The battle is on as soon as I say, “It’s time to roll!” and my kid giants screaming stampede me before I make it out the front door, “I call SHOTGUN!”

Really?  Are you serious? Ugh the joys of being a mom! (I love it)

The “riding shotgun battle” got me to thinking about who do I have, other than God, riding beside me everyday at any given moment.

When the struggles come, when the waves are crashing in around me, when I’ve only got two dollars to rub together, when I’ve got the worst case of an attitude – who is there to keep me in check?

  • Is the person beside me encouraging me to live my life on purpose for a purpose?
  • Is this person speaking truth to me even when I don’t want to hear it?
  • Is this person praying for me, praying with me?
  • Is this person in it for the long haul when I am nasty, torn apart, oozing with ungratefulness, resentment, anger, and unkindness?
  • Does this person forgive me for ‘me’ and still continue to love me unconditionally?
  • Does this person respect my boundaries regarding my relationship with Christ, my marriage, my parenting, my dreams, and my life’s purpose?
  • Is this person going to help me get to where I need to go or are they going to be the one thing that holds me back?
  • Are they going to demand more of my time and tear me away from those that next to Christ are my first priority?

Some things to think about . . . you think?

If there is one thing I have learned it is that God places people in your life to encourage you, support you, speak truth to you – “get in your chili”, and pray for you.  These are the people who speak LIFE to your life’s purpose and do not drain it, swallow it up, or try to control you or your calling.

Then there are those that are sent to you to strengthen your character, show you some issues you have to deal with, and cause you to grow – no matter how prickly it might feel.

I have been in many relationships.  Most of them I still enjoy through years of iron sharpening iron.  Although there are those relationships that I have blindly allowed to influence my life in a negative way.

  • The controlling friend
  • The jealous friend
  • The needy friend
  • The lying and cheating friend
  • The manipulative friend
  • The religous legalistic friend

Each has wrecked havoc upon my relationship with Christ, my marriage, and my relationship with my children doing a number on my emotions and well-being.  Yes, I allowed it to happen.

Why?  Because I did not know what boundaries were when it came to relationships outside of my love relationship with Christ, my spouse, and my kids.

These types of negative relationships will dry you up all the while believing permission has been granted and you are enjoying the ride.  Then they will spit you out the minute your focus becomes clear and all is in plain sight.

Am I speaking to anyone?  So, how do you shift out of a negative relationship and into a positive one?

Boundaries.  Love. Boundaries. Love and Forgiveness.

Boundaries and a lot more love for God’s people.

Why?  Because we are all  B R O K E N. 

We all need grace, mercy, and forgiveness.  We all need to be reminded that God loves the controlling one, the manipulating one, the cheating and lying one, and the needy one most of all.

We are all needy.  Needy of a Savior who loves us for who we are and accepts us just they way we are.

My question to you today and the days that will follow –

Who are you allowing to ride ‘shotgun’ in your life? Is that person a support, an encouragement, or is it someone who holds you back from being who you are meant to be?

Does that person pray for you with your interests at heart, not their own?

Keep this in mind in the days ahead –  

Relationships are vital in pursuing our dreams, our purpose for life, and having an overall sense of well being.  There is strength in numbers.  We just have to make sure those we are intertwined with are positive life givers not soul suckers.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 “And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him.  A threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

 We must first come to the realization that there are some things in our lives that we will not be able to change on our own.

 Who do have riding shotgun in your life?

All Brake 5 Blogs and written works by Jennifer Goodson are Copyright © 2008-2014.  All Rights Reserved.

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