I wish I had learned this many years ago. It could have saved me a lot of frustration, grief and disappointment. This is wisdom.
Five principles to live by when helping others:
1- Never work harder on someone else’s problem than they do.
2- You can’t help someone who doesn’t have a problem.
3- If you solve a problem for someone instead of with them, you will only have to do it again.
4- If someone asks for your help you have permission to ask them about ALL the details of why and how the problem occurred.
5- Helping someone who refuses to repent [change] is dumb.
-by Kris Vallatton.
I would also add: You have the right to ask if anyone has tried to help before and where they are now.
Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)