Forgiveness is not enablement

By Dave Henning / March 24, 2016

June Hunt concludes Chapter 9 of How to Forgive by focusing on three points illustrating that forgiveness is not enablement.  Ms. Hunt stresses that there isn’t anything noble or godly about giving irresponsible people additional opportunities to take advantage of you.  Furthermore, God assuredly doesn’t want you to facilitate others’ irresponsible behaviors.

1.  Enablement means putting yourself in a position of being offended again and again.  Forgiving the person who hurt you is one thing.  Subjecting yourself to further harm is another.

2.  Enabling never helps offenders change but further ingrains their bad habits.  As June notes, enabling “only perpetuates a destructive pattern of pummeling.”  If you overtly or implicitly indicate it is okay for your offender to continue his/her inappropriate behavior, you are giving permission for the offender to repeat wrongdoing.

3.  Enablers are classic people pleasers who don’t know when they should say no.  When you say ‘yes’ to irresponsible people when you should be saying ‘no’, in reality your are actually saying no to Christ.  In Galatians 2:10, the apostle Paul said, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

When you are an enabler, it is quite possible you subvert God’s will for your life as well as the life of your offender.  June adds:

“God never expects us to put ourselves in harm’s way when someone who hurts us shows no remorse.”

Even if your offender refuses to forgive, your bag still can be boulder-free!

Today’s question: How has Ms. Hunt enabled you to realize that forgiveness is not enablement?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Prayer redirects our hearts”


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Dave Henning

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