Elephant In The Family Room – Part 2: Helping vs Enabling

Elephant In The Family Room – Part 2: Helping vs Enabling

Helping vs Enabling
Elephant In The Family Room – Part 2
November 16-17, 2019
Dr. Jeffrey Allen Love

“When (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36 (p.740)

moved with compassion: splagchnon (splangkh’-non); from the intestines or bowels; sympathy; inward affection, tender mercy.


  • Helping Without Enabling.


  1. Offer what they need not what they want.

“Peter said, ‘I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ… get up and walk!’ Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up.” Acts 3:6-7 (p.832)

  • Identify the real need.
  • Pay attention to actions, not words.
  • Professional intervention.
  1. Set healthy boundaries.

“Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.” Mark 1:35 (p.762)

  • Time
  • Resource
  • Physical 
  1. Allow them to face their consequences.

“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.” Galatians 6:7 (p.894)

  • Rescuing isn’t always helping.
  • Ask God for discernment.
  • Jesus is the Savior, not me.


Next Step: _____ I will pray every day this week: “God give me a heart that is moved by compassion and wisdom to help rather than enable.”

Life Groups Study Questions
Taking the Talk to Another Level
From the Weekend Talk of November 16-17, 2019
Elephant in the Family Room, Week 2: Helping vs Enabling

Life Groups use these questions to dig deeper into what we talked about this weekend. Dig into them so you will be ready for the discussion at your Life Group. Find out more about Life Groups at the Info Center in the lobby or go to alivechurch.com/groups.

Car Questions/Conversation Starters

  • The holidays are fast approaching. Are you looking forward to them? Why or why not? Do you anticipate that any “Elephants in the Family Room” will affect your time with your loved ones?
  • What is discernment? Are you very good at it?

Quick Review

  • Looking back at your Talk Notes, was there anything you heard in the service that stood out or maybe even confused you?

Discussion Starters from the Weekend Talk

Refer to the Talk Notes and related Bible verses from this Weekend’s Talk.

  • Pastor Jeff highlighted One Thing to remember from this week’s Talk: “Help Without Enabling.”
    • What is enabling? Have you ever experienced it? Were you ever enabled in an unhealthy or unhelpful way?
    • How do you know when sincere helping becomes enabling?
    • Have you ever set out to HELP someone but ended up ENABLING them?
  • Jeff spoke of three things to consider in order to help without enabling. (See your Talk Notes for more details.)
    1. Offer What They Need Not What They Want.
      • How do you distinguish between one who is “overly needy” and one who is “truly in need?”
      • How does discernment fit into all of this?
      • How do you become more discerning? How do you learn to discern?
      • How can you teach this to children?
    2. Set Healthy Boundaries.
      • What boundaries do we live with every day in all of life?
      • Why are boundaries important?
      • What boundaries were set for you when you were growing up?
      • What are some healthy boundaries that are helpful in families and relationships?
    3. Allow Them To Face Their Consequences.
      • When you were learning to ride, what if your mom or dad had never “let go of the back of your bike?”
      • What are some natural and logical consequences—good or bad—that we face because of our actions or behaviors?
      • When have you protected someone from a consequence that you knew they really needed to face? When have you NOT done so and you saw the benefit of letting them face the consequence?

Digging Deeper

Read Luke 6:41-42 (p.787*) and Romans 3:23 (p.859*)

  • What does this passage say about dealing with an issue?
  • How does humility factor in to dealing with these “elephants in the family room?” Are you more likely to effectively deal with it if you have an attitude of humility or if you approach it with condescension and arrogance?

Read Galatians 6:1-5 (p.893*)

  • What warnings and encouragements do you see in this passage?
  • Talk, again, about the importance of discernment in deciding to deal with an “elephant.”
  • React and respond to the following advice: Consider if (1) this is the right time, (2) this is the right place, (3) you are the right person to step into this process of dealing with this “elephant?”

Taking It Home: Next Step

  • My Next Step: I will pray every day this week: “God give me a heart that is moved by compassion and wisdom to help rather than enable.”


  • Pray now for one another, the Church, and Alive Church.
  • (Note: Have you walked the new Prayer Path at the church? Check it out!)

This Weekend:

We wrap up our Series, “The Elephant in the Family Room.” In this series we help you address the causes of the mess that builds up when we neglect those pesky things in our lives and families that we often fail to talk about.

All of these notes are also in our App. To get our FREE App just text “ALIVEAZ APP” to this number: 77977 and follow the instructions. If you need help, we’ll help you!

* The Life Transformation Bible is the New Living Translation of the Bible, including many useful tools to help you better understand God’s Word, including our own Alive Church Life Transformation Discipleship Plan. They are available FREE in the church lobby.


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