementia for those who were suffering through their own journeys.

  32. 482
    Kimberly says:

    Sorry I am joining the wagon a tad late. I have thought about your question. Having just been led through a dessert earlier this year, This question comes with plenty of fresh memory. The “things” that fed my flesh the most was a listening ear, just presence of another friend, and an empathetic ear. The things that were not helpful for me was when I felt like my emotions were not validated by others. I must say that this was a season where I knew God was separating me from others and drawing me closer to Him. So, now having been led out of the dessert, I can say that what proved to be the most helpful was the nonbudging of my friends in their love for me and their continual assurance of God’s work in my life and His love for me. My friend listened to me, prayed for me, and assured me of her love… BUT she continually directed my eyes and heart to HIM. I emerged out of this season with a deeper assurance of God’s love for me and a sweet awareness of HIS pursuance of me.

  33. 483
    Kate says:

    Things that are helpful:
    1. When someone listens, even if I have to keep saying the same thing and processing through the same pain.
    2. Coming-alongside help. When a friend shows up at my house and empties the dishwasher along-side me, sets the table, pitches in, in a helpful ‘not taking over way’.
    3. When someone drops to their knees right then and there to pray out loud for me in the moment rather than just saying ‘I’ll pray for you’.
    4. When they don’t give advice except when asked for.
    5. When they tell me that they love me (if they know me).
    6. When they encourage forgiveness and grace after repentance. I can sometimes be far to hard on myself and need to learn to accept the forgiveness I’ve been given.
    7. When they hold me tightly and don’t panic if I weep in their arms.
    8. When they hold my hand or kiss the top of my head.
    For me it’s about being nurtured from a place of strength.
    9. When they keep a confidence and don’t go telling other about what I shared with them.
    10. People who just show up to help. Come rake my yard. Come play with my kids. Come bring me my favorite coffee and a book. I will rarely tell someone what I need if they ask ‘what can I do to help’ but if they just show up, I feel incredibly blessed.

    What doesn’t help:
    1. When someone reacts in such a way thatI then need to comfort them.
    2. When they give trite answers, “I know how you feel”. “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” “He must have needed another angel in heaven”.
    3. Affection or overt sympathy from someone who doesn’t know me well. When I was greiving I had near strangers try to get me to tell them all about it and hug me. It made me feel uncomfortable, like it was all about them feeling good about comforting me.
    4. When people don’t say anything. I was so hurt when people I was so close to never acknowledged the loss.
    5. Sad / sympathy eyes. I don’t want people feeling sorry for me. I want them to treat me normally and allow me to express my grief and pain without panicing.

  34. 484
    Patty Garvin says:

    It really helps me when someone, in love, holds me accountable, helpd me stick to my repentance.
    It REALLY is not helpful when someone tries to help me justify, or dismiss, my sins!!

  35. 485
    sue says:

    It really helps me when someone takes the time to pray with me not just say they will pray for me. Also when they go out of their way to call or meet up with me and genuinely ask how I am doing/listen.
    It does not help me when someone is judgemental/critical or tells me what I should do when they really haven’t taken any time to pray with me about the situation or have reached out and spent time with me.

  36. 486
    Sarah says:

    Sarah, St. Peters, MO
    Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

  37. 487
    Angela says:

    I have found that “what helps” is entirely up to how I choose to hear “help.” I am one of those that can turn the greatest compliment given me, into the worst criticism. It is so important for me to step back and remove myself from the situation and truly hear or receive help from others. In many cases, it’s important for me to ask follow up questions to determine the sincerity and validity of the offered help. I have to actively ask God to allow me to hear and accept help as help. That is what really helps me. I may not hear or receive concerns as valid initially, but consistent love wins me over.

  38. 488
    Pam says:

    The book of Job probably exemplifies it best. The three friends came when they heard about his grief and shared his pain. They just sat with him. It was when they opened their mouths with unsolicited advice things went south.

    The greatest help in the worst of times came from someone who was just there and available, then invited me to share in opportunities to do small things to serve others. Healing began to come in getting my mind off myself and investing in others.

  39. 489
    DLynn Miracle says:

    It really helps me when a friend shoots straight and tells me where I am off base. Repentance is key in moving forward and I need help seeing the truth of my situation. I need someone who sees my fault and loves me enough to push me towards repentance.

    It really doesn’t help me when others who have no life experience in the depth of suffering I’m experiencing tries to help. Their suffering doesn’t necessarily have to be the same experience, but I need to know that they understand deep, deep pain.

  40. 490
    Sue says:

    1. Helpful: Scripture to fit the occasion, sweet tea, a smile, a good book, a gift card to a quick food restaurant.
    2. Unhelpful: Empty words, saying they will pray for you and knowing that they don’t, putting their arms around you in front of others at an inopportune time (a safe place where you can be busy and not think about the situation) and asking how you are.

  41. 491
    Destee says:

    It really helps me when someone…listens to me and prays with me. It also helps when there is follow up. Someone takes the time to ask how things have gone since the last time. I love biblical encouragement as well as personal sharing of similar experiences.

    It really doesn’t help me when someone…says “Have faith, it will be ok” or when they change the subject.

  42. 492
    Anissa says:

    It really helps me when a friend checks in once a week or so (frequent, but not too frequent), with an “I’m thinking fo you, how are you doing?” phone call.

  43. 493
    Sarah Wooten says:

    LOVE THIS BLOG POST. Whoa…sorry for shouting.

