If it’s only about the people in the church to you, then you are codependent on church and not utterly dependent on God. If the church is the place where the most worship happens in your life, then you are codependent on the church, and you’re not utterly dependent on God. If the church is where you come to get prayer, and all the prayer happens in your life in this house, then the reality is – you are codependent on the church and not utterly dependent on God. If your awareness of God’s presence occurs mostly in the church, then you are codependent on the church, you’re not utterly dependent upon God.
Every painful thing we experience in relationships is meant to remind us of our need for God. And every good thing we experience is meant to be a metaphor of what we can only find in Him…. We settle for the satisfaction of human relationships when they were meant to point us to the perfect relational satisfaction found only with God.
Jesus had to tell the Jews of His own time that Moses was not the one who supplied manna from heaven. The people had obviously raised Moses to the throne of God. And we have done similarly for others in our own time. There is only one real hero in Scripture. Only one. His name is Jesus. The rest of them are ordinary, flawed human beings—just like us. We are not called be as good as they were, we are called to be far better. The blood of Jesus is the empowerment to launch us towards achieving this impossible target.
So what is the difference between supporting and enabling? Supporting includes assisting with things the other person is capable of doing or doing things that help facilitate them gaining control of their behaviours and life enabling behaviours. On the other hand, keep someone from dealing with the negative consequences of their actions, not dealing with these consequences, give the impression that their behaviour is somehow acceptable.
Our idols are not golden calves or carved statues. Idolatry is not tied to any specific idol; it exists whenever we look to someone or something in the world around us to save and satisfy us. Just as every age has its own problems, each has a fresh cast of new idols it creates to solve them. We reject the refreshing and rest-filled salvation of the Lord and hew for ourselves cisterns that give the illusion of holding water but are really bottomless pits. Try as we might, every new cistern fails, and we are left looking for some new solution to our temptations, fears, anxieties, and self-righteousness. The insidious lie of idols is that they prey on our hope. Every day they demand our work and devotion, offering nothing in return but promising us that “just a little more” will do it.
It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ Himself can be: always ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision. Such expectations put a man under an impossible strain.
When time runs out on TV cooking contests the contestants have to hold their hands up in the air and take a step back from their cooking stations, meal finished or not, messy presentation or not. Their time has run out. That’s the picture God often gives me when I am tempted to step into a situation when he has asked me to step back. He may not be done with an individual or a situation, but either my time in the situation has run out or I have been put in a temporary ‘time out’. I am only a sous kitchen in His kitchen and I need to learn to take my directions from the Executive chef. Yes too many cooks CAN spoil the broth.
When someone we care about is hurting and in crisis, both we and the person we want to help typically assume that fixing the problem means taking it away, or at least taking the pain away. But the truth is that our fixes often aren’t fixes at all. Rather, we must see every painful problem as an opportunity for people to grow in their identity and connection with God and others.