by Paul Casey

When is it Good to Cross the Street?

Other-Side-of-the-Street-0011I used to go to a counselor who would remind her clients that it is not emotionally healthy to get involved in other people’s drama and make it something to worry about, but to instead “stay on your side of the street.” It’s good advice, because when it comes to having good boundaries in your life, you don’t want to pull someone else’s weeds while your own house is on fire. Taking up an offense for someone else usually just muddies the water and brings unnecessary grief to yourself and others; you usually don’t know both sides of the story.

Then there’s the concept of  “bearing another’s burden” in order to help your neighbor with the difficult struggles in his/her life. We are meant to live in community and to lend a hand to those who are in need. If we want to be treated with dignity, assistance, and care, we need to treat others with that kindness and compassion–a thoughtfulness that is intentional.

So, there’s the tension to manage.  Not meddling where it makes matters worse, but not ignoring the plight of those in need around us. Pray for the wisdom to know when to move and when to stay put.


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