July 11, 2013
“Mind your own business; do your own job.” 1Th 4:11 TM
We’re not very good at knowing the difference between helpfulness and interference! Suppose two people we care about are in conflict, and we think we can solve their problems. Ultimately, we discover we’re in over our heads. Looking back, we say, “I’ll never do that again”—until the next time! Here are some healthy relationship boundaries. Sometimes when two people are at odds with each other they “triangle in” a third person to focus on, attempting to lower their stress. Whoever they “triangle in” gets caught in the middle, becomes enmeshed in their unresolved issues, and ultimately becomes their shock absorber. Unfortunately, when that person’s rescue attempt backfires they become part of the problem, keeping the issues and themselves stuck. So what should you do?
(1) Unless God puts you in the middle, stay out! The Bible says, “Mind your own business; do your own job.” If your name’s not on it, don’t pick it up! Try saying, “I care about you both too much to complicate things with unqualified advice. I’ll pray that God gives you the wisdom to do what’s right for each other.”
(2) Maintain a caring relationship with both people. Relationship specialist Edwin Friedman says, “The way to bring change to the relationship of two others is to maintain a well-defined relationship with each, and avoid taking responsibility for their relationship.” Don’t take sides. Don’t let them pull you in. If they try, remind them that you’re praying and trusting God to help them resolve the problem, and that you’re confident He will do it.