Humbly Accepting Help
By Dr. Emily Dean, Coordinator of Women's Programs
How many of us in ministry leadership believe that we have no limitations on our time, space, physical abilities, strength…you name it? Maybe we wouldn’t dare say that we are superwoman, but our lives often tell a different story. If we are not careful, we can easily buy into the subtle cultural perception that as women we must be all and do all.
Knowing my own limitations but not always willing to accept or admit them, God has continued to put on my heart this idea of humbly accepting help. Whether in ministry, marriage, motherhood, or life in general, we all need people to fill in the gaps when we reach our limits. As I thought about the example of humility Jesus gave to us outlined in Philippians 2:5-8, I noticed that while on earth…
1) Jesus chose to subject Himself to human limitations of time and space
While on earth, Jesus operated within a 24 hour day. As humans, we only get 24 hours in a day. Time is a great equalizer in the human race. No one can negotiate for more because they are more important than others. We can only do so much, and we are not more important or more powerful than Jesus.
2) Jesus needed rest.
Jesus took on human form when He came to earth (v. 7). We have multiple examples of Jesus going away to a quiet place to rest and pray. Jesus recognized the human limitations of the body. Our physical limitations require that we let others help us to increase what we cannot do alone. When you get busy and overwhelmed, you may need to ask yourself this question. Can someone else help me do this task?
3) Jesus allowed people to help Him even when He could have done it better.
Jesus continually gave the disciples opportunities to share His message. Would it have been easier for Jesus to get the word spread another way without using imperfect people? Most likely, yes. I have experienced this often while having preschoolers in my house. Preschoolers are usually very eager to help, but it takes more work sometimes to let them help than just to do it yourself. It’s much easier in leadership to handle things yourself than to train and equip people to help you. Yet, Jesus chose to build up His team and prepare them for the future to come when He would return to heaven. He gave them opportunities. One way as leaders that we can humbly accept help is to give others opportunities to lead. If we do the work of training and equipping, then the ministry will eventually multiply beyond our capacity. Now that I have an older grade school daughter, she is truly helpful in so many ways far beyond the days of her preschool “help.” Training pays off.
If we think that we must do everything to be a leader, then we are fatally flawed in our thinking. While trying to be superwoman may boost our egos, refusing to let others help us can reveal a prideful heart. And we know what that comes before! Rather than falling on our faces from a prideful downward spiral, maybe we would be better off falling on our knees and admitting our limitations. Asking God for help and then accepting the help He provides through others helps us to follow His example.
This holiday season when life and ministry go into hyper speed, don’t be afraid to humble yourself and let others help you. Receive help with thanksgiving. Everyone around you will be thankful too.