Don’t let your emotions cause you to be “too helpful”.

When our thoughts are based on emotions, we must be aware that they can be misleading us. I am a mother of 3 children and they certainly can play on my emotions. Recently, the youngest has been struggling with some separation anxiety. As a mother, I want to help him with this situation. This is the time when we must slow down and look at all options. During my option seeking, I recalled a great story about being helpful.


A gentleman caught a caterpillar and placed it in a container. He waited patiently as the caterpillar went through its stages of transforming into the cocoon. Finally one day, he began to notice movement from the cocoon. He noticed a tiny slit in the side of the cocoon. Day after day, the new butterfly inside worked until exhausted to escape from within. The butterfly struggled and struggled to squeeze through the far too small hole. Then the man had an idea. He would help the butterfly with his struggle. He took a very small pair of scissors and gently snipped the side of the cocoon. Then he waited. The next time the butterfly began its miraculous escape it succeeded. To the man’s surprise, the butterfly did not look right. The wings were tiny and the body appeared larger than normal. As the man watched, the butterfly tried and tried to fly, but could not. Its wings were in fact too small for the unnaturally large body. Not long after that, the butterfly died.

What the man did not realize was, the butterfly needed that struggle in its life to become what it was meant to be. That struggle causes the fluid in its body to be pushed out and into its wings. We have to be mindful not to be “too helpful” in others lives as well. Although we mean well, that struggle may be causing the natural growth process that is needed for that person to become who God meant them to be.

Is there someone in your life that you may be “too helpful” with? It’s a fine line. Give it some thought this week.