"You are only responsible for the choices that you make", these are the gentle words I heard in my heart several years ago as I laid prostrate on my living room floor. The weeks preceeding this gentle message from the Lord were filled with worry and concern over some decisions that a family member had made. In my desire to see them have what I felt was God's best, I panicked when I saw them making decisions that would not have positive consequences...or at least in my perspective. I cried out to God day by day asking Him to change their minds, put up a roadblock, open their eyes, etc, etc. I was allowing myself to get so worked up over the situation until I actually began to feel physically ill.
You may read this and say, "Boy this chick has some real issues!" but for the sake of clarity and before you label me a lunatic or a manic depressant, let me explain. In a rapid sucession, I had lost one of my closest friends, my daughter-in-law's parents, both my parents, my closest cousin and then my beloved husband. The passing of these people was preceeded by their illnesses, in some cases, long term. It was like the rug was pulled out from under me and I was left standing in the midst of uncertainty. Now don't get me wrong, I knew God was with me, and that He loved me very, very much, but let's just say that I felt "whupped". (smile)
It was not long after this and during the process of my emotional healing journey that the situation that I mentioned above came into play. I had worked myself into such a worry about my family member until I could not see straight...until the Lord spoke to me that "you are only responsible for the choices that you make". simple yet so powerful to me.
I was worrying about something that I had nothing to do with. When we make decisions (right or wrong)then we become responsible for whatever consequences come from it. But we cannot take that responsibilty from another adult. If they decide to do something, even after they have been warned, then they are saying I accept whatever may come of this.
A good example of this is I Samuel 8 and 9. The people wanted a king, God warned them, but they insisted on getting a king; so bascially God gave them what they wanted. And we know the rest of the story about King Saul.
I had to learn through those simple words spoken to me that day that God will allow us to make wrong decisions. So I have to allow those that I love to do the same. God in His love and mercy is always there waiting to "pick up the pieces" of our bad consequences. And so instead of worrying about other people's choices, I should pray that God will give them wisdom and leave the rest to Him. Letting go can be so very hard but aaahh I feel so much better now...