The September column and podcast is now available.  If you would like to read previous columns to go the Hope for Today Blog.  If you would like to listen to the Hope for Today podcast you can access it on iTunes . . . 

During a television interview with former heavy weight boxing champion, Mike Tyson, he said he had lost over $300 million dollars in his career.  Now, after reflecting on a life of costly mistakes he is trying to make some positive changes.

How did Iron Mike’s life self-destruct?  Outside of his obvious poor choices, some of the people around him are guilty too.

Have you ever just wanted to be “nice” to a family member, friend or co-worker by helping out with an issue they were facing – albeit major or minor?  Maybe you truly felt sorry for them.  Maybe you saw the coming consequences and wanted to step in before it got worse.  Maybe the issue affected you somehow and getting involved was in your best interest.

I believe there are too many “nice” (or guilt-ridden and manipulated) people who are sustaining and thereby delaying necessary consequences to bad behavior.  Perhaps Iron Mike would have been sitting differently today if some folks would have stepped back and not been so “nice”.

Today there are too many . . .

  • Younger parents trying in vain to wake up their 17-year olds for school.
  • Older parents or grandparents doling out gas money to their 30 year olds.
  • Wives being the middle-person to their kids explaining their dad’s actions.
  • Employees cleaning up messes from their bosses or other co-workers.

Ultimately the goal for everyone is to become a mature, independent, responsible adult.  Lovingly stepping back and choosing to allow someone to fail and experience pain is an unfortunate but necessary teacher.  And often our good intentions prevent that from happening.

When we step back we are allowing someone else to step in.  God.  It is an act of love and trust.    King Solomon wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).  We love the person enough to stop trying to rescue with hopes they might change.  We trust God enough to step back and release the person into His care.  Who can do a better job?  He or you?  He hung the stars.  He raises the sun every morning.  He provides the sparrow its food.  What have you done?

Let us step back and allow God to work.  May He become the hope for today in the lives of the people we so desperately want to rescue.