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Precious Prodigal
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There is nothing in the world more devastating
to a parent than to have a prodigal child.

 

 
   
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  October 17, 2014:  Will keeping myself right sized give me back my joy?
Part I
 
 
 
  Romans 12:3For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.

In
Romans 12:3, Paul admonishes us not to “think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think.” Wait a minute. I know redemption is a gift and an act of grace, and I know recovery…whether from substance abuse or anything else…is also a gift. How does that equate to thinking too highly of myself?

We may not be the ones acting out in destructive ways…drinking, drugging, getting arrested, losing jobs, and the list goes on. However, when one person begins to act out, the entire family gets sick. While it’s usually easy for us to identify when our prodigal is “in his disease,” it’s not as easy to see when we are. Our “symptoms” are more subtle, but a good indication is if we’re feeling “more….” (fill in the blank) than our prodigal.

One of the biggest challenges when you love a prodigal…at least for me...is keeping yourself right sized. Even when we aren’t trying to “fix” what’s broken in our prodigal’s life, we know what needs to be “fixed.” At least we think we do. So I often need to remind myself that just because my prodigal is so often wrong, it doesn’t naturally follow that I’m always right.

Thinking we’re always right isn’t the only way we “think too highly of ourselves” either. We also tend to think our prodigal can’t function without us and needs our help. We set our clocks early to be sure he’s on time for work even though he’s 45 years old. We drive her where she needs to go so she won’t get another DUI. We check their email accounts, look through their text messages, and call their friends’ parents to tell them what we think their and our kids are doing.

Some of us have covered for them and lied to spouses, teachers, employers, and even the police or their probation officer. On the other hand, we may have taken it upon ourselves to report every wrong step to those same probation officers. In doing all that, we’ve made ourselves crazy with worry and our inability to control them or anything about them.

We’ve believed them when they blamed us for everything that’s wrong in their lives. We’ve also made ourselves miserable replaying every single mistake, real or imagined, that we’ve made in the past. Then we’ve believed those mistakes are what caused our prodigals to make the choices they’ve made. And we’ve believed ourselves guilty of “making” them and everyone else feel angry, sad, disappointed…as though we could really “make” anyone feel or do anything.

Popular author and speaker, Marianne Williamson says it beautifully: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Of course, we’re not that powerful. Convincing ourselves that we are is absolutely “thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought.” The truth is we’re not smarter than, more powerful than, more capable than or even worse than anyone else, including our prodigals. And letting go of the idea that we are will go a long way toward giving us back our joy.

Challenge for Today: What might happen if we, just for today, asked God to keep us right sized?
 
 
 
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  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing what’s right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, God’s Sovereignty, God’s love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigal’s elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing what’s right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, God’s Sovereignty, God’s love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigal’s elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing what’s right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, God’s Sovereignty, God’s love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigal’s elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing what’s right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, God’s Sovereignty, God’s love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigal’s elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,