Hello everyone! Today we will continue with our series on serving and address a common term in the social service world, “The Savior Complex.” We’ll look at how we should approach helping others with the power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
“The Savior Complex” is a term often used in helping professions and describes someone whose service is born out of a mindset of needing to help everyone, always having the solution, or expending an unhealthy amount of time and energy on other’s problems and taking pride in doing so.
While these desires may seem to come from good intentions, they often result in harm to ourselves and others. Servers/Saviors may experience burnout, resentment, and frustration because of unmet expectations. Those being served, may feel disempowered and deprived of their God-given dignity and worth as they’re prevented from being active in their own solution.
What is left out in the secular explanation of this term, however, is that we do have a real Savior and it is through Him that we find true salvation!
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12
Indeed, if we succumb to the false belief that we can do what only God can do, we will not last long in any compassion ministry. This is not to excuse us from serving others, for we have been commanded to make disciples, care for the poor, and love our neighbor. We must, instead go about these acts of service remembering in whose name and power we are serving. Acts 4 is a great example of a healing performed by Peter and John, done in the power of the name of Jesus and resulting in glory given to God.
10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed…… 13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:10, Acts 4:13
4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:4-6