“Never do anything for anybody that they can do for themselves. If you do, you ultimately make them an emotional, financial, and relational cripple.”
Early on in my pastoral ministry, I did a lot of “Co-Dependent bail outs”. I was emotionally weak, and thought that if I really loved and cared about someone than surely I should pay their electric bill, fund their rehabilitation treatment or send them a few hundred dollars for their groceries.
Throughout the Years
What I found out through a few years (mostly through mistakes) is that my good intentions were not resulting in the kind of life change that I had envisioned.
The same people would call a few months later and need more assistance, more help and became belligerent if the Church would not help.
This was clearly a disastrous and unhealthy cycle.
Then I met Roger. Roger was a former gambling addict who had beaten his addiction with God’s help, the help of a good counselor, and the all-important, “Rock Bottom” experience of his wife telling him that if he didn’t change, she was out the door.
As I asked Roger more questions about his own rehabilitation from such a troubling gambling addiction, he explained to me that it does WAY MORE HARM THAN GOOD when you step in and save people from something that they don’t really want to be saved from.
He told me, “Ryan, if you really want to help people, don’t bail them out. Let them ruin their lives to the point that they’re desperate for God, desperate for others, desperate for help.” Roger’s advice has rung true in several scenarios the last 5 years.
Seek out Help
If you’re struggling with debt and seriously want help for your addiction than I suggest you to talk to a counselor, a pastor or a trusted friend but be warned; there are people who will help you and it will require you to actually change.
They won’t be fooled by your excuses and won’t be swayed by your “smokescreens”.
There are tons of organizations that help people with gambling addiction for minimal costs but it requires one thing money cannot buy: A WILLING AND TEACHABLE DISPOSITON!
I guarantee that if you bring a teachable attitude that God, others and loved ones will help bridge the financial gap.
And when you do enter into treatment with that kind of disposition and heart, there is incredible freedom on the other side!
About the Author: Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing.
He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together. Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
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Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 28, 2016
Published on AddictionHope.com