I know what you’re thinking, there is absolutely NO problem with asking for help. When we can’t do things on our own, we need to reach out and ask someone for help. I agree that we need to be able to reach out to others to help us in certain situations. The “problem with asking for help” is less about the actual asking and more about what follows from the asking.
Let me give you a simple scenario.
You are sick and are in the hospital recovering, you keep thinking to yourself, “How nice it would be if someone called and checked on me or offered to bring me a meal.” You don’t think it is too much to ask for a family member to stop by or even someone from church to pop in with a casserole, but neither happens so you end up hurt and disappointed by the EXPECTATIONS you placed on others.
The first question to ask ourselves is:
Is it wrong to expect help from others?
Should you expect people to come visit you, or bring you a meal? It is wrong to expect that family will be first in line to offer assistance in your time of need? Or that the church will send people to be with you, or offer to take you a meal?
The answer, I believe is Yes and No. When we place expectations on a person and they don’t live up to those standards, we can become let down and personally offended.
In the end, we end up either not always being grateful for the help we DO receive, and/or resenting the people who we expected to help but did not.
So the problem with asking for help arises when we have an expectation surrounding it. Instead of expecting others to step up, we can simply hope that they do. The only place where our true help comes from is Jesus, and when we look to others to satisfy those needs we will always be disappointed and disheartened.
Psalm 121:1-2 NIV:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
I realize that Jesus himself can’t bring you a casserole or run your errands for you, but if you let go of who you expect to do those things for you, you’ll find that God has already placed people in your path to offer you the help that you need.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:16 NIV
So what happens when those people we assumed would offer to help don’t do so for whatever reason? We then need to practice forgiveness towards them.
When you think someone is going to be there and they aren’t it can be very hurtful, but the best thing you can do for yourself is quickly forgive and pour out the grace and love you wished you would have gotten from them onto them.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
People will always let us down in some way, shape or form, but when when we put our hope in Jesus and not in a person we will forever be satisfied. Satan wants to bring us down by having us harbor hurt and resentment towards others who weren’t there when we needed them, but God wants to set us free and help remind us where to place our expectations so we are never let down.