Helping Someone You Love: Focus on the Action not the Actor
Thoughts for Today
As we discussed yesterday, caring confrontation of a loved one with a life-controlling problem is an effective way to help him (or her) see himself as he really is. It will help you chip away, bit by bit, at the wall of delusion that prevents him from seeing the reality of the downward spiral of his destructive behavior.
One important element in this kind of confrontation is to focus on the action, not on the actor. When God looked at us in our sin, he didn't label us "bad" and give up on us. He focused on providing a way to take away our sin. He sent his only son, Jesus, to die on the cross and pay the price for our sins. And so we need to love people in the midst of their sin, and focus on addressing the sinful action and helping them come to Jesus in repentance.
Be careful not to criticize or label your loved one as "bad." Instead, focus on the behaviors that are causing the problem. When he or she tries to use a defense like rationalizing or anger or denial, always bring the discussion back to the behaviors. Your emphasis should be on what your loved one does, rather than any sort of personal attack.
Consider this …
It is important to focus on observations and facts instead of what you think or imagine. Make statements about what you have actually seen and heard and not on any conclusions you have drawn personally. And, of course, be sure to pray before confronting your loved one. Ask God to prepare both of you. With his help, you can do this. With his guidance, you can help your loved one tear down the wall of delusion and begin a path to healing and restoration.
Father, just as you loved me in the midst of my sin, help me to love this person. Help me to focus on the sinful behavior and give me wisdom in talking to him about it. May he begin to see the reality of what he is doing and come to Jesus for help and forgiveness. In Jesus' 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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