What I Learned When I Let Go of the Pressure to “Fix” People

You would think it odd to read a title like that coming from me, especially since I am neck deep in the work of helping people to experience transformation. But there is a big difference between equipping people and trying to “fix” them.

When I first began to experience some dynamic healing and transformation in my life, I wanted to share it with everyone. My first thought was, “Who wouldn’t want to experience all this freedom?”

Boy would I receive a wake up call. I saw that people wanted the results I was experiencing, but they had no interest in going through a personal process of transformation. Many wanted quick fixes and easy ways into greater freedom.

Passionate About Transformation

When people would not receive the invitation to walk the transformational journey with God, I got really disappointed. I spent a lot of time grieving what I was seeing amongst many. Sometimes I took it personally, as if I was doing something wrong. I even considered that something was wrong with me. I found myself carrying the weight of people not wanting to receive.

Over time, I found myself being sovereignly led to people who were looking for what I was passionate about. I prayed, “God send me the people that want to receive what You have given me.” He answered that prayer and continues to do so even today.

Many of the situations that would come to me were intense. The brokenness in people’s lives was overwhelming at times for my heart.

The Pressure Rising

As God immersed me into the sea of heart healing work, a great weight of pressure came upon me. I saw the massive need out there. Amongst the people who came to me, there was a setup that would hook me in:

  • “I heard you work with people like me. I have tried everything and I need help. I believe you are the person God will use to set me free.”
  • “You come highly recommended and I heard you can help what I am going through.”
  • “I hope you got something special, cause I really need help.”

I don’t know how you would react to this, but an unhealed area of my heart heard, “Pressure. Pressure. Pressure.”

A pressure to come up with results and “fix” people would come upon me.

God used this rush of working with people to reveal the areas I needed to grow in, to remove some areas of insecurity and learn to disconnect from the pressure of having to “fix” people.

Here is what I have learned so far:

1. Just Because You are Ready for Change, Doesn’t Mean Everyone Else Is.

No matter how miraculous your transformation and healing journey may be, other people may not be ready to receive it and jump in themselves.

Here is the biggest thing I have learned about helping people–they will never change until they are ready to. When someone is ready, the work of heaven over their life can kick into gear with mighty power. But until then, they’ll dodge everything they need to face, until they are truly ready.

For a while, I wasn’t ready. I had layers of quick responses, cliche sayings and masks that I put up to protect myself. It wasn’t until the issues of my life broke me, causing me to bend my knee and allow God to do whatever He needed to do in my heart.

2. It Can Be Easy to Become Codependent with those You Help

I recommend that everyone, especially those who help people in any way, do some work on breaking off codependency. It’s one of the top issues of bondage that steal the life of pastors, counselors, coaches and leaders. It wants to infect everyone.

If you are not solid in who you are, it can be so easy to become codependent with other people’s bad choices. This can be hard to admit, but many church and ministry leaders work so hard to help someone, but deep down inside, they want the “credit” that they were the person that became the major influence for that person’s change. Only the honest will really admit to this. They become tied to a person’s journey in an unhealthy way.

Codependency will lead you into a lifestyle of emotional swings and turns all the time, because people all around you will not always want your help, nor will they respond to your help in good ways. On top of this, many people will use you and suck the life out of you.

3. Other People’s Decision to Grow is Not Up to Me

I have learned over and again that I can teach and share everything I’ve got with you, but the decision to change and grow is one hundred percent up to you. As much as I may love you, I cannot make the decision or even take action for you.

When I got to the point of releasing that, it was a game changer for me. For years, I thought that if someone didn’t make a decision to grow, then I should try a different approach in attempts to help. It led me to wanting their healing for them more than they did. That’s what codependency does.

Whether or not people walk into freedom and make the decision to change, is not up to me. I can only walk alongside of those who want it. I cannot want change more than you do.

4. Only God Can Change the Heart

No technique or method can override the truth that only God can change the human heart.

With that in mind, it’s important that we all release the people we care about to God, to submit to His ultimate power to work in people’s hearts.

5. My Job is Not to Change You, But to Love You

I can challenge you. I can help you think in better ways. I can even resource you. But that is not my biggest focus when it comes to your life.

My highest priority is to love you, to help you feel safe to work through the issues of your life, so that the Father’s love can manifest in our interactions.

Some may not be kind back, but each interaction is an opportunity to grow in what loves looks like.

Of course we need to speak the truth in love. But it is my observation that people often share the truth prematurely. They haven’t set the atmosphere of love to bring about what only God can do.

Many times we make truth the highest priority, but truth needs the conduit of love to have the power God intended truth to have.  

When you focus on loving people, you can more easily tune into the heartbeat of how God sees a person. You then set yourself up to hear the perspective of God over a person’s life.

I want to tune into God’s narrative over your life. And the greatest way to do that is to stir up love and compassion for you.

6. My Greatest Impact is to Share My Journey with You.

But my highest priority is to love people and demonstrate the change of my own life. I let people see the fruit and share when they want to know more.

Early in my ministry work, I became weary of having to come up with sermons to give and teachings to present. It became exhausting. Instead, I learned to focus on what God was doing in my life, and share that with those who will listen. It’s the best way to do ministry and I am never turning back.

Anything I do to help others comes out of the fact that I am passionate about working on my own heart and allowing God to do His work in me. I focus on that and share out of the overflow of what God reveals to my heart.

7. There is No Pressure for Me to be Superman for You

The day I stopped trying to fix people, I took off the superman cape. Jesus is the only superhero, so I don’t have to live under the pressure to fix or solve.

Funny thing is that when I release the pressure, it makes room for revelation, insight and breakthrough to flow beautifully. I find some of the most amazing interactions with people open up when I simply love them and allow God to have His work.  

Where do you need to let go of the pressure to “fix” someone or become codependent with someone else’s journey?

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