Let's first look at some assumptions you may have made about yourself:
1. You feel the need to jump in, to “fix” whatever difficulties a person is going through.
2. You feel like you know what’s best for others—even more than they do for themselves.
3. You feel that it’s your responsibility to keep your friends or loved ones on the “right track.”
4. You trust yourself more than any professional or expert to help address other people’s problems.
5. You may find yourself doubting the credibility and efficacy of professionals.
6. You start paying another’s financial costs. There is a significant difference between helping out in hard times and becoming a go-to source of funding for someone else.
7. You’re certain that without you, your friends or loved ones would be “toast.”
8. You expend so much energy trying to fix others that you burn yourself out.
9. You feel that is your responsibility to change people.
10. You think you’re the only one who can help.
11. You believe someone out there is capable of single-handedly making everything better, and that person happens to be you.
If most of these things fit you, I bet you are exhausted being responsible for everyone else’s well-being. I also bet that you are frustrated when you see people struggle and you can't fix it. You may have a Messiah Complex.
Well, here's some good news.
God never intended for you to act like everyone else’s Messiah. Jesus is the Messiah and He came to save us from sin and give us eternal life in Him. In heaven, we will be free from sorrow, sickness, pain, and all the problems we face in this world—but here on earth, we will experience them all.
That's life in a fallen world. You are not responsible for saving anybody. That's Jesus' job. By trying to be everyone’s Messiah you may actually be interfering in their salvation and spiritual growth.
To be cured of your Messiah Complex there are some things you have to do. Some of these are tough to hear. Others are more obvious, but extremely difficult to let go of, but you don't have to do it on your own; the Holy Spirit is in you!
John 14:15-17 NIV “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
1. Keep in mind that you may not be as smart as you think you are.
Romans 12:3 NIV For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
2. In trying to help others, remember that God is God, and you are not.
God is omnipresent: He is everywhere all the time, and you are not.
God is omniscient: He knows everything about everyone, and you don’t.
God is omnipotent: He is all-powerful, and you are not.
3. Become an active listener. Notice that often, others may just want to vent, not be fixed.
James 1:19-20 NIV My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.(Emphasis mine)
4. Stop thinking about what to say next while the person you are trying to help is talking.
Proverbs 18:13 NIV To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.
5. Wait before stepping in with advice. Consider carefully what you’re going to say before you say it.
1 Corinthians 2:12-13 NIV What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.
6. Offer help only when someone else requests it.
2 Timothy 4:11 NIV Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.
7. Beware of pride. When you are proud, you’ll often assume that you really can “save the world” while meeting everyone’s expectations … and you can’t.
1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8. Follow the John the Baptist approach.
John was baptizing scores of followers, and then he saw Jesus. John said, “Look, there is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Go and follow him.”
John 1:29-30 NIV The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’
John 3:30 NIV He must become greater; I must become less.”