Living Free - Aug. 30, 2010

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Today's Scripture

"Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ." Ephesians 4:15 CEV

Thoughts for Today

Talking with a friend or loved one with a life-controlling problem can be like talking to a brick wall. But that wall can be broken down … brick by brick.

Does someone you care about have a life-controlling problem? When you try to talk to him or her, do your words seem to bounce back at you, as though they've hit a brick wall?

Picture a person behind a brick wall, becoming trapped but continuing to lay brick, building the wall higher and higher. In his mind, each brick is a way to defend himself—but in reality, the wall is trapping him, not defending him. Denial has blinded this loved one to his real condition.

David Augsburger in his book Caring Enough to Confront uses the term "care-fronting." This is a communication technique that combines love and caring with confrontation. Caring confrontation can chip away, bit by bit, at the wall of delusion that hides the reality of the downward spiral of your loved one's life-controlling problems. When you are able to get rid of anger and replace it with caring, confronting your loved one with the truth can actually be the most loving things you can do.

Consider this…

So what can you do? Learn to confront your loved one, to speak the truth in love—not in anger or condemnation—in order to help him tear down his wall of defenses, brick by brick, until he is able to see himself as he really is.

Prayer

Lord, help me be more honest with myself and with this person I care about so much. Help me to look beyond his fault to his need … and then to express the reality of his situation to him … in love. I pray that love will make me tell the truth. In Jesus' name …

These thoughts were drawn from…

Close—But Not Too Close by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. A complement to the Concerned Persons small group study, this booklet is written primarily for those who want to help someone close to them who is enslaved by the stronghold of a life-controlling issue. It is also designed to help someone who is suffering the consequences of a loved one's problem.

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