There's hope in the chaos.
There's hope in the chaos.
July 13, 2017

Stop Helping Everyone

Even Jesus sometimes said no.

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.

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Leave a Comment

  • Bethany Barrero says:

    Dear Christy,
    Wow did I need to hear this!!! I felt as though you wrote it just for me because I am always trying to help everyone, feel guilty if I can’t and then irritated when I can’t get help I need. Thank you for this!!
    In his love,

    • Thank so much for the post!!! I find myself feeling obligated. I needed this!

    • jackie says:

      Thanks so much. I seem to always go to the rescue of the world and at the end of the day, not a soul around to help me. Don’t get me wrong, I like helping but folks become greedy and want to rely on me. Not good. Thank you !

  • Robbie Odom says:

    Wow…hit me right between the eyes!! I mentioned your post on Lisa Tykerst’s (sp?) yesterday, you got 52 likes at last count! I have always been the one “ask her, she’ll get it done!” to the detriment of my own life, God’s word and my family. It has been exhausting…thank you for the nudge in the right direction. I hope that you don’t mind, going to share this with my Sunday School class!! Have a blessed weekend!

  • Shane Gray says:

    Amazing this has been shared thousands of times on Facebook but only twice on LinkedIn. Wonder why? Because so many are afraid to mix business with God. Again why? Great message Christy!

  • Diane Tennison says:

    wish I had seen this years ago, my whole life I have given of myself, money, time and always felt guilty when I could not help someone, all the many, many pleas for funds to help and they are worthy but I tried to do it all. Family members that just caused me to end up losing my joy, strength and life itself. I really hope young Christians will see this and seek their assignment and stick with it

  • Deb says:

    Thank you … thank you so much for this. I am not sure even how I stumbled across this tonight, but after a day of trying to make everyone happy … I realized I am tired, and they still are not happy… and most likely wont ever be. What a relief to know… it was enough, it was enough. Time to rest now.

  • Belinda says:

    This was much needed! I am slowly learning to say “no”. I have always been the one to volunteer to save/help/fix someone else’s stuff and mine is crumbling to pieces. The other thing that happens is that when we always save someone else, we never give them a chance to find their own way and problem solve. Thank you for the reminder.

  • Renee says:

    Beautifully said! I needed to hear this. And the More you help and give… the more they want you to. I am learning to not only say No when I don’t have peace, but also now can do it and Not feel badly. My real heart’s desire is to please God – not man.
    I just quit a job to go to a new company and it made people upset. I sought God. I felt He was leading me to go elsewhere. It was a well prayed over, and thought out decision. It ended up being one of the Best decisions ever.
    I had to say No to my past employer in order to say Yes to the right one. This is the way we should handle everything. If we are spending time doing things and working in areas that are Not appointed to us by God, – it’s unfruitful and unfulfilling. Stay in peace and go where He leads you!

  • Anna Marie says:

    so true. Jesus took the time to hear from God about His assignment and didn’t try to do everything. And He knew about every need! At the end of His earthly life He was able to say “It is finished”!

  • Judy brogan says:

    Ok my parents need their children we are grown they ‘re in the latec80,s and 90,s…sometimes they need someone to stay a few nights dzddy keeps breaking his back mom can’t do it all.they have great minds they live alone.but I do have one sister that’s gives VERY little time.she is off every other week…now this help is temporary but she does little.our daddy wants to,be home.I feel like they raised us and give us so much of their time .I feel like it’s up,to us to help them during this time.I mean the time is needed plus it is being with them.I,don’t have heart not to go but get somewhat bitter with the one that doesn’t.she spends more time her week off on the lake with friends and cleaning.where I,put mine on hold.we are in our 60,s she is the youngest.I’m doing almost every night here she may come up 4 out of a month.what is right here? Guess I need prayer for having such a hard time with her .

  • Niki Stern says:

    My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year and his condition continues to decline. I understand what Alzheimer’s can do but watching it happen is so sad. My husband and I have volunteered for Mobile Meals the past 10 years which is very rewarding. Yesterday morning my father called and asked if I could take him shopping to get some things he needed. He is in an assisted living facility. In addition to his Alzheimer’s diagnosis he lost his driving privileges last year. So I decided to let my husband deliver the meals and I picked up my father and took him shopping and out to lunch. I felt guilty not doing Mobile Meals but I am so glad I made the decision to be my father. We had a wonderful time and I enjoyed just being with him and talking about whatever he wanted some of which was confabulation But that didn’t matter. It has been difficult and I am really struggling physically and emotionally. As others have stated in their comments they needed to hear this and so did I. To come across this today is so uplifting. I feel that God is telling me it is ok to spend the time helping my father. I can’t help everyone even though I would like to. I know my father may not even know who I am at some point. I would like to take some time off from Mobile Meals and have Wednesday’s be for my father and I. Today starts with a feeling of gratefulness!!!!

