Saturday, December 31, 2011

Healthy Relationships

If we are going to fulfill our calling as Way Makers - Ambassadors for Christ, we must do it by engaging others in a healthy way.  We have to be able to help others with purity and integrity.  In others words, our motives are pure and we have no hidden agendas.  Our interaction with them should be sincere, straightforward and not self-seeking.  Sometimes we may not realize that we are helping them from a place of weakness.  The Bible says, "the heart is deceitful above all things and desparately wicked; who can know it." Jer. 17:9  This doesn't mean the we are deceitful, wicked people; but rather, that sometimes we have "blind spots" - areas of weakness that we are not aware of unless a situation or circumstance presents itself.  So there are times when we may think we are helping someone, with the most honorable of intentions, when in fact we are not. 

Someone asked me recently, "How can you tell when you are really helping someone or if you are just enabling bad behavior?"  I did not know the answer to that immediately, but after a brief explanation, it was very clear.  The answer:  you are enabling bad behavior when you see a "pattern of practice" over a period of time, with no sign of  improvement or change.  I knew the answer; my problem, as I recently discovered, was with making application.

When we enable bad behavior by consistently "helping" or "rescuing" someone, we prevent God from moving in the life of that person.  Recognizing your boundaries means:   knowing the difference between what is yours to do and what is God's to do.  It is vitally important that we learn to recognize what is our responsibility, what belongs to the individual, and what solely belongs to God.   

If you've been "helping" someone, and you become frustrated, resentful or angry, you'll know you've blown it. I certainly have.  But here's the proper response:  promptly ask God to forgive you and promptly make amends for the part you played

I'm learning to be discerning in these matters so that I can prepare the way of the Lord in the lives with whom I am to minister.  It's my responsibility - and Yours - as a Way Maker:  to reconcile the lost to God by facilitating the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of another - not get in His way.

As I reflect back on 2011, and look forward to what God has in store for 2012, I am committed to maintaining healthy boundaries in my relationships, so that God can use me to be an effective minister of the Gospel, preparing the way for our soon coming King!!  

Happy New Year! 


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