What does the Bible say about helping others too much? How do we show compassion and generosity while being wise and responsible within our boundaries?
The Bible has a lot to say about helping others, but is it possible to help others too much? It’s so easy to fall into the trap of always saying yes and wanting to go above and beyond to help those we love and come in contact with.
As women, we are nurturers, and we want to help and aid those we see in need. It can be hard to discern where the boundary lines are drawn.
When we go from helping to enabling, when helping others starts to hurt us or our families, or when we find ourselves being taken advantage of.
How can we give God glory with our good works, offering a helping hand to those around us, without compromising ourselves at the same time?
Continue reading to see what the Bible says about helping others too much and how we can walk the balanced line God calls us to.
What does the Bible say about helping others too much?
2 Corinthians 9:7 – Be A Cheerful Giver
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7
There are countless verses in the Bible about helping others. There is no question about it; we are called by God to love and serve other people.
We see God wants us to give cheerfully, not out of reluctance or compulsion. Are you helping others with a glad and happy heart, or are you doing so reluctantly, with a resentful spirit, or in an effort to make yourself more acceptable/likable/lovable to that person?
It’s so easy to overdo good deeds and experience burnout. Monitor the condition of your heart and make sure you are giving to others with the joy that comes from Christ, not out of a feeling of compulsion or obligation.
If you want to understand Christian boundaries more deeply, visit EquippingGodlyWomen.
What does the Bible say about showing compassion with boundaries?
Galatians 6:2-5 – Carry One Another’s Burdens
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.” – Galatians 6:2-5
We see in the beginning of this verse that we are to carry each other’s burdens.
The Greek word “barē” implies something unreasonable, extremely heavy, and too much for one person to carry. The Bible says that in these cases, we are to come alongside each other, thus fulfilling the law of Christ, which is love.
However, by the end of the verse, we see that “each one should carry their own load.” The Greek word here is “phortion” and means a more manageable and reasonable burden to carry.
It’s important to exercise wisdom, compassion, and love when assessing how best to help others. When a load is too heavy for someone to carry alone and when we need to set boundaries and not allow ourselves to be taken advantage of.
Sometimes a friend or family member will need to walk through something alone, relying on God to be the source of their strength. This may allow them the opportunity to grow in Christ and deepen their relationship with Him.
Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom, discernment, and guidance in these areas where you are unsure.
If you want to explore more biblical insights on setting boundaries, visit Wordsbyandylee.
What does the Bible say about helping those who won’t help themselves?
2 Thessalonians 3:10-13 – If You Don’t Work You Won’t Eat
“For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13
This verse lets us know that God expects people to be willing to help themselves. Clearly stated, if someone is unwilling to work, they won’t eat. This verse also warns of the dangers of idleness and the consequences that befall those who succumb to it.
Again, we see a balance.
We are not tired of doing good and helping others, but we also need to be wise to know when it’s time to step aside and allow people to stand on their own two feet. We can only do so much, and there will come a time when a person needs to want to help themselves.
It can be hard to know where to draw the line, but ask God for wisdom in the situation. God promises in James 1:5 that, when you ask for wisdom, He will grant it.
What does the Bible say about enabling?
Ephesians 4:28 – Be Useful
“Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” – Ephesians 4:28
When we enable someone, we make it easy, possible, or practical for them to continue to do (or not do) something. We allow them, and even help them, to continue to live in a way that may be unhealthy or harmful to themselves or others.
The Bible warns against that.
If someone is stealing, they must steal no longer. They need to work and find useful things to do. They need to be a help within the community and not just a drain on it.
We can take helping someone too much and allow them to continue living in harmful and destructive ways. It can be a very hard thing to establish boundaries and know when to say “no.” In the long run, it will be the best thing for you and for them.
What does the Bible say about others taking advantage of you?
Matthew 10:16 – Be Wise
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” – Matthew 10:16
The Bible commands us to love but never asks us to be a doormat. We can love someone, have compassion for them, meet their physical needs, extend the right hand of fellowship, and help them, but still be shrewd.
Meaning, be wise regarding your actions and the actions of the person you are helping. It’s okay to establish healthy boundaries and not allow yourself to be taken advantage of. It’s okay to recognize impure motives and be aware of when a situation is hurting you and your family.
If you want to learn about navigating difficult relationships with Christian principles, visit Focus on the Family.
Bible Verses On Helping Others
More than anything else, the Bible tells us to help others. Over and over again, we are commanded to love others, help others, do good to others, give to others, and allow God to work through us to show His goodness and grace to those around us.
We are also told that it pleases God when we sacrifice for others, that we’re more blessed when we give, and that truly having His love in us requires action on our part.
1. Hebrews 13:16 – Do Not Neglect To Do Good
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” – Hebrews 13:16
2. Acts 20:35 – It Is More Blessed To Give
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Acts 20:35
3. 1 John 3:17 – Loving Others Requires Action
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” -1 John 3:17
Bible Verses On Giving To Others & Being A Responsible Steward
The following verses point out that when we give, even more will be given unto us. Our cups will overflow with all that God has in store for us.
In Matthew, God reassures us that when we do for even “the least” of these, we’ve done it as unto Him. That should be the very joy of our hearts, to do all we can out of love and gratitude for our Heavenly Father.
And we are commanded to be generous. Not just with our earthly possessions, but also with our time and talents. We are not poor people in God’s kingdom, we are rich in His love, mercy, and grace. Out of our abundance should flow His love for those around us.
1. Luke 6:38 – Let God Give The Increase
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38
2. Matthew 25:40 – Do It For Jesus
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40
3. 1 Timothy 6:18 – Be Generous
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” – 1 Timothy 6:18
Bible Verses on Trusting God To Be Just
Finally, we see that God is just. He is sovereign, righteous, and fair.
We need to trust that He is in control of every situation and that He loves us. We need to be wise and seek after Him in all things, especially when it comes to our interactions with other people.
If you struggle with the question, “Am I helping others too much?” seek God’s will in each situation. Study your Bible and ask for God’s wisdom.
God promises to draw close to us when we draw near to Him. He will give you guidance, peace, and closure in the situations you find yourself in.
1. Deuteronomy 32:4 – God’s Ways Are Just
“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” – Deuteronomy 32:4
2. Psalm 61:2 – Lead Me To The Rock
“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” – Psalm 61:2
3. Psalm 89:14 – Justice Is The Foundation Of God’s Throne
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.” – Psalm 89:14
More Scriptural Advice on Nurturing Self While Serving Others:
Greta is a Faithful Finish Lines member and a mom of 3 from Florida. She enjoys homeschooling her kids and baking and writes to women who want to know God and make Him known.