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Playing God?

The story goes that a man claimed to be God and was brought before the Caliph, who said to him, “Last year someone here claimed to be a prophet and he was put to death!” The man replied, “It was just as well that you did so, for I did not send him.


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’. So 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. Until, they became parasites – and wouldn’t allow me to lead a normal life.

I’ve seen it happen with someone else I know. Her sister was having marital problems, so this person began to pitch in to help the sister emotionally and financially and with also helped with the 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 teens) and said: ‘Hey! I’m getting married.” And the children’s faces fell and they looked very displeased. Their first question was: “Who will buy us things now?” What’s even worse, is that her sister began to see her as the Bank!! 

But in both cases, I think that the problem was not with the persons we helped, but with us. Somewhere, deep within we wanted 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 enough to find their own solutions.

The best anyone can offer to give people is effective tools they can use to solve their problems themselves – Tara Springett

Have you tried to play God sometimes? 

(This post was inspired by Punk Rock Psychic’s ‘Don’t Should All Over Me’. Lisa, I told you, your blog is addictive!)

May you be inspired – everyday!
 

18 Comments

  1. Lisa Lisa February 10, 2012

    Corrine, hey, I love your blog too. Thanks for the shout out 🙂

    It’s so hard at times when it comes to helping people. You’re so right. At times, we want to step in, and our human side really feels we know what is right. I like the examples you provide above. It’s helpful and great food for thought. 

    I smiled recently when watching an episode of the 1970s sitcom/drama, “All in the Family” (Yes, I’m a 1970s kid, showing my age here!). There’s a scene where Edith and Archie are intervening in Gloria and Mike’s possible divorce. Archie, of course, gets judgmental, saying Gloria is not good enough for Mike due to her possible infidelity, adding that she was basically a sinner in God’s eyes. Gloria cries and Edith comforts here with Edith adding her wisdom (she only expressed it when really called to do so) in response to Archie, “Well, then, let God handle it.” It just spoke volumes and such a poignant moment. Our lives are handled by the divine and yes, we have our own lessons.

    Hugs, love, and thanks,
    Lisa xo

  2. David Smith David Smith July 14, 2011

    As someone who gives in various ways I do find it rewarding and so satisfying. It does give me a good feeling as I’m helping the needy with their problems and yes it does inflate the ego as the less fortunate are being helped.  We all want to feel needed and aiding the downtrodden is a way of achieving that goal. Humans try to do God-like actions but their own motives often undermine it all…

  3. melissatandoc melissatandoc July 14, 2011

    I was reflecting on this the whole day and the light hit me while I was travelling home sorting out my schedules. I wanted to be everything for everybody since I feel that people need me here and there. And it gave me a headache. Getting sick is a time to listen more to what God says…today, God invites me to take His yoke (Mt 11, 28-30) to lighten my burden. He says He’ll take His role as God and I… I am invited just to love and trust Him in everything.

    I love this post. Thanks Corinne 🙂

  4. debra elramey debra elramey July 13, 2011

    The difference between God and me is that He doesn’t think He’s me : )  Seriously, I have tried to play God in the past, until I learned the hard way that people can be leeches – including family members. Outstanding message dear friend.      

  5. Maureen Maureen July 13, 2011

    Being everything for everyone can be addictive. I used to think of it as oldest child syndrome.

    I see this play out in my own life as someone who will give everything in me to my friends and family – it works with equal givers, the ones who just take tend not to stay in my life very long…

  6. elizabeth young elizabeth young July 13, 2011

    What an AMAZING post Corinne! I guess it’s amazing to me because it is the centre of an issue between a close friend and myself right now. What’s even worse is when someone neglects their husband and handicapped daughter to be an enabler to someone else! You confirmed what I already believe, so thank you. Last night I also put my ‘encouragement board’ together and plan to put it on my wall close to where I work today. I am SO pleased with it! nks Corinne! Elizabeth.

