#HELP LIFT THE LIFE COUCH
How to Help People in Money Struggles
I’m sure that if you look around your own circumstances and life you can think of either a family member, friend, or an acquaintance who is struggling financially.
Do you know what that $$ Struggle in their life is? Well, you might know a bit about it, but pride generally keeps that hurting family from sharing that burden fully with the outside world. Yes, burden.
A burden that can be symbolized by thinking of it as a single person trying to move a 6 foot couch. It is awkward, cumbersome, and impossible to lift up both ends at once. Meaning there is more dragging than carrying. That single person is making progress—but with a slow pace and several hindrances.
What is the solution? Two people to carry the couch. Two people can move it, lift it, carry it, and the burden is lifted.
Do you help pick up the other end of their life “couch”? Or do you stand by on the sidelines saying heart stabbing things like:
- Have faith—God will help you pay your bills.
- Have you looked for a job?
- Oh, well, pray about it. There’s a job out there somewhere. You just have to find it and believe.
- Your lack of faith in God providing for you is showing.
- Oh, it’s not that hard finding a job if you really want to.
- Well you’re the one working in seasonal employment—you know they lay you off every winter. Don’t you financially prepare over the summer months?
Or, do you give some other pat answer, criticism, or sermon?
Displaying a cavalier or insensitive attitude to another person’s pain can cause them even more emotional distress than they are already dealing with.
#Check your Heart and Actions
Yes, stop, and check your heart and actions. BUT don’t stop there. Ask for God’s forgiveness for your judgments and lack of compassion towards this person or persons.
Have you done that now?
Okay, you’re forgiven. We’ve all done it at some time or another. Welcome to the club of fellow sinners.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” –1 John 1:9
Now let’s move forward and look at how to offer true acts of compassion that may help you share the load of the other end of that life “couch”.
Watch the transformation
By you picking up some of the weight at the other end of their “couch” you will soon see an incredible transformation at their end of the “couch”. Watch them:
- regain their strength,
- rejuvenate their faith,
- strengthen their determination,
- their depression lift and
- watch their lives change.
There are a few simple (and most times) inexpensive ways you can support and offer compassion to those struggling—because maybe you’re trying to carry a “couch” alone too!
People in Money Struggles Experience:
First off, let’s step back and try to identify some of the things these people with $$ Struggles are really experiencing.
- Emotional pain
- loneliness, abandonment, isolation
- lack of empathy, or understanding from others
- pain and confusion
- caught in an emotional tornado
- dwindling confidence
- crisis in faith, in God, tomorrow, etc.
- feeling guilty over spending (even for a cup of coffee)
- drowning sensations
These are just the internal and externally displayed emotions and reactions they may be going through—and this is before they start dealing with the lack of money and the increasing pile of overdue bills.
Have you seen this in your neighborhoods?
Have you noticed over the past 5 years (or anytime) in your region how a home—once filled with a happy family is suddenly empty and those pieces of paper posted by the Sheriff are in the windows?
Another family bankrupt, another family displaced, another family struggling.
Having been forced into bankruptcy myself in 1995 my heart breaks for these families—wherever they might be. I find myself in that moment praying for them—but I also desire that I could have known sooner.
Was there anything I could have done to ease their burden? Help with the other end of their life “couch”?
Perhaps they may have still had to declare bankruptcy; but could they be in a better emotional spot? Only if we could have been there for them even in a moment and help hold up the other end of the “couch”?
So that even if God didn’t permit the storm to be calmed in their situation, that they could still see that God would lead them through it and once again place them in a safe refuge and a place to call home and restore their HOPE and a FUTURE.
So your heart is stirring and you’re asking– “Okay, so how can I help? Truly help?”
How to Help In Four Steps:
Sometimes it can be as simple as saying, “Hey—do you and the kids want to come over for pizza and a movie?” It could just be the cheapest frozen pizza on sale and just a favorite DVD your own family loves to watch over and over.
But the real step here is:
#Inclusion providing Social Interaction and Mental Distraction.
Yes, Mental Distraction. How often for yourself have you just stepped out of your situation, even briefly, to feel re-energized and refocused to find solutions you never saw before? Help them to find theirs by offering this momentary distraction and interaction. Show them they aren’t alone! #Be a friend!
know someone hiring?
have knowledge about a trustworthy money manager to help them restructure finances?
know of places for rent?
recommend any community resources or programs they might qualify for?
Share your love with them.
There have been times when Barry and I have struggled financially and feeling guilty over buying even a cup of coffee. Someone may suddenly come up and hand us a FREE coffee card.
One elderly lady with numerous health and financial struggles in particular occasionally hands us one of these FREE coffee cards. This act of compassion from her when we know her own situation quite often move us almost to tears because she always gives us words of encouragement and blessing with it. It isn’t just a cup of coffee. She has lifted the other end of our “couch” for just a moment—giving us renewed strength and hope.
#Never underestimate a small gesture of kindness—it can be a mountain of love to the person in need.
Offer grace—true grace—
Sometimes other people &/or organizations can be insensitively cruel and cause so much more pain. Pain that is not needed and just adds to the burden of that “couch”.
Fellow hurting struggling Christians and non-believers are at a moment of Crisis:
Crisis of Faith—Faith in God—Faith in a hope—Faith of a future—Faith.
When someone is struggling and literally not knowing, where the money will come from to pay the hydro bill before the power gets cut off tomorrow—admittedly there can be anger, fear, and frustration at God—believer or unbeliever.
Where is my miracle?
You hear of miracles happening for others and they are in that moment of desperation of crying out asking “Where’s mine?”
Hey, ladies, you know that point of child bearing labor when you hit transition? You know—that spot:
“I quit. I’ve changed my mind. I’m not having this baby. Let me out of here!”
Well, what do the nurse, doctor and significant other do for you at this point—they remind you that you are just about to cross the finish line—PUSH, PUSH, YOU CAN DO IT !!
#Do you cheer or sneer?
But do we become the cheering crowd or the sneering crowd to the people around us in their own points of transition?
We need to come alongside and help pick up the other end of that “couch”. Maybe it is something as simple as a cup of coffee, or a family pizza night with friends. Pray and ask the Lord how He wants you to help lift their burden “couch”.
And for those of you who are able, may I remind you of Free Stuff 4 Daily Needs grounding scripture –
“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?” –1 John 3:17
Perhaps you are in the position to help in a greater way and actually get the “couch” moved and not just hold up the other end.
Help lift the life couch, but don’t take over
But I don’t mean coming in with a moving company and taking the couch out of their hands. Ease the burden, helping them move towards hope and a future, but struggle is important too.
Remember the story of the butterfly cocoon being opened prematurely in an effort to help the butterfly—it only died. Why? Because it wasn’t able to strengthen its wings in the struggle of breaking free so it could fly.
So help lift the couch. Help to move it if you are able—but don’t take the life couch out of their hands. Look for ways you can help someone you know in financial struggles.