I’ve observed a couple styles of helping others—or, “helping,” as the case may be.

Helping others, as I am using it here, involves the stronger believer stooping to the weaker believer. It involves the offer to another soul of what he or she does not have at the time—whether perspective, practical assistance, guidance, encouragement, etc.

No matter how generous the offer of assistance, the manner of extending help, I believe, is of consequence. One’s approach to helping another person can influence whether the weaker person rises versus feels diminished—whether the weaker moves forward versus becomes stagnant.

Giving good help, I believe, involves supporting the weaker person for each next stage and step of his or her work on the journey ahead.

Helping that holds a high view of the weaker expresses hope and optimism for the capabilities the person possesses. It envisions oneself in the same position as the weak, which—save God’s sparing grace—could have been the case or could be in the future, as the case may be.

Good helping hopes of all things that a difficult time be an isolated event or season in the larger scheme of life. Stooping to the weaker does not necessitate the stronger sets oneself above the weaker; the stronger and weaker are yet able to walk side-by-side, with the hope that if circumstances ever reversed, help would be returned.

Good helping also hopes all things about the reasons for any missteps. It looks for the right stems from which behaviors come, for the ways missteps can be attributed to pain and sorrow that need to be healed. It withholds any baseline assumption that willful rebellion is the cause of missteps, or that sin is the cause for all suffering.