I have been pondering this subject for several months now and decided to put something down on paper. A non-traditional look at Job will give us some insight into this subject.
Job was the most "righteous" man in the bible in most people's mind since he is introduced in chapter 1 verse 1 as "perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil". This quote coming from the sacred KJV. (I use several translations for studying and prefer NLT for my daily reading bible, but for today we'll use the version that was good enough Paul!! ;}) We'll save the controversial subject of bible versions for a later post!!
Now, back to Job. I have been taught all my life how perfect Job was, that God allowed Satan to "touch" Job, and in the end Job was restored with more than what he started with. And while all of this is true, let's pause and look at Job and his relationship with his children.
Let's imagine that Job is a Pastor. He's a great Pastor, in fact, he's done so well he's the Lead Pastor of a mega church! There are plenty in attendance, finances are great, a new building project is under way, he has staff galore, the church board loves him, things are basically perfect.
But then there's the issue of his children. Now, Job doesn't hide the fact that his children aren't serving God. In fact his heart is broken, and he prays for them daily. But let's look even closer.
Job's children are adults, they are making adult decisions. And yet Job is supporting them in their decisions. (Now we will have to pause here for a moment of clarification. With the real story being during bible times when families did not leave each other there is an aspect of this story that is not contextually correct, but I would like to explore the concept presented, rather than trying to apply their culture to ours.) You might wonder, how is he supporting their decisions? Picture this. Job's 10 children live in the same town where his church is. Since Job has plenty of disposable income, he has helped each of his children to become established and "get on their feet". Meanwhile his children have continued on their own path, doing their own thing. They show up for church occasionally and put on a happy face and do all things you're supposed to do in church. (Remember? Their PK's, they've seen it all, done it all.) But when the day is done, they return home and continue living their self-absorbed lives without any thought of God or anyone else.
Through the years Job instilled a strong family value in his sons and daughters and even though they are grown, they get together every time one of them has a birthday. It's quite the party when Job's children get together. They usually spend the entire weekend celebrating! In the midst of this celebration there is much evil, Job's children, not being Christians make a lot of really bad choices. And yet Job, although he sees what his children are doing, says nothing.
Instead of confronting his children, Job returns to his prayer closet to weep and pray, begging God to forgive them. (Please understand, I am not addressing intercession in this blog. I absolutely believe and encourage intercession for the unsaved, but today we are talking about enabling.) Are you beginning to get a picture for what may have been happening with Job and his children? Are you picking up on the clues that Job was ignoring the fact that his children were committing sin? He was saying with his actions "I don't approve of your lifestyle" and yet his only response to their bad choices was offering sacrifices "just in case" they were sinning. This is enabling in it's purest form!
Enabling makes you responsible for other people's choices; whether it's your kids, your husband, or even your co-workers. Here's an example that might hit home. You're angry with your husband because he's fussing about the finances, storming around the house, upsetting the children, upsetting you, upsetting himself. He wants you to drop everything and come balance the checkbook "right now!" Now mind you it's 8:30 at night you are right in the middle of bathing the children and getting them to bed. You don't mind to balance the checkbook you just need him to wait until you have the children settled in bed. Instead of finishing what you are doing, you give in to his tantrum and do what he's demanding. You have just become guilty of enabling.
Or maybe you have decided not give your child any more financial help, but then every time they call you, and mention they need something you go buy it for them and justify yourself because you didn't actually give them cash. Enabling shows itself in lots of ways, its just a matter of us recognizing that we are enabling that person to continue in their poor choices.
There are so many applications of enabling it would be impossible to give an example of every type. My goal today is to get you thinking about it. I want you to begin to explore this topic and examine whether or not it is affecting your home or even your church.
God please expose every hidden secret and give us the wisdom to change our circumstances...