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Reaching Out: The Benefits for Both the Giver and the Receiver May 23, 2017

If you are a caregiver, especially to an aging parent or elder, you will appreciate the value you offer when reaching out for help. Yes, that’s right – when “reaching out” for help.

Many times, we fall under the misguided belief that part of being a true Christian means always being strong in our lives. If we are strong in all things at all times, then we would not need Christ in our lives, nor would we need others.

Christ draws near to us in our deepest, darkest moments and it is in that space where we can attach ourselves to Him, as well. Our relationship with Christ is a beautiful, reciprocal relationship. However, acknowledging that human beings are relational can also assist us when we are feeling weak. God gave us the gift of one another to love. We need relationships in order to survive. This is true from the very beginning with God’s gracious gift of a mate. Then the Lord God said,

“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis2:18, New International Version).

He knew what He was creating – the gift of unity.

  1. “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24, NIV). Many times, we go through our trials and tribulations not wanting to bother our friends or family with our woes. However, when you see this through the eyes of God and how He intended for us to be available for one another, it is easy to discern how necessary it is to reach out when we would rather pull inward.

When you reach out for help, you may not realize that you bless another human being, as well. You honor another human being by choosing to divulge your heart to that person. You also give them an opportunity to feel helpful and useful as they go with you through your darker moment.

  1. When you reach out, you also reach through – through to the essence of what God intended for human beings. That essence is to connect with one another and to love one another as God so loves us.

Entrusting someone with your woes gives the other person a sense of purpose and helpfulness. If you are hesitant to call upon a dear friend or trusted family member, you deny them the special privilege of their God-intended role as a helper in your life. Allowing someone to get you through not only offers healing to you, but also offers that individual a feeling of joy that will float them through their day.

3. When you confide in someone, it sends a message that you hold that individual in the highest regard. By reaching out, you express your underlying trust to that person. Human beings thrive on trust in relationships. Reaching out to someone can also change the possibility of how that person’s day may have otherwise turned out. Your friend or family member may be heading toward a downward spiral and your phone call may have shifted gears for that individual by taking the focus off them. When you give someone the gift of helping you, that individual’s day will be a little brighter and a lot more empowered.

Perhaps, your friend had a problem that was weighing heavily on his or her mind. When you open up your heart to others, it lets that individual know that they, themselves are not alone and we are alike in experiencing both joys and woes. It gives them a sense of relief to know that they have something to offer someone else and that they are important in your life.

Reaching out to someone has a benefit for both the giver and the receiver. The receiver gains much needed release and not necessarily just a quick fix to a deeper problem. The receiver simply gains knowledge and insight that they may not have otherwise had and may gain the sympathetic ear of a good listener.

More importantly, the giver receives the opportunity to connect with another human being on the level that God intended for us all, which is to be a helper to our fellow man, to share and express love, and to reinstate faith in humankind that there are still some good hearts abounding.

Last but certainly not least, reaching out offers the opportunity to recognize that we all have times of need and in being one with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we are all connected in and through that love, both in the giving and of the receiving end of it.