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.
Consider this …
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 relationships. The issue 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. 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?
- The Small Group Strategy
- Effective Facilitation and Communication
© 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 info@LivingFree.org.