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When ‘Helping’ Is Hurting Май 29, 2010

Posted by Lee Goodall in Today's Devotional.

‘Whoever says to the guilty, ‘You are innocent’ — peoples will curse…’ Proverbs 24:24

Ever lied to protect the reputation of someone you love? Or covered up for them? Or rushed in to ‘help’ without being asked? We’re not talking about acts of compassion where help is genuinely needed, we’re talking about ‘enabling,’ which is a destructive kind of helping. It’s natural to want to protect a loved one from the painful consequences of their actions. But by letting them off the hook you end up feeling angry and victimized because you did something you didn’t want to do; something that wasn’t your responsibility. The Bible says it’s a mistake to say to the guilty, ‘You are innocent.’ By continually rescuing them you lengthen the valley they must go through in order to come out whole on the other side. Paul said, ‘…Wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?’ (Romans 7:24 NIV). Sometimes people have to reach the ‘wretched’ stage before they acknowledge their need, just like the prodigal hit bottom before he got serious about his sin problem. And his father let it happen. It’s called tough love for a reason! ‘When [the prodigal son] came to his senses, he said ‘…»here I am starving to death! I will…go back to my father and say…I have sinned» (Luke 15:17-18 NIV). By crossing the line between caring and caretaking, you hurt the person you’re trying to help by implying they can’t handle the truth or learn their lesson. So back off, and place your loved one into God’s hands. He loves them even more than you do.

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