I pray that today and every day You will teach me how to replace my fears with faith… That I will cast my anxieties, fears, doubts and uncertainties upon You and allow Your Perfect Love to drive out those feelings that are not born of The Holy Spirit….that I will surrender my troubles to You, my Holy Heavenly Father, who is ALWAYS GREATER than any rejection, failure, criticism, emotion or enemy I may face today or tomorrow.
I pray that I will grow an enormous and abundant faith in You, an all-knowing, ever-present, always-loving God and walk in the confidence and sound mind that comes from knowing who You Are…that my trust in You will produce in me a faith that will motivate me to just let go of the things that hold me back, give them to you and receive peace beyond measure in my heart and mind.
I pray that I will cling to Your Truth and Your Promises and find refuge in You when I encounter dark valleys in my days, seasons and lives…place my trust in You, my Tower of Strength, for You Are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and You have repeatedly assured me that You are for me and will protect me.
Father, I thank You and praise You for Your Grace, Love, Mercy and Sovereign Protection in my life! I thank You for the atoning Sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, so that I may be reconciled unto You…for my adoption and citizenship in Your Kingdom…for the security, peace, and comfort that You provide in my authentic identity in Christ!
In the name of my beloved Savior, Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3
People we love and care about sometimes mistreat us, say unkind things to us or about us, verbally or physically abuse us, neglect, ignore, betray, reject, or abandon us. Our first reaction is almost always to personalize it. Please understand that people’s negative behaviors are not about us and everything to do with what is going on inside of them.
We cannot react by taking ownership of their negative junk when they act out of their own unhealthy patterns that we are not responsible for.
What we can do is take ownership and responsibility for our own junk, ask for forgiveness when applicable, and impose healthy boundaries to protect ourselves from allowing their actions to hurt us physically, spiritually, or emotionally. To do otherwise just gives unhealthy people way too much power in our lives. And last time I checked, only God is allowed to have that kind of power over my life.
We can’t make people’s problems our problems. When we do that, they own us! They will live rent free in our heads. They will consume us. And that only leads to bitterness, anger and resentments robbing us of our joy, peace and sanity.
“Above all else, guard your heart for out it flows the issues of life.”
How do you know if you have truly forgiven those who have hurt you? Do you feel they owe you? Are you expecting them to pay you back for the hurt and pain they caused? Do you feel bitter, angry and resentful towards them? Do you think they should suffer for what they did? Do you want revenge?
If you answer yes to any of these, then you have not forgiven in your heart. Holding on to unforgiveness will pollute your heart and allow their sin to continue to hurt you.
Choosing to forgive does not condone their sin. It doesn’t mean there should be no justice. There are consequences to sin, but only God is the righteous judge.
Release the offender to Him and refuse to harbor negative feelings towards those who have hurt you. If you don’t know how to forgive, seek Jesus. He is faithful to put people in our lives that will help us process the hurts so that we can grieve, accept and release them to the feet of the cross so we can forgive from the heart. That’s true freedom.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:23
Do you engage in love based or need based relationships? People in love engage in healthy mutually satisfying give and take relationships. They want the best for each other and bring out the best in each other. They know that love requires sacrifice from time to time and they know what it means to die to self. They don’t expect the other person to fulfill all their needs because they understand that no human being is even capable of doing that because only God can meet all our needs. Only His love truly satisfies. People in love are emotionally healthy individuals who find their value and worth in Christ alone not looking to others for self-worth and identity. True love brings forth life and grows deeper and stronger with time.
People in need operate out of a brokenness not wholeness. They attach themselves to unhealthy people who they think have the power to meet their desperate need for love, security, and significance. But because brokenness attracts brokenness they tend to draw emotionally unavailable people, who are often abusive, struggling with addictions or have an array of other issues, who do more taking than giving and are incapable of meeting even the basic of needs required for a healthy relationship. This causes a lot of pain and heartache and brings forth death and destruction resulting in extremely toxic and unhealthy relationships that only get worse with time. And yes! Even Christians can operate out of need instead of love. The church is full of hurting people involved in unhealthy relationships.
