Lent 2009 (16) – Co-dependancy

Help to carry one another’s burdens and in so doing you will obey the law of Christ. … … For every one has to carry their own load.
Galatians 6:2,5

There is an apparent contradiction in these two verses. They reflect the tension between how legalists and Christians might tackle the problem of someone who has gone astray. They also have some challenging ideas for us about the ways in which we help people in need.

If you break a bone, it is important to get it set and plastered so that it can heal properly. The setting process can be very painful and healing takes time. A person whose life has been broken by need or circumstance is like a broken bone in the body of Christ. They need a lot of support for complete healing to take place.

This can be very painful and can take a long time. The aim is that, however long it takes, the person will eventually be well enough to cope without the support provided during their crisis.
This is the focus of pastoral care.

We are there to help people in their need and to support them in times of hardship and loss. But we do not want to creating dependence. Such long term leaning on another does not help people discover the fulfilment and potential which is God’s plan for us all.

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