Stop Helping Everyone

The struggle is the same.

It doesn’t matter if you work in nonprofit or work in a ministry, whether you run a business or just run to keep up with everyday life—the temptation is always the same: to help everyone everywhere.

Often our desire to help and serve others comes from a wonderful place. We see the never-ending need and we can’t help but do something about it. We want to pour ourselves out every day for as many people as possible. I get that because I feel the same way.

But if we’re honest, that’s the very thing that leads to burnout. The work is never done, and since we can’t keep up, we often give up. We get grumpy and end up showing up joyless for the very people we are trying to help. We exhaust ourselves trying to help everyone.

Bishop Walker of Mt. Zion Church here in Nashville pointed something out in a message recently that stopped me in my tracks.

That’s not what Jesus did.

Jesus didn’t help everyone.

Think about that for a minute. Jesus did not help everyone. (I’m not talking about salvation here.)

We give and serve and help and volunteer and stay busy for everyone everywhere, all while carrying the banner that this is what God has called us to do. But what if He didn’t?

As Bishop Walker taught me, Jesus didn’t follow the need. He followed His assignment.

For example, He raised Lazarus from the dead. That is what God called him to do. He didn’t raise every person, did He? Think of all of the dead people in the cemetery that day that He didn’t bring back to life.

Just like in our time, the need was infinite. But Jesus didn’t follow the need. He followed His assignment. Jesus was not focused on what others were asking of Him. He was focused on what God was asking of Him.

So what would Jesus do?

Jesus stopped and prayed.

Jesus sometimes said no.

Jesus went away to be alone.

Jesus rested.

Jesus didn’t follow the need. He followed His assignment.

What if we made decisions like that?

What if we became more concerned with pleasing God than pleasing people?

What if we were more interested in what God was asking of us than what people are asking of us?

What if we said no to others more so that we could say yes to God more?

What if we stopped trying to be the savior and instead trusted God to be the Savior?

This week, let’s stop trying to be the hero. Instead, let’s pray and lean into what God is asking of us.

We may find that when we stop being busy trying to help everyone everywhere, we will find more energy, joy, fulfillment and success. Then we can focus on the needs we are called to, the situations we are assigned to and the people we are appointed to.