I do not like asking for help. I have always considered it a sign of weakness. Even when someone offers to help me, I am always reluctant to accept it. I should be able to do it all myself, right? A really good mom doesn’t need help, and I want to be a really good mom, don’t I?
I don’t like asking for help, but I do love offering it.
I have always gone out of my way to find those people who need assistance. I have taught my children to do the same. As a family, we take that old Christian song, “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love,” very seriously. We are always striving to be more Christ-like, and that means looking for opportunities to help others.
We have never struggled to find ways to help people. We have cooked meals for families experiencing major life changes like moves, babies, and deaths. We have picked up groceries and medicine for families dealing with illness. We have purchased Christmas gifts for families who are less fortunate than we are. We have babysat children for free while parents went to doctor appointments.
There are always opportunities to serve others if you know where to look.
More often than not, parents accept our assistance when we offer it. It’s only been recently that I have realized these parents do not suffer from the same degree of pride that I do. They are willing to ask for help. They are humble enough to accept help when it is offered.
My ability to serve is contingent on other people’s willingness to ask for or accept help. If everyone was as prideful as I am, I would never be able to help others.
Asking for help is just as Christian as giving it. Being vulnerable with others requires that we be humble. Accepting help demonstrates that we are not completely independent, that we all need each other. We are never alone in this life, and we are meant to rely on other people. It is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of our humanity.
Asking for help also enables other people to serve. Most people love to help others. They look for opportunities to make other people’s lives easier. But the only way people can offer assistance is if other people ask for it, or at the very least, accept it when offered. People would never get the chance to serve others, to grow in virtue, if people did not ask for help.
Needing help makes us human.
Even Jesus Christ needed help. He needed help from his mother as a child, learning to walk, talk, and read. He needed help as an adolescent, learning to work with wood under His foster father’s watchful eye. He needed help carrying His cross on the road to Calvary, and Simon of Cyrene was called upon to shoulder the cross when it became too heavy for Christ. Jesus shows us that it is OK to ask for help. He needed it, and He was perfect.
Serving others who need help allows us to grow in Christian virtue. It allows us to be selfless and generous with our time and resources. It teaches us to consider other people’s needs as well as our own. It reminds us that we are responsible for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and that Christ has always had a very special place in His sacred heart for the needy.
But accepting help is just as Christian as giving it.
When we ask for help, we grow in humility and acknowledge our own neediness and dependence on others. It allows us to share in Christ’s experience on the road to Calvary. Both giving and accepting help allow us to become more Christ-like.
So the next time you need help? Go ahead and feel good about asking for it.