In 2008, I wrote about Users and Abusers and the toll it takes on the lives of those who try to minister to them. As God is growing me in this area, I have come to recognize that not only does this type of person suck the very life out of those trying to minister to them, but continuing to try to assist these people is actually a deterrent to their healing and growth. Let me explain. I have come in contact with several people who for years have been telling the same sob story (usually in great detail) of how they are such victims. The whole world is against them. They even sometimes admit to making bad decisions to garner sympathy. I have seen them wear out their welcome in church and homeschool groups. They will even circle around after a few years to the same churches and homeschool groups when there is a fresh batch of people whom they haven't had a chance to bleed dry. That's where church and homeschool group leadership comes into play very well here. They know the stories and the people. Directing these people to leadership is the best thing that can be done to speed the healing. People in leadership are well versed in how to deal with this type of person. They have the spiritual maturity to recognize the signs. They know that while it is a hard decision, sometimes not assisting is the best thing. Experiencing consequences to habitual poor choices is the best teacher there is. How are these poor people ever going to learn to make good choices if you are always swooping in and saving them? Back off and pray for them. Of course, if the Lord calls you to assist, you should do so but be careful that this isn't just a kneejerk reaction to someone in trouble. Pray first! Of course, I would never let anyone go hungry or let a child suffer.
I would love to hear from readers about their experiences here. Has there ever been a time that you realized that stepping in and "saving" someone only prolonged their suffering?