Giving and receiving

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it is actually a by-product of practicing the spiritual discipline of not judging.  I don’t know why, but I am often astonished at how quickly someone is able to help me if I ask.


Problems that seem confounding to me often have clear, often simple solutions that others can explain to me.  I hope this is also true in the reverse.


Once I learn, through trial and error and often a fair amount of failing, who can be helpful in situations that I find impossible to understand, the beautiful side-effect is a deepening cache’ of folks I can call on in my time of need.


This frees up my time for the things that I can help someone else with - time I previously wasted spinning in uncertainty and a skills deficit in areas of life where I really, truly need to ask for help in order to resolve an issue.


This doesn’t have to be major stuff.  For example, when I study and prepare for a message series, I always cram too much into a single outline for a weekend message.  I will ALWAYS have this tendency.  Twenty years in and I STILL CRAM TOO MUCH IN TO A SINGLE MESSAGE OUTLINE.  What I have learned is that Scott, our co-pastor at NSC, can read my notes in 3 minutes or less and suggest to me what he thinks is my strongest point, what is extraneous information, and where in the outline I stop one message and go on to a completely new message.  I rely on Scott to help me in my weakness.  He never has this problem, and that’s great, because I could not be helpful in solving it for him.  But he has another area of message delivery that I can sometimes provide advance feedback on and I hope he finds it as helpful as I find him in my own preparation.


This is no big deal.  The world will no crash down around us if we do not practice this exchange of feedback.  If I go way too long in a message, the checked out faces in the room will teach me to stop talking.  But this kind of mutuality is helpful.  The scripture refers to this I think when it says, “Love covers a multitude of sins.”  It is not suggesting a cover up.  But it is saying, I think, that when we love and trust one another, it is a natural thing to rely on one another to cover our perennial weaknesses.  This strengthens the whole of a community.  It is helpful.


If Scott were to judge my over-preparedness, then I could not ask him to help me and in fact, he wouldn’t be very helpful even if I asked.  His judgment would negate his capacity to help.  


Is judgment getting in the way of love in your life?