  • Lori says:

    Thank you! My husband and I own a small business and this has been so heavy on my heart for so many years. We own and operate a small motel and between our employees, guests and local clubs/organizations, it feels like we are constantly being asked to give – it is hard to stay afloat. Thank you for the reminder to look to Jesus, the perfecter of my faith.

  • Zac says:

    I was not raised Christian nor ever be Christian, but your words touch me. They echo across all faiths. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • Olivia says:

    I had to learn this the hard way….burnout. After I received deliverance from people, I promised myself I wouldn’t return to that kind of bondage ever again. Thanks for the reminder : )

  • Nancy says:

    So true! I needed this… I`ve just arrived from Haiti last night and this is what I am learning to do. There are so many needs, so many urgent situation, but I have to concentrate on doing what God wants me to do.

    Thank you!


  • Karen says:

    There is much peace and serenity as the result of practicing Romans 12:1, 2. When we start our day offering our bodies as a living sacrifice, we can lay our heads down at night knowing we were his for that day and that He accomplished in and through us what He desired. No more. No less. And it is enough.

  • Wow, this is a really great post! Thank you Christy! I pride myself on being the one who “gets it done” and that is not always the best way — “Jesus said no” — Say yes to saying no– love it!

  • Shelly says:

    Christy this is so right. When I first came as a missionary to Ethiopia I wanted to help everyone and then I didn’t really get to impact anyone. Working with the Urban Poor is hard at times but God does have an agenda and a calling for each of us. I now pray when someone wants something from me and then I make sure God is truly in the center of what He wants me to do! It is so freeing when we realize that we’re not here to fix things God does that. We are here to do the Father’s will. That doesn’t mean when God has said no to us helping someone that we didn’t help. We prayed and that is the most powerful tool God has given us. Be blessed in your life and ministry!

  • Alaki Taufalele says:

    yesterday my family and I watched a lot of Christ centered movies on YouTube and I felt I needed to apply what I learned in someway to my life but did not know how or where. your insight to Christ’s life provides meaning applicable to life today. I think we can learn to ask “how?” more often in prayer like Jesus did…I know I will start using this practice more often. This the second time I’ve come across this concept in a few weeks. Great things could come to pass if we hear the call, ask God how, listen, and take action!

  • kelsey says:

    Thank you for this message! I’ve been fostering animals and had a bad incident this weekend where the dog bit a child. Time for me to step away and re-evaluate my mission with God – this isn’t it. I need to stop trying to save every body and everything.

  • Jennifer Haston says:

    Oh, my heavens! I feel like you wrote this just for me!!! Thank you!! What a great lesson! I am really struggling with that right now. I want to help everyone and I coach people NOT to help everyone and to stay in their lane, guess I need to take my own advice.

  • Bree says:

    Yes ?? Yes ?? Yes??
    I needed this nudge.
    Just this morning I asked God, “am I helping for the right reasons.”
    Thank you.

  • Sally May says:

    I read the post and then read all the comments–That is truly ME. It couldn’t have come at a better time in my life! I get frustrated when people won’t help me so, I just do it all myself. I’m printing this post off and I’m going to read it every day!! Thanks so much!!

  • Victoria Mininger says:

    WOW Christy! Thank you for these words. This stopped me in my tracks “Jesus didn’t follow the need. He followed His assignment.”
    I’m writing that one down and posting it on my desk because it’s something I have to remember in the day to day. What is the assignment God has given me today, tomorrow etc.? It is the assignment I need to focus on so I can serve best there and not be stretched so thin that I’m just “present” everywhere.

  • Ruth Earls says:

    Hi Christy! This question is not related to your article but this was the only place I could find to contact you!
    I wanted to know if you would recommend you’re Business Boutique Academy for a Network Marketing business. I am really interested in your course but want to make sure it’s geared towards that type of business as well as brick and mortar businesses. 🙂 Thank you!