Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Gift of Wisdom and The Curse of Co-Dependency

I have both. Unfortunately.

I had never considered that I had the gift of wisdom until earlier this year, around Easter. A dear woman spoke a word over me about Lady Wisdom from Proverbs, and how the Lord showed her that I was like this woman. And peering into my life, I see that I do, indeed, have this gift. I can't get a big head about it, though, because it is a GIFT. I didn't earn it, and it certainly doesn't come from always learning things the easy way (which is a nice way to say that I sin a lot).

I also can't brag about this gift because "Hi, I'm Amanda, and I'm in recovery for co-dependency and anger." "Hi, Amanda. We're glad you're here." (This is what I say at Celebrate Recovery, fyi.)

The problem is this: I have the gift of wisdom, but because I am a co-dependent, I want to fix people--I want to give them solutions to their problems. I want to "help" them--"help" because it is more about me than it is about them. It gives me a sense of control and superiority instead of a sense of love and humility to be used by God. And if they fail to take my advice, anger inevitably follows. That loss of control, that loss of superiority makes me feel powerless, and anger gives me the power I need to triumph in the situation (this is not true, it is just how I think). Herein lies my problem.

Now, I know I don't ALWAYS operate out of my co-dependency. Thank God! I'm grateful for the Holy Spirit and the ways He has used my gifts to bring Himself glory. But I often, in order to gratify my flesh, find myself wielding advice that no one asked for, taking on burdens that are not mine to carry, and worrying over other people's decisions (that, of course, I wouldn't have made).

In the same breath, I can say that people routinely seek my counsel. I'm learning, though, that I am not their personal prophet. I am Abba's child, used of Him, and it is my desire to point them to HIM like John the Baptist did--"He must increase, but I must decrease." I've found in the past that I will speak the wisdom of the Lord over someone's situation, but He is not the focal point, my wisdom is. So, in that, I must say that I have robbed my Father of His glory.

My prayer now is that when I am asked for my wisdom in a situation, I will first seek Him. I will speak His words, but I will conclude with the statement, "But you must seek Him and His will--you must test and weigh what I say with the Holy Spirit; and you must get your full direction from Him. I am here to edify and encourage you towards Him, not towards myself."

I also must say that as I have been learning about myself for the past couple of years, I have also learned that I don't like it when people try to fix me. I'm sure others feel the same way when I do this to them! Novel!!! I have had to set boundaries in several areas of my life where I do not give myself the opportunity to fix others, nor do I allow others to fix me. Only Jesus can be what I need. Only He can heal my pain, my anger, my co-dependency, and in realizing that, I see that only He can do this for others as well; I am not qualified.

That is a load off my mind.


  1. Manda, that is pretty awesome to admit and to deal with in yourself. I love you a whole lot. I know I come to you often seeking counsel and sometimes I like what I hear, and sometimes I don't! ;) It is very natural to ask you because our relationship developed in a teacher/student, leader/disciple sort of way. I hope people read this and see down in the deep truth of the struggle. We all have to know that nobody but God is perfect in his or her wisdom and I think people (me included) put you on a pedestal often because they are comparing themselves to an image THEY THEMSELVES have projected on you. It is a constant struggle I think especially among women, to compare and fall short and why would we put this on a sister in Christ who loves us dearly? May we all try to relinquish this as we resist the urge to seek advice from Amanda before we even seek it from God! I know I have a history of saying things that folks don't always agree with, but this time I KNOW there are other readers guilty of this so let it all out people! ;)

  2. Amanda, I would also say that I love when people come to me with questions. I know the Lord often gives me the wisdom for them in that moment, and I do think it is a beautiful way for the Body to work. But, like we both said, it is important that we not focus on a person, but on the words spoken and whether or not those words match the character and wisdom of the Lord. In this way, only He is exalted, and only He gets the glory.

  3. Awesome perspective. I am a fixer too! Hence why I became a nurse. I'd love to hear more about how you've battled anger. Have you posted on it previously?


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