Setting People Free

 

People who hurt us often don't know what they are doing.

It's an old story. A young boy finds a squirrel caught in farmer's fox trap. The boy goes to release it, but the terrified squirrel does not understand the boy's intentions, clawing, biting and wounding the boy who only wished to help set the helpless animal free.

Few of us as adults would be surprised by this behavior of the squirrel. Yet how often we seem to be surprised when friends or acquaintances who are similarly trapped in self-defeating behaviors attack us and hurt us for trying to help them become free.

Actually, it should not surprise us. Like the squirrel, they are afraid. They don't always understand our intentions. Like the squirrel, they respond instinctively and seldom rationally.

Then how do we help people who are caught in self-defeating behaviors? How do we set people free when they are trapped by the lies they tell themselves about God or their circumstances?
It takes patience, and wisdom. And a foundation of trust.

How often we are wounded by those we desire to assist. I must remember to be patient, to love and to forgive.