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Give People Room to Grow
By Victoria Osteen - Apr 27, 2010
Do you ever find that you are constantly trying to help or "straighten out" the people in your life? Do you find that you are always giving advice or correcting people? Oftentimes, we don't even realize we are doing this. Because we care about them, we want to give them wisdom that we've learned over the years; but more often than not, that unsolicited advice drives a wedge in our relationships. I see this all the time between husbands and wives, parents and children, and even close friends.

I have to admit I fell into this habit with my own children. It was not that I thought there was anything wrong with them; but as a parent, I just recognize that there is so little time to impart wisdom into their lives before they are grown and living on their own. I want to pour into them as much as possible, but I found myself using every moment as a teaching opportunity.

One day, I realized that my approach was out of balance. Yes, it's important to instill wisdom and impart good values to our children, but sometimes we have to give them room to grow on their own. It's just as important to listen to them, learn from them, and enjoy them as the people God made them to be. So now, I still teach them and impart wisdom into them; I just don't spend every waking moment doing it. I have grown to accept that they will learn some of life's lessons all on their own.

I encourage you to evaluate how you approach your relationships. If you find that you are correcting or teaching someone in every conversation, you probably need to make some adjustments. I've discovered that most people already know the areas they need to work on. They don't need anyone else to point out their shortcomings. When we start "fixing" everyone around us, we miss the true riches we were meant to gain from those relationships. When you set out to "fix" someone, what you're really saying is, "You're not good enough the way you are, so I am going to fix you." But that's not what people need. People need to know they are loved unconditionally, even when they miss the mark on occasion. They want to know they can count on our love and support no matter what happens.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins (I Peter 4:8, NIV).
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