The other day José used the phrase ‘playing God’ while talking to me and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
I recalled a little story I read a while back that made me chuckle.
While having a quiet laugh at this, I thought back to the times that I attempted to play God. Yes, I attempted to solve people’s problems and become a ‘provider’. I became the person who gave them my time, my money and any other help I could to get them out of their situation. And for a time that felt good – really good. Until, they became parasites – and wouldn’t allow me to lead a normal life. Not their fault. It was I who assured them that I could be all things to them!
I’ve seen it happen with someone. Let’s call her Gloria. Now, Gloria’s sister was having marital problems. And true to form, Gloria began to pitch in to help the sister emotionally and financially. From time to time, she also helped with minding her sister’s three children. She was single and had a good job so it wasn’t really a problem. She became the aunt who gave her sister’s children treats, who bought them expensive presents, who cooked them special meals. One day, she was joking with the children (now closer to their teen years) and said: ‘Hey! I’m getting married.” The children’s faces fell and they looked very displeased. Their first question was: “Who will buy us things now? and worse still, “Now, who will get your money when you die?”
I think that the problem was not with the persons we help, but with us. Somewhere, deep within we want to be needed and acknowledged. The needs of the others became a way of getting our own needs met. (Not for a moment am I saying God works this way!)
So am I advocating that we don’t help people out? Absolutely not. Rather, I’m saying that our help should be given in an unselfish way and it should eventually lead to people being empowered to find their own solutions.
Have you tried to play God sometimes?