I’ve been noticing a lot lately how many people are pushing others away from their lives. They determine that they have no need of certain people. So they eliminate these people’s ability to be able to be a part of their lives any longer. It’s their way of erasing people —at least certain ones, from any interaction, what-so-ever. They don’t need them, like them, and/or love them any longer, so they’re out! They turn their backs to them as if they no longer exist.
I’ve been watching spouses dump out of marriages with the (now common) excuse “I love you, but I am not IN LOVE with you.” So they justify leaving them. Then they push their spouse entirely out of their life. They then build a new life so the “in love” feeling is able to spark anew with someone else. Forget the broken vows, and broken hearts they leave behind. And forget the broken, and confused children, other family members and friends that are forced to struggle to make sense of it all. But as they often say, “God wouldn’t want me to be unhappy.” It’s amazing that somehow they don’t connect the dots that now THESE people are unhappy. Does God only want the one person happy, but the rest don’t matter?
I’ve been watching families and friends splitting apart because certain “members” don’t feel the same love, and/or commonality for each other as they once did. They claim that they “grew apart.” So they push away parents, siblings, other family members, friends, or whoever they don’t want in their lives anymore. They then say, “it will be best for all if we split.” This is posed as if it’s the “kind” thing to do. Hmmm… where do we go to vote on what’s best for “all” and what’s TRULY the “kind” thing to do? Obviously, no where, because it’s being done regardless.
In this blog, I just want to bring this to the forefront. I don’t think much light is being brought to focus on this newer “happening” that I’m seeing happen lately.
Erasing People Isn’t Entirely New
Sure, families have broken up through the centuries. And sure, there are some people we need to back away from because of their toxicity and their abusive ways. But I’m talking about this happening in epidemic numbers to good families. These are good people who WANT to work out the conflicting issues in their lives together. And yet they aren’t given the chance. NOPE! One person decides for all. And everyone else has to pick up the pieces. This one person has decided that the task of tolerating or reconciling their differences, isn’t worth it to them. So that’s that! That person is erased as if they don’t exist.
And what’s REALLY distressing is that many of these people say that they are “Christians.” They believe that God is supporting them in this decision. This is happening even though it doesn’t line up scripturally in any way. It is like they believe that God has written a new rule for them. It may not be for anyone else, but it is for them.
This really hit me as I was reading the scripture in John 17:21-23. It’s where Jesus is praying to our Heavenly Father:
“…that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.“
The Mission of Working Through Differences
What that tells me is that God desires that we “become one” as Believers. We are to work THROUGH our differences. We are to persevere as we’re told to do in the Bible. (See James 5:3-4 and Romans 5:3-4.) This is ESPECIALLY true as it pertains to marriage where we’re told to “cleave together as one.”
If we don’t apply tenaciousness in persevering through our differences, we aren’t following God’s commands. And if we aren’t working together “to love as we are loved” in all our ugliness and sin, giving grace as God gives us grace, then we can’t call ourselves followers of Christ. That is because we aren’t following the ways of Christ. We’re doing our thing, not His.
God KNOWS it is tough for us to love others. I’m sure it is tough for Him to love us many, many times. But He tells us to tough it out anyway so we reflect the “oneness” and love that He wants the world to experience. We are His witnesses of His love for everyone. He wants to give to them love and grace, just as He has given it to us. We are to be a living picture of that love.
Erasing People Does Not Extend Grace
But what happens when we go off dumping and erasing one another? What happens when we are seeking an ever-changing “happiness” and the FEELING of love? Just what does that tell those who are witnessing our words and our actions? We call ourselves “followers” of Jesus Christ, and yet we do these things. Won’t that bring up questions in their minds as we erase, dump, and seek feelings? Won’t they question, “Just who is this Jesus, anyway? Is He credible if His followers do the opposite of who He is?”
Yes He is, DESPITE those who abuse His grace; He IS credible. That is a fact, despite the abuses of HIs followers.
When we “fall out of love” or when we aren’t feeling the love we believe we should for others, it takes real faith in God to stay faithful. It takes the application of perseverance and tenacity not to give up doing things God’s way.
We’re told in James 1:2-4, to “know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness [or perseverance]. And let steadfastness [or perseverance] have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Persevering Is Painful
I won’t lie; I don’t like persevering. Usually it means that I will have to step outside of my comfort zone. I will have to do that, which I don’t want to do, more often I would ever want. But I know it’s the right thing to do. I want to reveal and reflect the love of God continually as a follower of Christ. And even when that means that I have to stretch and grow farther than I think I should, then so be it. I will.
Jesus did that for me, and He did that for you. He didn’t pursue His happiness, when He came to this garbage pit called Earth (in comparison to the beauty of Heaven). And He didn’t pursue His will or pleasure when He died on the cross for my sin, and for yours. So why can’t I stretch outside of my comfort zone? Why can’t I allow the Lord to love through me as He shows me to those I don’t want to?
Prayerful Questions and Challenges
So, let me ask you this (as I have asked myself). Are you trying to erase people from your life that God would not want you to? I’m talking about erasing a spouse, or a family member, or someone else. These are people that God wants YOU to show His love to, even if that love isn’t reciprocated. Think about it. I’m not talking about abusive situations, but rather ones in which the “feeling” may not be there for them right now. After all, God’s name means LOVE. Who better to teach you to love than God, Himself?
Think about it… pray about it. I am. Won’t you join me? And even if you’re not having a problem in this area of life, is there someone God may want you to talk to about this issue? Again, think about it… pray about it. Together, we CAN make a difference if we allow God’s Light to shine through!
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.