“I’m not going to be that Little Dutch Boy with my finger stuck in the dam no more.” – June Carter, Walk the Line
How many of us out there feel like we are responsible for holding our finger in a bursting dam trying to keep those around us from pain, destruction, fear, failure, doubt… Etc? The little dutch boy analogy is the essence of codependency.
When dealing with wounded people I have learned two things: 1) feeding & compensating dysfunction breeds dysfunction, 2) sometimes what those caught in a cycle of defeat think they need is just the opposite of what will bring victory to their life.
Rescuer mentality is not beneficial to those you serve if you only want to keep them from pain, conform them to your personal standard of righteousness yet do not move to deliver them to Jesus for victory. In the same way interceding that keeps people from coming to the end of themselves (their soul’s capacity to compensate through the knowledge of good and evil and sin’s inherent agreement with a spirit of lack) only facilitates my (the minister’s) comfort and not their healing (the wounded and hurting I serve).
Ministering to the person body, soul & spirt and bringing them into an encounter with the eternal God, Jesus, produces followers of Jesus. An encounter with Michelle will reproduce only the level of healing or dysfunction I’ve fully realized and live in my own life. Unless, of course, they encounter Jesus in me.
I am okay with leaving a person where they are if they will not choose to engage the work of Christ in their heart. I will not wear myself out on behalf of others who will not choose to engage. I will meet their need in love and hopefully point them to a better promise. The first step for me is always to set an appropriate expectation.
Sometimes the kindest thing I may do for someone in the struggle is get out of the way & let God deal with their heart.