Codependency has got to be one of the most cloudiest issues ever. For any of you out there that don’t know what codependency is, I’ll give a basic description. It’s basically being dependent on another person’s behaviors. Being dependent on what they do or don’t do or how they’ll react to something. There are A LOT of different ways that codependency shows up in people, but basically it’s that. I personally get confused in it because helping someone feels like the right thing to do. Naturally you would think to help someone. But there is a point when a codependent person steps over the boundary line into unhealthy. So where is that line?
A big lesson that I’ve been learning over maybe the last year is that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to help people, not mine. That people don’t need me trying to fix all their problems and stepping in to try to take over (as if I know better). This has been hard for me to grasp because I always thought we were supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus to others. I’m pretty sure I took that thought to an extreme. What I have learned is that in order to be the hands and feet of Jesus, I just need to love people. Which lead me to realize, maybe I don’t really know how to love people in the life giving way that God intended.
Loving people doesn’t mean trying to soften reality or blocking them from having to deal with problems. Loving them means pointing them to the one person that can actually help, Jesus. Loving people means that I can still help and be a support or a friend to them, but it does not equal me stepping in to be what they depend on fully. Love isn’t controlling or smothering. Love should never take a person’s eyes off Jesus and on to me.
Codependency feels like love but it isn’t. It gets confusing because all you can think is that you’re wanting to care about another person and help them, but it just turns into a selfish act.
I believe that the main root problem that causes codependency is fear. Fear of another person getting hurt, fear of losing a person’s acceptance, etc. But God’s word says that perfect love casts out all fear (1John4:18), so if I’m living in fear then I am obviously not living in love. If I were really living in God’s perfect love, then I would be fully trusting Him to take care of the people that I love and to take care of me. I learned this week that one of God’s names is “El-Roi” which means “God who keeps watch”. That says to me that He sees it ALL. Even when my judgement is clouded, He still sees. Nothing gets past Him even when it seems to me like nothing is happening.
So what is the solution then? If I’m aware that I don’t have the best judgement and I sometimes react out of fear rather than in His love, what do I do? …………. I keep my eyes on Him. I need to continually humble myself and acknowledge that I don’t know best. That only He has all of the real answers. That I need His wisdom in ALL circumstances. Proverbs 28:26 says “Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe”.
So how do we get wisdom? The way to wisdom is in having a relationship with God. To humble myself and acknowledge Him and ask for continual guidance before I act. Always putting HIM first instead of putting the problem first. God loves to give us guidance and wisdom in all things. He just wants us to come to Him for it. To stop trying to be the god of our own life or someone else’s and acknowledge HIM as the one true God. I can sit here and spin my wheels all day with trying to figure out how I can do better on my own, but it has always and will always come to nothing. The answer has always been in following Jesus’ example, and Jesus always pointed us straight to God the Father. Bottom line is that He’s got it under control and I don’t need to worry or have fear.
“Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.’ And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf.” Isaiah 35:4-5