SGLY: Help him up

By Tiffany Chartier
For the Prosper Press

Corrie ten Boom is quoted as saying, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” I am successful most of the time at living into this truth, but I still fail more than I care to admit.

Struggles befall us all, but it is up to us if we stay fallen. The crux of reality is that we often go through our most challenging struggles alone despite how many people surround us. We can do our best to explain ourselves while others do their best to understand. Still, we will never fully convey what we are going through because people construe our stories based on their interpretation —they can only reach us as far as their beliefs and experiences take them.

The only one who can truly meet us in the depth of our need is Christ Jesus.

Have you ever tried to no avail to make someone see your side of a situation? You express yourself but the core of your concerns somehow gets lost in translation. Perhaps the receiver is too busy in their own life to genuinely invest in yours, so they give nothing more than placating platitudes. Or they are genuinely concerned for you, imparting their judgment “in your best interest” based on their hesitations and experiences without fully taking into consideration your perspective, future, and emotional well-being. Everyone can justify any stance if given the opportunity, whether right or wrong. What requires the most effort is learning how to be empathetic and helping others where they are in their lives rather than criticizing them based on where you think they should be or who they should be at this point in their life.

I am not condoning supporting another’s demise. Yes, we should speak the truth and want the best life for each other, but we do not have to agree with someone to offer them the love of Christ. We do not have to have the answers to be supportive. Most people do not want a sermon when they are hurting — what they need to know is that they are not alone.

Friend, there are a lot of people around you who are feeling very alone. Perhaps you are one of them. The future has so many unknowns; may our support for one another not be one of them. God will call upon you to be an example of His love to someone in need. May we be reminded that God is already on the other side of what we cannot see whether we are the receiver or the one offering support. There are no blind corners in God’s view.

May we slow down our responses and take the time to meet people where they are; Jesus Christ is the best example of this. Christ came, died, and rose again for us, meeting us at our deepest and darkest moments. Christ does not shame or confuse us into submission. He does not point fingers and condemn His children. He does not respond to our pain by instilling doubt and fear. No. Christ communicates and redeems by being fully present, loving unconditionally, and gently instructing.

“Rise above it” is a well-worn saying often used by well-meaning people, but what if we put some muscle (emotional, spiritual, physical) behind the platitudes and lifted others in their journey to rise? Jesse Jackson said, “Never look down on anyone unless you’re helping him up.” When we recognize someone is struggling and offer clichés and judgments rather than a hand or

an ear, we are no better than the man who looks down at his hurting brother, catches his eye, and moves on.

Go into today with eyes, ears, hearts, and hands open. God may put someone before you who needs to be seen, heard, and encouraged — follow God’s tug and reach out in love. “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

SGLY, dear reader.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Chartier

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.