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  • Debbie Howell

Who Am I Responsible For?

“I can’t grow for you; only you can.”  (Boundaries, p. 88)


The Bible is the best book for teaching us how to establish healthy boundaries around our lives.  Whether its reading Proverbs, the book of wisdom, or learning from the life of Jesus in the New Testament, we learn that we are not responsible for other people’s lives.  We can’t force them to grow, we can’t make them be saved, and we can’t argue them into setting boundaries that will keep them from sin.


We can only be responsible for ourselves.  This can be a tough pill to swallow if we have personalities that want to enforce our beliefs on our kids or our spouse or  if we’ve been somehow enabling their behavior for a long time.


I want us to take a few minutes and exercise our imaginations a little bit.  Think of at least one of the stories of when Jesus healed people.  He never forced someone to be healed, He never guilted anyone into confessing their sins.  In fact, one of the stories that I find the most interesting is when he approached a sick man and asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  That may seem like a crazy question, but sometimes we may need to ask that very same question to those we are determined to help.  If they don’t want help then healing won’t take place.  From that point our part is to pray and set the proper boundaries in place within the walls of our relationship with them and let God do what only He can do.


That’s the best way to follow God’s command to “love others as I have loved you.”  (John 15:12)

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