    Ok…helpful:

    First of all, it has to be someone safe that won’t go blabbing my story all over. My DH is a mega-pastor (pardon the term, just don’t know any other way to say it) and people are always inspecting for chinks in the armor. Or at least, that is what it feels like sometimes. Sigh.

    Helpful is when someone listens actively and empathizes and who will help me identify when I am in a shaming experience without judging me or giving me ‘you shoulds’ or ‘have you trieds’. Someone who will help me process.

    I count myself blessed when I encounter shame, that I have someone who will sit with me for the 20 minutes it takes for me to put myself back together, climb out of the mire of shame and get back on my emotional and spiritual feet and remember that I am a daughter of the Most High God. She is my amnesty. Someone who will let me cry and not try and comfort me out of it. Someone who will pray with me.

    Helpful is a woman (or my hot husband) who helps me figure out:

    Who do I become when I am shamed?

    How do I protect myself? What reactions do I lash out with? Why do I cry and hide or became mean-nasty Medusa lady?

    What is the most moxie thing I can do when I am feeling small?

    Moxie is courage. Courage isn’t necessarily overcoming your fear, but having the ability to turn and face it. For me – that is an important distinction and gives me a place to start. When I am moxie, the fear and shame just sorta creeps away.

    Ok…NOT HELPFUL:

    “Oh…I can’t imagine.” Great. We have an immediate barrier because you don’t get where I am.

    “Oh, you poor dear.” Ummm…I’m not looking for sympathy. I NEED TO PROCESS!

    “Oh my, how embarrassing. *gasp* Aren’t you ashamed?” Awkward. Now I have to comfort you.

    “Bless your heart.” Uh-uh. NO WAY.

    “Who is that person? We are going to kick their….!” So not what I was looking for. This does not help me.

    “Oh it’s not that bad. You are AWESOME. Everybody loves you! Don’t worry.” Minimizing my pain by flattery is going to get everybody nowhere.

    “Omigosh. That is NOTHING! Did I ever tell you about…” Darling heart, this is not the opportunity to one-up me. Connection does not equal competition.

    I will be the first to admit I have had these reactions because I too am uncomfortable with vulnerability and shame. It’s a process…I’m working on it. 😀

    Thank you Beth for this amazing post – what a great way to jumpstart the conversation!!!

  44. 494
    Vicki Sandifer says:

    It really helps me when someone… Hugs me and does not talk!

    Makes a meal for my family.

    Prays for me and lets me know it by a text or a message on facebook.

    It really doesn’t help me when someone… Tells me horrow stories of when they had this same operation or whatever or knows of someone who did and they died. Not helpful.

  45. 495
    Cathy Davis says:

    (I can’t wait to read all the comments!)

    What really helps me is when someone comes up to me, out of the blue, and affirms scripture that I’ve just read or she offers a word of encouragement that is like manna from heaven. (When it truly appears someone is being used as God’s messenger…)

    What really does not help me is when I know someone is trying to help and say the right thing…but it’s not the right thing. Does that make sense? She is trying to help me make sense of the mess that is my situation but it’s just not helpful at all.

    What also does not help me (and I do this sometimes) is when someone says she will pray for me but I never know if she does or not. If I say I’m going to pray, I want to do it right then, with that person.

    • 495.1
      Cathy Davis says:

      I didn’t get to read all of the replies, but I did notice that we had a pretty recurrent theme about working/not working.

      Praise You Father for people you place in our lives who are filled with your wisdom and discernment!

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    Laura Butler says:

    It really helps me when someone sees my loneliness and invites me to join them in something social. It also helps me so much when someone sees a need and offers some practical way to help me to meet that need. Example: letting me do my laundry in their home.

    What I find truly UNhelpful is when well-meaning people just start spouting all kinds of scripture at me or saying trite things like “Life is what you make it” or “Be thankful for what you have.” My really favorite was when someone once told me while I was truly struggling financially that I am “richer than half the world”. I don’t expect folks to wallow with me but I hate being told by others whose lives are rolling along pretty well to just get over it when I’ve been hovering above the poverty line and constantly struggling to meet basic needs. It is nice when people can give me the dignity of recognizing that it gets truly stressful to do without on a regular a basis. I know I am not actually starving or homeless and I am thankful for that. It is just nice when they can see that my struggles are indeed real despite the fact that I’m blessed to live in this wealthy nation.

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    Laurie Duncan says:

    What helps me is for someone (who speaks the truth in love, not loves to speak the truth) to call me out on the carpet concerning my behavior or attitude. I will forever be greatful to a sister (that truly loves me) that came to my house, with her Bible in hand. She talked with me, wept with me prayed with me and called me out on what I was ignoring from God.
    It changed my day and redirected my destructive course. ONLY because it was rooted in love.

    What is NOT helpful is for someone to jump on the bandwagon of sinful behavior with me and crack the whip to “giddy-up” out of Spirit filled town. Misery loves company, but I surely don’t want to ride around in misery!

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    Suzi says:

    what helps is being given a scripture to reflect on … maybe even one I’ve known but to apply in a new way.

    what doesn’t is dwelling on the “why’s” why did she do this or not do that…maybe if you had done this it wouldn’t of happened

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    Nichole's Mom says:

    What helps is for someone to allow me to feel what I’m feeling – not agree with it but acknoweldge it… sort of like an “I smell what your standing in” moment! Truth helps also and the truth I cling to is in scripture because that never changes! What does not help is someone accepting my behaviour out of love or alegience to me because then I can’t trust them.

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    Andrea says:

    What helps: I like to create some kind of order by talking about it.

    What doesn’t help: shutting me up.

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