Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Please Help Your Brother

Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. – 1 John 2:6

This weekend I was bemoaning to myself how many times a day I have to say "please help your brother" to the boys.  I usually have to follow this with some sort of reason – He is too short to reach it. He is already doing something else. He has his hands full. He is scared. You helped make the mess. I need you to help him because I can't help him right now because my hands are covered in noodle dough (can’t you see that!?), etc., etc., etc.


Gah. So frustrating. When will they learn to help each other without my intervention!? 

Nothing like a good internal rant about the shortcomings of others to get a kick in the ass about your own behavior. My very next thought was something like this:

Trischa. How often do you step in and help your brother?

Oh. Um.

I am not one to say "God told me..."  Phrases like that are thrown around far too often and can do a lot of damage when people say they are acting on God’s directive and end up in the wrong place.  I do not feel that I am qualified to discern with one-hundred percent certainty where thoughts come from.  I do, however, think that some whispers and realizations come to us from outside ourselves.  Considering that I have no male siblings, I don't think that thought above came from my own brain.  Who am I helping? 

I do try to be a generally helpful person.  I try not to inconvenience people.  I take advantage of the opportunities to help that are so obvious it would honestly be bad manners to not help.  There is nothing wrong with this.  Good manners are… good.  But when was the last time that I inconvenienced myself to offer real and necessary help to someone who needs it?   

It’s been a while.  And that has to change.

To be continued....

PS. For the record, my kids can be surprisingly helpful to each other and to others.  We just had a rough weekend.

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