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Living Free - Feb. 29, 2012

Trying to Help

Today's Scripture

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Romans 12:10-11 NIV

Thoughts for Today:

People are usually not aware they are becoming codependent. They are trying to help, but too often they feel guilty because their efforts are not good enough to make the person they love change. Seeing that their efforts have not cured the person's life-controlling problem, they just try harder. The misbelief they can "fix" other people leads to a painful cycle of failure and loss of self-worth. Codependent people can also feel guilty because they believe they did something to cause their loved one to go out of control. Children are especially vulnerable to this distorted, guilt-ridden thinking.

Consider this …

Christians can be unusually susceptible to codependency. We want to help. When trying to love others as Christ has commanded us, we sometimes slip into enabling behaviors that lead to codependent relationships.

In today's scripture, the apostle Paul teaches that the body of Christ should be interdependent. We are to be devoted to one another in love and honor one another, but we need to find balance. God does not want us to be codependent and center our lives around our loved one's problems. But neither should we be overly independent and concerned only with ourselves. The healthy balance is to be interdependent. Christ is the key to finding a healthy balance in our relationships. We can keep our balance by making Jesus and his will central, by loving others, and by caring about them.

Be concerned about what is happening in the lives of others, but rather than entwining your life with their life-controlling problem, serve Christ and focus on him.


Lord, I want to help others, but sometimes I go about it the wrong way. Help me to find balance in my life. Teach me to have only healthy, balanced relationships, always keeping Jesus central in my life. In his name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …

Close—But Not Too Close by 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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