The definition of benevolent includes words like kind and well-meaning. They sound like Jesus words to me, but how can "benevolent" be paired with "detachment" and still be kind and well-meaning?
Think of it this way.
Someone calls our church with a need for rent money. We have a certain protocol we walk through before helping out and one of the questions we need answered is whether or not we have helped in the past. Imagine if someone could just call every month and we just paid their rent for them. Would that be good for them?
Instead, we offer financial coaching. We want to help people have gainful employment, manage their finances, and set them up for a more secure future.
We want to help them learn to fish instead of just giving them a fish.
We are playing the long game.
It's easier, and in truth feels more rewarding, to just give the fish, pay the rent, meet the need, make the decision, give the guidance, soothe the pain...
It's better, and in truth IS more rewarding, to teach someone to fish, to get on their feet financially, help them help themselves, instill confidence to make good decisions, empower direct connection with God for guidance and comfort and so much more...
So, benevolent detachment IS the highest form of kind and well-meaning. It offers trust that God wants to connect with the person directly, that He has good plans for them, that He doesn't need to you mediate or translate for Him in order to have a relationship with someone.
OUCH! That hurts a bit to see that if we get too involved with someone we can actually be hurting instead of helping. We could be building a relationship of dependence instead of encouraging a mature personal connection with God.
Galatians 6:6 says, Each person must be responsible for himself.
God wants to have a personal relationship with each of us! That is how He designed it to be. This is a key component of the new covenant. (Hebrews 8:10-11)
If you really want to help people, you will learn the art of benevolent detachment. We can help.
You can do this!
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