When Help Can Harm
"Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty. If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again." Proverbs 19:19 NLT
Thoughts for Today
When someone we care about is struggling with a life-controlling problem, we naturally want to help. But sometimes, even though we have the best intentions, our efforts hurt more than they help … and we end up enabling our loved one to continue in the destructive behavior.
Negative consequences naturally flow from wrong behaviors. When we intervene and prevent someone from experiencing those consequences, they have no reason to change their behavior. We enable them to continue.
Enabling is progressive. It begins by making small allowances for someone's irresponsible behavior and gradually progresses until our lives are dominated by trying to cure and control our loved one. A line must be drawn to avoid the progression. The first time you bail someone out, that's mercy. The second time, it is enabling.
Father, I want so much to help my loved one. I've tried to take care of him, to "fix" things, to keep him from suffering. But I see now that continually rescuing him is just prolonging the problem and even making it worse. Help me to trust you more. Help me stand back and allow him to learn. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Living Free by Jimmy Ray Lee, D. Min. and Dan Strickland, M. Div. This updated version is presented in two parts. It offers information for anyone who either has a life-controlling problem or has a loved one with a life-controlling problem:
Part 1: Learning to Live Free
- Defining Life-Controlling Problems
- Mastered and Trapped by Issues
- Walls of Protection
- Family Influences
- Helping or Harming?
Part 2: Helping Others to Live Free through Small Groups
- The Small Group Strategy
- Effective Facilitation and Communication
- Launching a Living Free Ministry
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