knowing when to draw the line

There is only so much any of us can do. Even Jesus himself when on earth was limited. He could only be at one place at a time, or give his full attention to one person or one thing at a time. Although God, he was fully human, and lived with the limitations of humanity while on earth. Of course his faith was great and his relationship to the Father, unique.

As someone suggested to me, we need discernment at times. The call to us in Jesus is the call to love God completely, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. But we can only do so much.

Love is long suffering, or patient, as well as kind. It includes being gentle, not offending another, especially the weaker brother, or sister. Or the weaker human and friend.

We need to be present for others, without imagining that we can solve, or are even called to solve their problems. We can prayerfully give them counsel, and pray for them in their presence. The most important help we can give them of course, is to help them come into a relationship with God, to help them in their faith.

But we also need to let them go. While they may need us in unusual ways for a time, there comes the time when we have to gently tell them that we can’t help them any further. We’ll have to keep doing that right along, to help them into the life which needs to emerge from their struggle. While we remain committed to them in God’s love in Jesus as a friend.