“Christians often focus so much on being loving and giving that they forget their own limits and limitations” Cloud & Townsend 1992.
Two parents of a twenty eight year old man still living with his parents came to see me and ask that I might help fix their adult son. “Where is he” I asked as there were only the two of them in front of me. I was told that the man didn’t want to come. When I asked why they said the man didn’t think he had a problem. To their surprise I agreed with the twenty eight year old. He didn’t have a problem! As a background, the parents told me about how the man was using drugs, wouldn’t get a job, would not help with chores around the house, and wouldn’t take care of his room. They had tried everything to help him change his life including visiting various prayer houses all to no avail.
The parents both loved their son very much, they had waited a while after marriage before he was born and so had sent him to the best of schools, given him a driver, a cook, a cleaner and at secondary/high school had sent him to South Africa to school. While at school they had made sure he had a lot of money so he won’t suffer, had people to do his personal laundry so he could study and have a great social life. With all of that however their beloved son had so much money, plenty free time and began to do drugs ultimately dropping out of school.
After listening to both parents I affirmed again “I think your son is right he doesn’t have a problem” in disbelief, the mother bends her head low and the father whispers “did I hear you correctly that he doesn’t have a problem?” that’s correct he doesn’t have a problem, you do. Your son can do whatever he likes, no problem, you plan for him, worry fir him, work up yourself to keep him going. He doesn’t have a problem because you have taken it from him. Things that should be his problem are now yours. He is like your neighbor who never waters his vegetable garden but whenever you turn on your tap the water falls on his garden. That’s how your son’s life is, he does nothing but has everything going for him. As it stands now he is irresponsible and happy while you are responsible and miserable. You need to clarify the boundary to keep his problems out of your yard and in his where they belong.
When we purchase property usually the first thing we do is to mark out what is ours to help keep intruders out. We first erect beacons then a fence sometimes including signs that indicate our property and our responsibility to keeping the property safe and free of intruders.
In the same way the human being should define what me is and what not me is. Only you can define you.
Proverbs 14:10 “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy”
We all must take responsibility for our choices our lives our freedom and or slaveries. Taking responsibility brings freedom.
Own my Life + Own my Choices = limitless options
We are responsible for the things that make us up. I hear people blame their parents, the environment or even the ecology “it’s because of” syndrome. While those things are true they are not a fact and we must own up to who we are. Two brothers from an alcoholic father, one decides to never touch the bottle because of what he saw it do to their family and the other decides it’s in my genes so I have no choice plus I have always seen my father drink. We all must deal with what is in our soul and boundaries help us to do so.
On the other hand we are not responsible for other people, we are not commanded to have “other control” although we spend a lot of time and energy trying to get it. We are responsible to other and for ourselves the golden rule is share one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Christ our perfect example did what we couldn’t do and so was responsible to us. We have to then be responsible for us in what we do with the gift He gave us.
We must take ownership of certain aspects of our lives we must carry our own load. The word burden in the Greek means “excess burdens” or burdens that are heavy and weigh us down, they are like burdens that can crush us. We are not expected to carry boulders ourselves as they can break our backs. We need help! So we share these burdens but do not take over peoples burdens and carry them alone. If someone comes to you with a burden, share don’t take over people’s lives that amounts to manipulation and witchcraft. Denying ourselves to do for others what they cannot do for themselves is sacrificial love of Christ. This is what Jesus did for us, He saved us, something we could not do for ourselves.
Galatians 6:5 says each one should carry his own load. Load on the other hand means “cargo” or the “burden of daily toil” everyone has responsibilities that only he or she alone can carry. This is our own particular load that we must take responsibility for and work out. No one can do certain things for us. So that we don’t stay in pain or become irresponsible, it is very important to determine what “me” is where my boundary of responsibility is and where someone else’s begins.