"The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living." Luke 15:12-13 NLT
Thoughts for Today
Enabling is anything that stands in the way of or softens the natural consequences of a person’s behavior. Enabling behaviors may actually hinder what God is doing in our loved one’s life.
In Luke 5:11-32 we learn that the father of the prodigal son understood the dangers of enablement. The prodigal son chose to take his part of the inheritance and leave home. He went to a distant country and wasted his wealth. Finally, out of money and working in a field feeding pigs, he came to his senses and decided to go home and ask his father’s forgiveness.
Although it had been painful to see his son leave, the Prodigal’s father allowed him to be responsible for his own actions…all the while praying for him and waiting to receive him with open arms when he returned. But in the meantime, the father did not send care packages to the pig pen.
When the son recognized his sin and confessed it, his father welcomed him with open arms, showering him with mercy and love.
It is vital that we don’t try to deliver our loved ones from the natural consequences of their actions, but instead allow God to work his perfect plan in their lives.
Father, help me not to interfere with your plan for my loved one’s life. Help me not “jump to the rescue” when I should stay back and trust you to work in his life. In Jesus’ name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Understanding the Times by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. This book offers a wealth of biblical strategies for ministry to our family and friends. Contemporary issues and needs faced by society are addressed with biblical principles that are timeless. Also ideal for small group leaders and Sunday school teachers who want a better understanding of ministry in an addictive culture.
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