Where/How do you draw the line between helping someone and allowing someone to take advantage of you?

Where/How do you draw the line between helping someone and allowing someone to take advantage of you?


These verses and many others in

the Bible teach us that Christians are to be loving, merciful, and

self-sacrificing. As we see the needs of people all around us, our hearts

should be full of compassion just as our Heavenly Father has compassion towards

all people. “The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has

made” ( Psalm

145:9 ).

It is right to have a heart that would continually give to others, and it

pleases God to see this wonderful characteristic in our lives. However, in this

area of giving and helping, the Bible also teaches that we must have wise

discernment ( Matthew

10:16 ). God gives us certain standards that

we must take into account when it comes to giving our time and money to others.

When the Bible tells us we are to help others, the purpose is never for us to

do this to the point where it becomes detrimental. It’s good to do what we’re

able to do, but 2

Thessalonians 3:10 also reminds us, “If a man

will not work, he shall not eat.” There are people who want to live an

irresponsible lifestyle with absolutely no accountability. So there must be

limits; we will help someone with a need, but if we see that it’s become a

chronic life pattern, it’s wrong for us to continue to encourage that. It’s

very harmful to others to contribute to their indolence, laziness, and lack of effort.

The old saying “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish

and he eats for a lifetime” is very true. As long as we see that someone

is sincerely making an effort, we should be there to support him in whatever

way God leads.

Often, a much more effective way to help others is to come alongside them to

give biblical council, principles and encouragement. If they are willing to

listen and try, they should be able, with the help of God, to reverse this

pattern of dependency on others. This begins, of course, with a clear

presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, without whose empowerment,

lifestyle changes of this magnitude are not possible.

Why would it be better not to give money to one who is in need?