Are you in love or are you in need? If you are in the latter, understand that relationships will not work until you start operation out love. Sadly many Christians don’t truly understand what love is because they have never been modeled it, never have experienced it. They don’t know their value and worth as a precious child of God because their basic human need for love was not met growing up. So they take matters into their own hands and like the song says go searching for love in all the wrong places and settle for the counterfeit version that never satisfies.
Oswald Chambers wrote – “No love of the natural heart is safe unless the human heart has been satisfied by God first.” The love of God has the power to change us from the inside out. But there is a marked difference between knowing about the love of God and receiving it into our hearts. It is only when we truly encounter and accept the authentic, undefiled Agape love of our Savior that we are then able to “Love the Lord with all our hearts, soul, mind, and strength and love others as ourselves.” (Mark 12:30). This is the key to engaging in healthy mutually satisfying relationships. It’s the biblical formula that has the power to heal and transform and empower us to engage in love based not need-based relationships.
A deep wound, a broken heart, disappointments, bitterness, and unforgiveness can cause the heart to become hardened with time. It causes us to put up walls. Our defenses go up. We self-protect, and we don’t let anyone in including God.
Self-protection leaves us running on reserve and is the cause of intimacy issues and conflict in relationships. It seems that it’s easier to be hard than soft and vulnerable because we don’t want to get hurt. But you were not created to live that way. God made you to be tender and responsive.
It’s hard to shape stone. As long as your heart remains hard, you will miss out on the abundant life Jesus came to give. So let the living God come into your heart, heal your wounds and tear down your self-protection and defenses.
The amplified version of Ezekiel 11:16 says “And I will give them one heart, a new heart, and I will put a new Spirit within them, and I will take the stony, unnatural hardened heart out and give them a heart of flesh, sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God.”
Give your hurts to the Lord. Let God shape you. When you do that…He will leave His fingerprints all over your heart.
The greatest human need is for love. It’s a legitimate need placed in us by our creator. When this need is not met, it can create a void so deep we go through life trying to fill it. It causes us to crave the approval and acceptance of others and drives us to engage in imbalanced relationships where we attach to unhealthy, emotionally unavailable people who often abuse and mistreat us.
We will often compromise our morals, values, and beliefs for fear of losing them. This creates a vicious cycle of feeling used, devalued, unappreciated, victimized opening the door to bitterness, resentments, unforgiveness, and hopelessness.
The only way to stop the cycle is to get a healthy dose of real love – the love of Jesus. Love seeks the highest good for another. Our Savior demonstrated His perfect love for us at the cross. We will never be able to engage in healthy relationships unless we receive the fullness of God’s love. Only His love satisfies.
If you are desperately seeking the love and approval of those who continually hurt you it may be a sign that you have not encountered the Love of Jesus in your heart where you see yourself as He sees you – A precious child of the Living God.
When you remove barriers that hinder the ability to live in the fullness of His love for you, it will radically change the people you attract and allow close to your heart. You will desire to engage in relationships that honor God, bless you and seek the highest good for others.
“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Colossians 3:14
Who or what controls your emotions? Is it you, someone or something that happen to you? The book of Proverbs warns, “Above all else, guard your heart, for out of it flows the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
Behaviors that bind that hurt self and others start early in life. Many people, even in the best of homes, are living on “leftovers” – emotions and attitudes left over from the way they were raised.
For instance, those who as children felt they could never measure up to expectations are likely to experience feelings of inadequacy, rejection, shame, and guilt as adults; they may also deal with resentment and hostility.
And grown people who walk away from responsibility or commitments when they don’t get their way are frequently the ones whose parents caved into their every desire. This is why it’s so hurtful to give in to children’s temper tantrums and demands. They learn the world is their oyster and grow to be demanding, entitled, selfish, self-centered adults.
Those who struggle with low self-worth or low self-esteem are often a byproduct of lack of childhood acceptance and affirmation. It’s important for children to learn they are of tremendous value to parents but most importantly their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Their sense of security should come, not from possessions, whether they are “good” or “bad” but from a personal relationship with Him that says they are valued and loved for who they are no matter what. Otherwise, as adults, they may operate out of shame instead of the precious gift of God’s never-ending grace.
