What does the bible say about Enabling?

proverbs 19:19 15:5 says, "A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty;
    rescue them, and you will have to do it again"

Enabling behavior is a concept that can be recognized in various ways throughout the Bible. While the Bible does not use the term “enabling” directly, it addresses the concept of enabling behavior in a number of passages.


Proverbs 19:19 warns against rescuing someone who repeatedly engages in harmful behavior, stating that they must experience the natural consequences of their actions in order to learn and change. Galatians 6:2 encourages Christians to support and care for one another, but it does not condone enabling behavior that allows someone to continue in harmful or destructive behavior.


The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 also illustrates the importance of accountability and responsibility in relationships. While the father in the story shows love and compassion towards his son, he does not enable him to continue his irresponsible behavior. Instead, he allows him to experience the consequences of his actions and encourages him to take responsibility and make changes in his life.


Overall, the Bible emphasizes the importance of showing love and compassion towards others, but it also encourages accountability and responsibility. Enabling behavior that protects someone from the consequences of their actions can lead to further harm and destruction. Therefore, it is important to recognize enabling behavior and take steps to change it, while still offering support and care for those in need.

If you’re worried that you may be enabling someone’s addiction or other negative behavior, there are steps you can take to change your behavior and help the person you care about.

  1. Recognize the behavior
    The first step in stopping enabling behavior is recognizing it in yourself. This can be difficult, as enabling often involves behaviors that seem helpful or supportive on the surface. However, if you find yourself making excuses for someone’s bad behavior or addiction, covering up for them, or taking responsibility for their actions, you may be enabling them.

  2. Set boundaries
    Once you’ve recognized that you’re enabling someone, it’s important to set boundaries. This means establishing clear limits on what you’re willing to do for the person and what you’re not. For example, you may decide that you won’t lend them money, or that you won’t cover up for them when they miss work due to their addiction.

  3. Offer support
    While it’s important to set boundaries, it’s also important to offer support to the person you care about. This can involve encouraging them to seek help for their addiction, offering to attend support group meetings with them, or simply listening to them when they need to talk.

  4. Hold them accountable
    Finally, it’s important to hold the person you care about accountable for their actions. This means letting them experience the consequences of their behavior, rather than shielding them from them. For example, if they lose their job due to their addiction, don’t bail them out financially. Instead, encourage them to seek help and find a new job.

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