Asking for Help, part 5

4. Guard Your Hearts Above All Else. Prov 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." While guarding your heart can seem somewhat subjective, I think we can easily see that the word "guard" means to watch over, keep safe, protect, defend, safeguard, and shield our hearts in this broken world, especially because our actions come from our heart. Matt 6:21 says, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." So, we need to make sure that we are protecting our hearts when we are in relationships with one another, when we are asking for help, and when we are accepting it. Just because it is a blessing to be helped and to help others does not mean we should abandon prudence in the matter.

One question I received was, "What do you do when you ask for help and get it and then, later down the road, it's thrown in your face?

This question is one reason why I have put a foundation in all of these posts about being rooted in a Christian community when you are asking for help. When you are in a healthy Christian community, asking for help should never be thrown back in your face. Or if it is, then the conflict will be dealt with honestly and with the purpose of reconciliation. I also know that not all churches are always healthy, and some churches are just too broken to be ministering the way they ought to be, so be wise and prudent - and guarding your heart - when selecting the Christian community you are in, too!

I am wary of asking for help or advice from persons that I do not know very well, especially if it is to take care of my family in some way. I am responsible for their care and well being, even if someone else is helping me with that responsibility. So, I have to be intentional about building up a group of people I can trust to call on when I do need some help. For example, I have purposefully gotten to know several young women who can babysit for us when we do need a sitter.

If are in a situation where a fellow Christian has tried to make you feel terrible for asking for help or accepting it, then I would tactfully and in love, point out some of the biblical principles I have written about. I would try to reconcile with them, but then I would also be guarding my heart in the future with that person. Yes, there is some risk in asking for help, that someone might see you in a way that isn't true, or someone might judge you, or it might make you vulnerable to being hurt. This is true of living in our world. But, I do not think that means we need to try to pretend everything is fine when it isn't, or pretend we don't need help when we do. Just be wise and discerning who you ask for and accept help from, and if it ends up not being what we need, then I hope forgiveness and reconciliation will be roads we go down.

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