Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Monday, August 3, 2015

Today's Scripture

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Have you ever seen the t-shirt that reads, "There are two sure things in life: (1) There is a God, (2) You are not Him"?

This message is good news for any of us trying to help a loved one overcoming misbehavior. So often, we want so much to help that we try to take over God's arena. We try to help in ways that hinder. This is called "enabling."

Consider this …

When someone we love is in the grip of a harmful substance or behavior, we naturally want to help. However, instead of helping we often enable that person to continue the harmful behavior. Enabling is anything that stands in the way or softens the natural negative consequences of a person's misbehavior. Enabling allows people to continue in their self-destructive behaviors without feeling the painful consequences that might convince them to stop before the problem spirals out of control. One rescue leads to another . . . and another . . . and eventually our lives center on rescuing our loved ones.

There is often a fine line between helping and getting in God's way. The first time we bail someone out is mercy. The second time is enabling.

This week we will look at patterns of an enabler and suggest ways we can be a supporter rather than an enabler. We will see the importance of trusting the Lord and not depending on our own understanding.

Prayer

Father, I know sometimes I try to control everything so I can make things better—and then end up making them worse. Help me remember that I can trust you. Help me to wait on you and do things your way. In Jesus' name . . .
 


These thoughts were drawn from …

 

Close—But Not Too Close by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. A complement to the Concerned Persons small group study, this booklet is written primarily for those who want to help someone close to them who is enslaved by the stronghold of a life-controlling issue. It is also designed to help someone who is suffering the consequences of a loved one's problem.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!



 

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©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, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Today's Scripture

"Jesus said to the people who believed in him, 'You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'” (John 8:31-32 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Enabling could be called good intentions gone wrong. An enabler is well meaning but often keeps the loved one from facing the truth about their life-controlling problem . . . and they need to face the truth to be set free.

Here are some characteristics of an enabler:

  • Unknowingly helps their dependent loved one to continue their downward spiral of addiction
     
  • Continues to help even though their assistance is being abused
     
  • Learns to rescue the friend or loved one from their responsibilities
     
  • Actually prolongs the problem

Consider This . . .

Here are some examples of enabling:

  • Covering up the behavior of the friend or loved one
     
  • Making excuses for them
     
  • Minimizing their problem
     
  • Blaming yourself for the problem
     
  • Bailing them out of jail
     
  • Giving them "one more chance" over and over again

Do you see yourself in any of these behaviors? Ask God to show you if your behavior is actually hindering rather than helping your loved one's recovery.

Prayer

Father, I want so much to help my loved one, but I think I'm hurting rather than helping. Help me remember that unless they see the truth about their behavior, they will never be set free. Help me be willing to allow them to suffer the natural consequences of their mistakes so they will become willing to face the truth. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

 

Close—But Not Too Close by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. A complement to the Concerned Persons small group study, this booklet is written primarily for those who want to help someone close to them who is enslaved by the stronghold of a life-controlling issue. It is also designed to help someone who is suffering the consequences of a loved one's problem.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!



 

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©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, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Today's Scripture

"This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength." (1 Corinthians 1:25 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

We are powerless to fix what is wrong in our loved one's life.

Powerless.

But we have hope! God says to bring our loved one to him. He wants to work in their life—one on one. We need to let go and trust him.

Consider This . . .

There is a beautiful picture of this letting go process in the Old Testament record of the life of Moses. When Moses was an infant, Pharaoh issued a decree that each Hebrew baby boy should be thrown into the Nile.

Moses' mother knew she was powerless to save Moses . . . but she knew God could. So she turned this baby she loved so much over to God. She prepared a basket, placed baby Moses in it, and left it among the reeds on the riverbank. As Miriam, Moses' sister, watched, Pharaoh's daughter found the baby, and he was spared. Moses grew up to become a great deliverer of his people because his mother was willing to turn him over to God. (See Exodus 1-3.)

Are you in the way of what God wants to do in your loved one's life? What would it mean to you to let go and let God?

Prayer

Father, your power and wisdom are so marvelous. Forgive me when I forget that and try to fix things myself. Help me to let go and trust you. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

 

Close—But Not Too Close by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. A complement to the Concerned Persons small group study, this booklet is written primarily for those who want to help someone close to them who is enslaved by the stronghold of a life-controlling issue. It is also designed to help someone who is suffering the consequences of a loved one's problem.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!



 

Living Free Facebook Community
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©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, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Today's Scripture

"Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself." (Galatians 6:1 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Enabling can become a habit. Your loved one needs you to support their denial and deceit. They become expert at making you feel guilty if you try to stop your enabling behavior. They may say, "If you love me you'll . . ."

So what is your responsibility to your troubled loved one? You should be supportive—without enabling.

Consider This . . .

Think about the differences between enabling and supporting.

Enabler: Tries to fix
Supporter: Shows empathy

Enabler: Attempts to protect
Supporter: Encourages

Enabler: Repeatedly rescues
Supporter: Permits the person to be responsible for their own actions

Enabler: Attempts to control
Supporter: Lovingly confronts with truth

Enabler: Manipulates
Supporter: Levels, speaks honestly

Enabler: Expects the other person to live up to "my" expectations
Supporter: Expects the other person to be responsible

Where do you see yourself?

Prayer

Lord, I realize I often enable more than I support my loved one. Teach me to gently and humbly help them get back on the right path. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

 

Close—But Not Too Close by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. A complement to the Concerned Persons small group study, this booklet is written primarily for those who want to help someone close to them who is enslaved by the stronghold of a life-controlling issue. It is also designed to help someone who is suffering the consequences of a loved one's problem.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!



 

Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©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, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Friday, August 7, 2015

Today's Scripture

"'My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,' says the Lord. 'And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.'" (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

To a certain extent, we are all enablers. All of us need to look at whether we are helping or harming the struggling people in our lives.

Although we cannot change overnight, we can begin the process. We can start by telling our loved one we are going to stop harming them by trying to fix their problem or protecting them from their bad choices.

Are you ready to do that?

Consider This . . .

This step may seem impossible as long as you continue to focus on fixing your loved one your way. As long as you choose to depend on yourself instead of on God. But consider today's Scripture passage. God's ways and thoughts are so much higher than yours. Beyond our comprehension.

Start focusing on God. His power. His unconditional love. His wisdom. Your own strength and ability fade into nothingness by comparison. Remember he has a plan for your loved one. A good plan. And only through him will that plan be fulfilled.

Yes, you love that person. But never forget that God loves him or her more. Trust God, not yourself. And as you lean on him, the Holy Spirit will guide you to make the right choices in your relationship with that person you love so much.

Prayer

Father, thank you for loving this person I care about so much. Help me to stop interfering with what you want to do in their life. Help me to trust you more . . . and to be sensitive to your leading. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

 

Close—But Not Too Close by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. A complement to the Concerned Persons small group study, this booklet is written primarily for those who want to help someone close to them who is enslaved by the stronghold of a life-controlling issue. It is also designed to help someone who is suffering the consequences of a loved one's problem.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!




 

Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©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, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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