“Do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”
We were all created with three God given needs – for love, security, and acceptance. When people fail us it can cut at our self-worth because we look to them to meet the needs only God can fully meet.
Losing a relationship is always painful but can be devastating for some. God does bring people in our lives to reinforce our inherent needs but they are not meant to take His place as the only source of love that truly satisfies.
It we are dependent on people to meet our love needs what happens when they leave? If you are feeling lost and rejected over a relationship loss turn to Jesus. He offers you love and acceptance. He will never reject you. Ephesians 1:6 says you are accepted in the beloved.
If you are feeling lost and rejected over a relationship loss turn to Jesus. He offers you love and acceptance. He will never reject you. Ephesians 1:6 says you are accepted in the beloved.
The Lord wants to reaffirm your value and worth in Him. But it won’t be found in anyone or anything other than Him. True identity does not come from relationships but from a relationship with our precious Savior Jesus Christ.
True identity does not come from relationships but from a relationship with our precious Savior Jesus Christ.
God doesn’t take away your need for love, He satisfies it the right way. Psalm 107:9
Precious Heavenly Father,
You know the wounds that are in my heart….the lies, the faulty thinking, the fear, the sorrow left over from the hurts of my past.
I give them all to you and ask that you would heal me and release me from all emotional strongholds hindering me from experiencing the fullness of your love and grace.
I choose to live in Hope even when I feel hopeless. I will not harbor hate even when I am ignored. I will live with Your peace even when I am rejected.
I will love with Your love even when I am scorned. I will pray with Your heart even for those who hurt me. I will forgive with Your grace even when I’m betrayed.
I won’t focus on fear, for I know You are faithful. I won’t let heartache reign; I’ll move forward with faith.
I will stand on your Truth no matter the circumstances because I know that Your love never fails.
In Jesus Name, Amen!
Enablers are people that may appear to be extremely strong, independent and self-sufficient, but are in reality often very needy, insecure and in need of acceptance. This need for security and approval results in a strong sense of responsibility for others, dependence on people, people pleasing and performance. It also results in compromising morals, values, and beliefs. As well as condoning sin. Enabling someone’s sin is the same as indirectly taking part in that sin, and 1 Timothy 5:22 says, “Do not participate in the sins of others.”
Below are some characteristics of people who are enablers.
(Think of the person that you are closely involved with, a spouse, child, parents, relative, friend, co-worker, boss, etc. and see if you identify with any of these statements).
- I feel responsible for the needs, feelings, and behaviors of this person.
- I try to fix their problems, even when it affects my emotional well-being.
- I know their needs and feelings but don’t know my own.
- I do things for this person they should and are capable of doing for themselves.
- I get angry when my help is not wanted, needed, or appreciated.
- I tend to come across rigid and judgmental.
- I am harsher on myself than others.
- I tend to deny my own feelings and needs
- I feel guilty when I stand up for myself.
- I find it hard to say “No.”
- I feel good when I give but find it hard to receive from others.
- I try hard to be perfect to avoid anger or criticism.
- I look for my value and worth in the approval of others.
- I find that I am attracted to needy people & they are attracted to me.
- I am defensive about my relationship with this person.
- I feel victimized and taken advantage of by this person.
- I feel stuck in this relationship with this person.
- I can’t live without this person.
If you can relate to many of these statements, it is most likely that you are engaged in a relationship where you are enabling the unhealthy behavior (sin) of another person. Interestingly enough, it may surprise you to know that you share many of same characteristics of the personality type of the people you tend to enable. More surprising to you may be finding out that enablers and those being enabled enter into the relationship with one thing in common – NEED! Both desperately need each other. Each is seeking to get a need met that each is incapable of meeting because there is only ONE who can meet our needs. Both have learned to function in an environment that is imbalanced where one is doing all the taking, and the other is doing all the giving. It has become their normal and breaking the dynamic can be extremely difficult.
But you can be free! Commit today to get help and get to the root of why you engage in relationships where you condone and encourage negative behavior by enabling. There is nothing that our God cannot do with a willing and surrendered heart.