Sunday, June 27, 2010

To Entangle, Enable or Empower

Why does it matter? Enabling keeps us in ruts, wastes time, drains energy and, ultimately robs life of our direction.

If you answer yes to most of these you may be more of an enabler:
  1. Do I do for others what they can and should do for themselves?
  2. Have I reminded them to do what was their responsibility?
  3. Have I commented even to myself on how another has fulfilled a task?
  4. Have I tried to change someone's feelings?
  5. Do I often find it easier to just say yes when I really need to say no?

Enabling others prevents people from knowing God's will and using their spiritual gifts. Being "entangled" with others does sap your energy, verve, and purpose. If you are functioning too much as an enabler, it may be a struggle being your own person, to stand on your own two feet. You may even "love too much" or try to get from others what you really need to give to yourself: respect, patience, and self-acceptance. Clergy are especially susceptible to wanting everyone to like them.

Equipping and empowering others is different than enabling. Empowering others frees and supports others to do what God is calling them to do and be. It encourages us to use our gifts rather than to deny them. We aspire to fulfill the highest vision, not just to please others. The courage to be your own best self is connected, on the deepest level, to be a faithful steward of what God has given you, in love, to be and do. That in itself requires strength, clear thinking, and attention.

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