I’ve been called codependent. OK, let’s face it. I’ve BEEN codependent, that is, until I figured out what it is. It’s taking on responsibility that doesn’t belong to you.
The book, Love Is a Choice,defines it like this. “Codependency is the fallacy of trying to control interior feelings by controlling people, things, and events on the outside.” Codependents think that if they can exert enough control over other people’s behaviors (even for their “own good”), the inner vacuum will be filled.
Lordy, what a burden.
The reason I bring this up is because I’ve recently been asking myself, “Whose responsibility is this?” Is the state of the country my responsibility? Partially, yes. We’re a democracy. Is the happiness of my adult family members and friends my responsibility? Probably not. Does God need my help in making himself more relevant and attractive to 2020 America? Um, no.
But what about that last point? God’s not codependent. He doesn’t need to exert control over people’s behaviors to feel better about himself. But what is MY responsibility when it comes to representing myself as a Christian?
What does that word “Christian” conjure up for you? Or better yet, that word “evangelical?” Never mind. Don’t answer that. I can guess…and it ain’t pretty. That lovely word has been ruined with stereotypes of bigotry and “me first-ness” even though Christ-followers are called to compassion and “you first-ness.”
So back to the question. What is my responsibility in representing myself as a Christian? I think it’s to point to Jesus and his interesting embodiment of love. Check out the synopsis in 1 John 4:7-21. I just find it compelling, so I’m pointing in that direction.