Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To Rescue or Not to Rescue

In Pastoral Care and Christian Counseling we are often surprised when the people we help the most turn out to bitterly complain about our lack of compassion. Or, even worse, tell some horrible lie on us to ruin our ministry.

This is evidently what happened to a coach and is reported by Jason Whitlock below.

It’s my suspicion that Bernie Fine, the former Syracuse basketball assistant, spent the past year reflecting on the cliché that “no good deed goes unpunished.”

Fine lost his job, his good name and the life he knew for three decades because two men he helped when they were kids and young adults seized what they thought would be their opportunity to exact revenge from Fine for cutting off his assistance.

It’s not difficult to understand what happened to Bernie Fine, who was under federal investigation for child molestation the past year, thanks primarily to the childish, overzealous, gossipy reporting of ESPN’s Mark Schwarz.

My colleague sent me this article because it reminded her of my teaching on Triangles in our E Book, How to be me in my Family Tree. The book is an essential guide to healthy ministry and is a must read for every church worker and elder, deacon and minister. Triangles are the foundation of ministry and not understanding them always leads us into trouble.

This particular teaching is called, "The Responsibility Triangle" and has to do with trying to help a person in need only to discover that they turn on us like a mad dog with hurt, anger and spite. When a person attempts to Rescue a Victim from a Persecutor and fails to do exactly what the Victim wants, he/she often turns on the Rescuer with false accusations and gossip. The Rescuer feels like a Victim and accuses the former Victim of being the Persecutor.

In the situation mentioned above, Mr. Fine was a coach in Syracuse who helped many people, including two young men. When he attempted to wean them off his charity, they accused him of sexually abusing them. He lost his job and reputation. Nothing was ever proven. He is evidently innocent. 

This is often the situation in ministries. It is also true of nations. The USA gives trillions to help poor nations but they often complain, attack and hate us. The people on welfare in America rarely seem thankful and want more because the USA, they say, is stingy.

The media are often complicit in these situations. They wrote many stories about Hurricane Katrina that were completely fabricated and are still retold today. We heard of murders, starving, callous government officials and other horror tales that later turned out top be false.

So, be very careful about whom you try to Rescue at home, work or ministry.

We Care but only God Cures! 

Again, read my books on the family tree and Humpty Dumpty. They could save your life.

Gary Sweeten

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