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How do we really know if a relationship is requiring too much of us...?

Overweight Relationships (Part 3)

Question of The Week: How do we really know if a relationship is requiring too much of us, or if we just don’t want to carry our weight in the relationship?

God never intended for any single person to be everything for someone else. Whether in a personal, professional or civic relationship, it is simply unrealistic to expect one person to be all and provide everything. Whenever one person is too heavily depended upon, the weight of responsibility on that individual is over the limit of practical human expectation. This is what I call an “overweight relationship”.

Some leaders and supervisors are guilty of creating overweight relationships among their teams and within their organization or ministry. These would be the leaders who continue to ask the same person(s) to handle more and more tasks because they often say “yes” with little to no resistance, or because they have such great skill sets. After a while, sometimes sooner than later, those willing and able workers become burnt-out, frustrated and pull away from doing anything at all (preoccupy their calendars to ensure they are unavailable, tender their resignations, etc.). Although it may seem obvious, the “ounce of prevention” is for leaders to maximize the efforts of all of their team members (Ephesians 4:7-16, 1 Corinthians 12:4-31), and to develop those whose skills may be lacking so that they can carry their weight with the team (Matthew 17:14-21, Luke 11:1-13, Matthew 26:36-41).

There are those who may find someone trying to be everything for and to them.

Whenever you see this, take caution. And most definitely do not allow it. Sometimes, this seemingly generous offer of personal sacrifice comes with some serious strings attached. Sometimes, the person is well-meaning but simply lack the understanding of a healthy relationship. Listen, never put all of your eggs in one basket. Never set yourself up for the eventual disappointment of discovering how impossible it is for one person to meet all of or even most of your needs. In fact, if they persist with this relationship approach - leave them alone and move on to healthier relationships.


- Are there any exceptions or limitations to Romans 15:1-3?

- How do we appropriately handle “overweight relationships” in the workplace? at church?

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