The Spiritual Enabler
In recent years, the terms “co-dependent” and “enabler” have become quite popular in dealing with people who are in dysfunctional relationships. These ideas have infiltrated the church.
For instance, we may fail to obey the Lord when He tells us to step down from a place of ministry. After all, if we step down, who will fill our shoes? The church needs us! We are spiritually co-dependent when we think God cannot find someone else to fill that place of ministry.
I went through a situation where a lady kept seeking me for advice. I spent a great deal of time talking with her on several occasions. I gave her clear-cut, scriptural guidelines. Yet, she refused to make the necessary changes. By allowing her to monopolize my time, I was enabling her – enabling her to take time away from my family and my priorities, not to mention enabling her to drain me emotionally, physically, and mentally.
I have seen a situation in church where a lady lies continually. Several people refuse to confront her lying ways. Doing so enables her to continue in her sin, whereas, loving confrontation may lead her to repent for her sins.
I think women fall into this trap too often because we have such a hard time saying “no” when we are asked to do something. Keep in mind that when we refuse to say “no,” sometimes we hinder God’s plan for someone else. Perhaps what we just agreed to do was really a job God had planned for someone else. Yet, we just got in His way.
Is there someone who seems to be drawn to you like a magnet, constantly needing spiritual advice? Perhaps they discern you are a person of the Word, so they seek you instead of the Word because they are too lazy to seek God on their own. By letting them continue in their behavior, we become enablers. We may also be co-dependent; for we may love the way they make us feel when they seek our wisdom. Often, one feeds the other. We enable the behavior because it makes us feel good to be needed.
David asked the Lord to search his heart. I think it is wise to ask the Lord to also search our relationships. Perhaps we will discover that we have become spiritual enablers.
Have you fallen into the trap of being an enabler?
© 2007, Stacy R. Miller