  7. Myrna Myrna July 12, 2011

    What great wisdom.  Yes, I’ve been known to play God.  But, I’m learning my lesson.

    Thanks and It’s so nice to be back reading your gems.  Take care.

  8. Alpana Jaiswal Alpana Jaiswal July 12, 2011

    I have always been a giver ,and even if I want to stop,it doesn’t happen…its always been in me…but I have never tried to play God,that is one place I have not over stepped…great post as usual,Corinne.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 12, 2011

      It’s not wrong to be a giver, Alpana, but we need to examine our deep motives for everything we do.

  9. Larry Larry July 12, 2011

    i have always believed that to be able to contribute to others in need is an important part of my life. But i am also aware that you have to be careful, and not allow your significance to over power the situation. There is a difference between becoming part of the solution, and becoming part of the problem. We can give ourselves in many ways to others, but our responsibilities are to help them to get back on to their own two feet. inderpendence in my eye is a human need, and to take that away, no matter how good are intentions, can only lead to furthering the problems. We who serve to help and make the difference do have to be so careful that we don’t step over the line. I know how hard this can be sometimes. We have all gone that extra mile, and then had to eradicate that hold that we have created.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 12, 2011

      How well you’ve understood exactly what I meant, Larry. Yes, despite our best intentions, we might end up hurting ourselves and the other who we meant to help. Thank you for coming by. Love ya!

  10. Rimly Bezbarua Rimly Bezbarua July 12, 2011

    I dont know if I have tried playing god consciously but I am sure I have. But you are right it is also our need to feel wanted and acknowledged we do try and play god. I also believe everyone at some point in their lives find themselves being there for someone who really needs the love and support. I have done that and have forged a lifelong friendship with them. Beautiful post Corrine.

    http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.com/2011/07/hope-and-wait.html

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 12, 2011

      Yes, Rimly many of our best relationships have been strengthened when we reached out or had someone reach out to us. So long as we’re aware of when to draw the line.

  11. PeggyLee Hanson PeggyLee Hanson July 12, 2011

    Hey Corrine,
    I’m finally here! 😉 Great post and very timely for me. 
    i used to wonder why and always afraid of people leaving me. I’ve grown quite a bit since that time, but one glancing thought came to me in a moment of silence: God puts me into others’ lives so I can help them. They don’t leave me, they are now able to move on with what I gave to them.
    OK.. you were inspired by Lisa, and now I’m inspired by you to WRITE THAT ARTICLE 😉
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  12. The only advantage to playing G-d is when you want to control both the action and inaction- providing the reward and punishment.  Otherwise, the risk to doing so- in spite of the temporary “feel-good” initially- is the ultimate let-down  and annoyance at their failure to comply with all your conditions.
    I’m with your conclusion!

  13. Jackie Walker Jackie Walker July 12, 2011

    I’ve had some fun over the weekend with my own teenage daughter who expected me to sort something out for her.  She was less than happy with me as I coached her towards her own solution and told me I ‘should’ do it for her!

    When she’d achieved the end goal, she was well chuffed with herself and I hope she learned more than if I’d done it for her … time will tell!

  14. Kriti Mukherjee Kriti Mukherjee July 12, 2011

    Corinne, I try and play God all the time… the problem is sometimes I forget that it is only play acting and then I get into a whole lot of trouble. I wish there was an easier way to give a permanent solution rather than just a helping hand. Easier said than done – don’t you think? 

  15. Susan Deborah Susan Deborah July 12, 2011

    Ah, Corinne, you had it spot on. Luckily for me, I am not much of a giver but I do try to offer solutions and often feel as if a halo is on my head after doing so. This post reminded me of a story in John Steinback’s collection where a woman feels powerful and superior whenever she encourages and comforts someone. She gets quite upset when the person she offers encouragement to finally gets strengthened (according to her, they no longer need her and thus she loses momentum).

    Good one, Corinne.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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