"They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen." Romans 1:25 NLT
Thoughts for Today
When we become obsessed with controlling someone else's behavior, we have a problem called codependency. Codependents center their lives on the person they are trying to help, and as a result they exchange the truth of God for a lie, worshiping and serving a created person (the struggling loved one) rather than God the Creator.
Codependency is harmful because the person becomes mastered by a loved one's problem or becomes a loved one's master (playing God).
Generally, people are not aware that they are enabling and becoming codependent. They are trying to do the right thing, but too often they feel guilty because their efforts are not good enough to make the person they love change. Children are especially vulnerable to this distorted, guilt-ridden thinking.
Christians can be unusually susceptible to codependency. Sometimes when attempting to love others as Christ has commanded us, we slip into enabling behaviors that lead to codependent relations. The subject of codependency should be approached with balance. According to the apostle Paul, the body of Christ should be interdependent (see Romans 12:7-16 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-27). We need to avoid the extremes of selfish independence and codependence.
Father, teach me to love and help people without going to the extreme of trying to fix or control them. Help me to always put you first and trust you to guide me in loving and helping others. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Living Free by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. and Dan Strickland, M.Div. Using Living Free training, your church or ministry can unleash a new kind of group leader—one who understands how tough life can be, but also knows the hope and freedom found in Christ.
Visit our website to read more about this study and learn more about Living Free small groups.
PO Box 22127 ~ Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 ~ 423-899-4770
© Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending e-mail to [email protected].