“Care-giving” School

Originally Published July 2013 {those we cared for, mentioned in this post, have since passed away.}

“Care-giving” School

Warren E. Berkley

person wearing hearing aid
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Paula and I have been to “care-giving” school, and we are still enrolled. In the circumstances we’ve had, caring for Paula’s mother, Paula’s aunt and now my mother, it has been “on the job training.” Here are three things we’ve learned:

(1) You cannot make people do what they are not willing or capable of doing. You can offer your best arguments, hold out the most attractive motives and plead with the patient to do what you have determined is best. If they are not capable of fulfilling that request, or not willing, there comes a time when you are wasting your energy. The same is so when helping people find their way to the Lord or come back to Him. You simply cannot command people and expect there will always be a positive response. Because of ingrained sin or absence of will, the person you are trying to take care of may never do what you ask (more important, what the Lord asks). (In the case of patients who are physically/mentally ill, there is obviously no blame to be assigned and no eternal consequence.)

(2) As a care-giver, you cannot do it all by yourself. You will need allies, family members, medical specialists, friends and professionals to form a team to execute the care plan – all drenched in prayer. The same is true of those who need spiritual care. You may need to ask others to help, enlist the support of others who know the negligent person, thus forming a care-giving team to get the sinner out of sin.

(3) You cannot wear yourself out or make yourself sick. One of the significant and frequent problems in care-giving is, the care-giver becomes exhausted and perhaps ill. It is wise to pace yourself, take time away and refresh yourself with friends and family. Care-givers can become care-needers if this wise balance is not achieved. Likewise, in providing care for the spiritually ill, one must not become obsessed. There is other work to do. Your own spiritual welfare needs attention.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.  Jude 20-25

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