Aug 23, 2017
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Gal 6:2
Loving people means supporting their development, not fixing all their problems... Help them as they fix their own problems.
The term is “helicopter parents”. It is a critical term for a parent who is always hovering over their child – picking up their messes, fighting their battles, getting involved in their problems at school or on their team, and over-protecting them in every decision. Some parents don’t like the term, but consider the behavior an endearing quality, almost proud of their watch care over the children. The problem isn’t their parental responsibility, it is the child’s growth. Like a tree that never has to dig deep for water, children who have been hovered over never learn how to deal with the storms and struggles of life. They grow up immature and selfish, expecting their boss, spouse or government to fix all their problems. Helicopter parents rob kids of maturity and resolve.
Paul wrote to the Galatians about a different parent – a spiritual one. He reminded the church that they are not supposed to be helicopter parents for every problem that comes up in the lives of people. Don’t think you have to swoop in and take over their families, their marriages, or their careers. People don’t grow strong spiritually by pastors spoon-feeding them. They grow by learning HOW to feed themselves through God’s Word, and by growing their OWN relationship with Jesus. Sometimes pastors and church leaders start believing it is their job to hover over the flock and fix all their problems. But just like Paul, we can be supporters of the church families without having to be physically present.
We are to carry each other’s burdens, but a verse later, Paul says we are each to carry our own. How can this be? By praying and supporting each other emotionally. We don’t have to fix each other’s problems, but we can be encouragers and supporters to give them the strength to fix it themselves. Can we help? SURE! Serving each other is our expression of love – and Jesus said people would know we were believers by serving each other. But don’t take over. Be a servant, not a boss. J
The best parents learn how to coach their kids THROUGH their problems instead of always trying to fix it for them. These amazing parents learn the power of listening, asking questions, praying for their kids, and encouraging their progress. They don’t see the circumstances as the primary concern, they see learning as primary. We could also learn to do the same with our friends and family as they go through struggles. Get involved where it helps them to grow. Support them in a burden when it supports their own efforts. Don’t give them a hand out, give them a hand up.
And by the same token, appreciate when others love US enough to do the same – because in doing so, we fulfill the law of Christ – truly loving each other!