Day Five – Tough Compassion

Today’s Scripture: Galatians 6:2-5

Some years ago, I was asked to help a young man set some life-changing goals. We strategized together and he created some noble action steps. However, each time we would have a follow-up meeting, he had excuses why he didn’t or couldn’t accomplish his goals. After several meetings with no progress on his part, I challenged him about his lack of desire to set and keep goals. His response: “Honestly, I don’t want to change. If I change, I’ll have to accept responsibility. If I accept responsibility, I’ll have to get a job. If I get a job, I’ll lose my government check.”

I wonder how this young man would have answered if Jesus had asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

These are signs that our compassion may have morphed into enabling:

  • When you become more passionate about a person’s change than he is.
  • When there is little or no movement on the other person’s part toward change.
  • When there is push-back or resistance to change that would lead to independence.
  • When it is obvious that a repeated cycle has become the person’s comfort zone

Paul instructed that we are to carry each other’s burdens. But, he didn’t stop there. Paul also said everyone should carry his own load. We are most helpful to ourselves and to others when we balance the load-lifting. Don’t carry weights not intended for your muscle mass.

  • How do you relate to the above-mentioned signs? What safeguards can you put up to keep from enabling?
  • No matter how wise or valuable our counsel may be, sometimes people reject it at their own loss. How do you respond when someone rejects your attempt to help?