Codependency? Let Go and Let God

Being helpful and compassionate are wonderful traits, but we have to be careful not to tread into the murky waters of codependency. Otherwise, we may find ourselves drowning in other people’s storms— while creating more of our own.

Although our actions can seem pure and good on the surface, we have to take a step back and look at our intentions —and what we are actually striving for.

Control or Kindness

At its root, codependency is not about kindness or compassion. But it is about control—our control of someone else.

Interestingly, most of us barely have control over our own lives, thoughts, habits, or behaviors.

Let me be clear, if it weren’t for those who helped me along the way, I don’t know where I’d be. But, we have to be careful when our help goes too far—and we are too involved.

Helping, Controlling, or Hurting?

Because we see ourselves as helping, we won’t always recognize how deeply enmeshed we are into another person’s life.

When we take a moment to gain clarity, it should become easier to understand that we have a lack of jurisdiction and insight into their true needs.

Our Worldly Wisdom

Advising people in our own worldly wisdom is what typically happens when we think we know what’s best for someone else—and we focus on what is happening on the surface.

Temporary Fixes

As a naturally helpful person, my inclinations were always jump right in and fix. But what I have learned is that fixing is temporary and only delays the growth process.

Instead of (us) trying to fix outward behaviors, we need to turn it over to God—and let Him get to the root of the problem.

We forget (or don’t understand ) that observable behaviors don’t show another’s true heart, what drives them, or their actual struggles and needs—to include spiritual.

Only God has this knowledge.

No matter what we have diagnosed as the problem, God is God and we are not. Therefore, we need to tread carefully when we are dishing out advice—especially when it’s not based in Scripture.

Blindly Leading

Seeking to lead and guide friends and family in the way that they should go is sometimes one of the biggest red flags that we miss. 

Because we will never be able to see the full picture of someone else’s life, our best course of action is to pray for them.

While we may think we are guiding them in the right direction, there are things that we will never know. We essentially become the blind leading the blind.

Our Will Be Done

Sometimes, with good intentions, we try to direct them towards the path and plans we have designated for them. This is definitely an area in which I used to struggle. 

The disappointment comes in when we expect more from people that they are capable of giving or accomplishing. When they fail to act out a script (of our own writing), we get angry. 

Becoming frustrated when they disobey us, seeds of resentment are easily rooted.

We must also be aware of our inability to force them to change— or do the work for them.

drowning in codependency

Stop Fixing. Start Praying.

We judge, label, diagnose, and try to fix someone’s outward behavior. Yet, despite our best efforts, we will never know their heart. That’s God‘s job.

Though seemingly different, judging and fixing follow a similar thought process. We must judge and label someone in order to determine how they need to be fixed.

I always tell my daughter, “If you’re that concerned about what someone is doing, pray about it.”

When we try to fix people or their lives, we take on a burden that is not ours— without acknowledging what they actually need to be made whole. Jesus. 

This was a long, hard, painful lesson to learn. As someone who loves to help people, it was difficult for me to see and accept that I was hindering them. When we go above and beyond to rescue someone else, we:

  • increase their reliance on us
  • decrease their reliance on Christ
  • interfere with their ability to grow
  • lean into our understanding 

In addition to praying for them, we can ask God to reveal our hearts, motivations, and anything that is keeping us from a closer relationship with him. Not only will we inspire other people, but it gives us the opportunity to take the plank out of our own eyes instead of focusing on the speck in someone else’s.

Let Go and Let God

By all means, help people—with prayer, spiritual guidance, and God’s direction. But, in doing so, we must remember our place. Some of the differences between our help and God’s intervention are that we:

  • don’t see the big picture
  • can’t formulate plans for them
  • don’t have the power to make them whole

codependency gets in the way of relying on Jesus

If we really want to be of assistance, we need to ask ourselves, “How can someone learn to stand on their own two feet or sit at the feet of Jesus when we are placing ourselves in the role of Wonderful Counselor and Savior?

<span class="has-inline-color has-black-color">Char Aukland </span>
Char Aukland

Hi! I’m Char Aukland…thank you for joining me.

As a holistic personal trainer
, healthy lifestyle coach, and U.S. Army veteran,
I blend experience from my personal struggles with lessons I’ve learned working with psychiatric inpatients, as a team member in the physical rehabilitation of amputee soldiers returning from the war, and helping my clients to move past their challenges.
In addition to being a Christian health coach and personal trainer, I am the author of Life’s a Trip, a lifestyle workbook that takes an inside out approach to inner and outer weight loss.

Because I believe that self-awareness is key, you are invited to participate in a FREE course I specifically designed to help people find and understand their personal sticking points. Simply click the link below to get started. 

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