Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.  Psalm 62:5-6

When we love people and listen to them, there is always the temptation to take their burdens on ourselves and carry them around. It would be like telling someone that you will help them move. While you are helping them, they hand you a box of stuff they need to let go of, and you end up carrying that box around indefinitely. The better thing would be to take that box to Goodwill and leave it there.

     To walk a road with someone, we have to come to grips with the fact that while we can influence people, we have no control over what actions they take. We have to take their stuff to Goodwill (or I should say, God-will). It doesn’t mean we no longer care what happens. It means that we relinquish them to God, and ask Him what He wants us to do in this situation.  What is our role in this person’s life—today?

     As a people helper, I have to surrender my need for the other person to change, or my need to be a change agent in their lives. When I don’t surrender this, I’m not serving God, really; I’m tying my peace or adequacy to someone else’s behavior, and it turns into a “flesh” thing, not a Spirit-led thing.

     I am called to walk with God, to listen to God, to obey God, to be dependent on Him. In this way, I change and am transformed, whether the other person is or not! Acceptance of this truth means that I can help more people, because I am not emotionally burned out; after each encounter I take their stuff and give it to God—to His healing power—to His mercy and grace. This helps me be a good steward of the precious opportunities God gives me.

*Do you need some “healthy detachment” in a relationship today? Invite God into this situation, so that He can be the “change agent.”

Lord, I know that I cannot “fix” people’s problems. Help me accept the fact that they are responsible for their own choices. Help me to rest in You, knowing that You alone are able to help them—and You want to. I pray this as I wait quietly before You. Amen.

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