Natural Consequences

Today's Scripture

"A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again." Proverbs 19:19 NIV

Thoughts for Today

Is your loved one struggling with a life-controlling problem? Are you helping him (or her) overcome … or are you becoming part of the problem?

Enabling is anything that stands in the way of the natural consequences of a person's behavior.

Raymond's parents tried repeatedly to help him with his drug use. At age 12, he started drinking at a friend's house on the weekend and was dependent on drugs by age 15. At 21, Raymond's life was a wreck. His drug use resulted in his killing a very close family friend and serving a lengthy prison sentence.

Raymond's parents were Christians. During his teenage years, they tried to help him by bailing him out each time he got into trouble, rather than allowing him to suffer the consequences of his behavior. By trying to help, Raymond's parents became part of the problem. They enabled Raymond to continue a downward spiral until his behavior ended in tragedy.

Consider this …

Is someone you care about struggling with a life-controlling problem? It is natural to want to protect those we care about, but protecting them from the natural consequences of their wrongdoing only enables them to continue on the same path. Ask God to give you the wisdom—and the strength—to say "no." To pray and love and support … but not to enable.


Father, this is so difficult. I want to help the one I care about so much. I want to make everything better. But I can't. And I am beginning to realize more and more that I am doing more harm than good by rescuing him from the consequences of his behavior. Help me to be strong. Help me to pray and love and support ... but not enable." In Jesus' name …

These thoughts were drawn from …

Understanding the Times and Knowing What to Do by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. This book offers biblical strategies for ministry to our family and friends. Contemporary issues and needs faced by society are addressed with biblical principles that are timeless. Ideal for small group leaders and Sunday school

Would you like to have these devotions appear daily on your church or ministry website? Learn More



PO Box 22127 ~ Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 ~ 423-899-4770
© Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending e-mail to