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Living Free - August 3, 2015


Enabling Defined

Today's Scripture

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." - (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Have you ever seen the t-shirt that reads, "There are two sure things in life: (1) There is a God, (2) You are not Him"?

This message is good news for any of us trying to help a loved one overcoming misbehavior. So often, we want so much to help that we try to take over God's arena. We try to help in ways that hinder. This is called "enabling."

Consider this …

When someone we love is in the grip of a harmful substance or behavior, we naturally want to help. However, instead of helping we often enable that person to continue the harmful behavior. Enabling is anything that stands in the way or softens the natural negative consequences of a person's misbehavior. Enabling allows people to continue in their self-destructive behaviors without feeling the painful consequences that might convince them to stop before the problem spirals out of control. One rescue leads to another . . . and another . . . and eventually our lives center on rescuing our loved ones.

There is often a fine line between helping and getting in God's way. The first time we bail someone out is mercy. The second time is enabling.

This week we will look at patterns of an enabler and suggest ways we can be a supporter rather than an enabler. We will see the importance of trusting the Lord and not depending on our own understanding.


Father, I know sometimes I try to control everything so I can make things better—and then end up making them worse. Help me remember that I can trust you. Help me to wait on you and do things your way. In Jesus' name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …

Close—But Not Too Closeby Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. A complement to the Concerned Persons small group study, this booklet is written primarily for those who want to help someone close to them who is enslaved by the stronghold of a life-controlling issue. It is also designed to help someone who is suffering the consequences of a loved one's problem.



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