Friday, April 30, 2010

Liars Need Love Too

Dear Jocelyn,
I have a family member I love and care about who keeps lying to me. She's not my enemy, she's not persecuting me, she just lies and manipulates trying to get me to do what she wants me to do. The family member is going through a hard time, and as a Christian I want to help, but I just can't trust her. As a Christian, am I still called to help her? I care about her so much, but she drives me nuts.
-Tired of Being Lied To


Dear Tired,
As a Christian, you are indeed called to help her. However, help does not mean letting her do whatever she wants. The best help for someone like this does not come from allowing oneself to be manipulated and lied to. Think of it this way - if she were stealing from you, would you allow her into your home while you were out? Sit down with her and tell her what you are telling me - that you love her and want to help her, but you know she has lied to you (have several examples ready) and you will not stand for it. Tell her that you can't help her until she is honest with you. If she denies everything, then tell her to contact you when she is ready to be honest, and walk away. If she admits that she has a problem, then discuss boundaries you can put in place to prevent manipulations. Without further details, I cannot advise you of what those boundaries should be; consider seeking a therapist or pastor to help you figure them out. Remember that while Christians are to forgive always
(Matthew 6:14-15; 18:21-22; Ephesians 4:32), we are not called to help another person sin against us.
-Jocelyn

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