People are always coming into and out of our lives. Some come with the wrong motives, some are good-willed. When people walk away, it is very tempting to cling on and try to hold on. It is easier to hold on than to let go. It is easier to try to explain away everything, it is easier to even accept other people’s mistakes as our own just for the sake of holding on. It is easy to allow ourselves to be mistreated and abused by people who are trying to leave because we are holding on to them.
When people are trying to leave, they most of the time turn into something we would never have imagined. We come to realize most of the time people live a lie, projecting an external image of perfection when their hearts are far away from any form of godliness.
It hurts when people walk away, yet still, it hurts more when people mistreat you in the process of leaving. To those leaving, they lie to themselves that they have nothing to lose so they can do and say whatever they want. Filthy ugly words come out of some people’s mouths when they are leaving, they try to do all the damage humanly possible to the other person. They will demean the other person, they will call them names, some even turn physically abusive. The fallen human nature manifests itself to its fullest.
A heart not submitted to God reveals itself through words spoken and actions done. Those who were living a life of hypocrisy now have nothing to pretend about, their masks fall off. Those who were trying to lure you with sweet words and actions now turn ugly. Everything disintegrates. Most people are watching out for themselves and they will do anything to maintain their image even if it involves doing a lot of harm to the other person.
There are those who leave without a word, you know, they just disappear. There are those who were after something but as soon as they get that something they are nowhere to be seen. There are those who walk away at the slightest offense. There are those who walk away with genuine reasons. There are those who walk away but still treat the other person with love.
It is possible to live with a person for years and never really know them because they have put on a perfect mask; they do what you expect them to do and say all the right words, but when something goes wrong they will walk away spreading lies about you. In an effort to preserve their ego, most people will present themselves as the ones who were right and the other person in the wrong. People rarely own up to their mistakes or shortcomings. People do not want to become vulnerable, and as a result, many people are deceived in the process.
Only the Holy Spirit can help us discern.
You shall know them by their fruit! That is what the Word of God tells us. Let us guard our hearts at all times. Let us pray for God to reveal to us the intentions of those who approach us and those around us. We are to love one another. However, loving one another does not involve putting ourselves in harm’s way. We can love others but still establish firm boundaries.
A tree is known by its fruits. When a person’s words and actions are in conflict, when a person mentions scripture but their words and actions do not align, when a person goes against the Word of God or tries to lead you away from God, never compromise. We are called to be wise, see people as they really are, not in unrighteous judgment, but in a way that will help us make wise choices. We are not to do everything and say everything the other person wants just to retain them in our lives. If it involves compromise, it is never worth it and it is poison to the soul.
Fear makes us hold on, fear makes us cling; fear of the future, fear of being alone, fear of not finding someone else, fear of losing a job, fear of what people will say, fear of what the person will think of us. When we live in fear, it is hard to be ourselves, it is hard to live a life pleasing to God if we are always worried about what people will say or think. People will never be satisfied. You may end up selling your soul to the devil in an effort to be a people-pleaser if you are not careful.
We will end up robbing ourselves of what God has planned for us if we are trying to hold on to people who are on their way out.
Sometimes, God will drive the wrong people out of our lives through various events and circumstances; such people will go away running. God knows best. If some people in our lives are leading us away from God, if God has called us for a greater purpose, if what God wants to do in our lives cannot be accomplished while the other person is there, when the other person is a barrier; God will work a way out. Let us always be so close to God to the extent that we can follow His lead, be close enough so that we can hear what He is telling us.
Some people will come into your life for selfish reasons, they want to fulfill their desires, they will use your life to advance themselves and to build up their ego, they can be there even for decades. Some people’s presence in our lives can lead to spiritual death in us; when someone is always abusive, always putting you down, always demeaning you, always making demands in a dictatorship kind of way, telling you to do things you do not want to, telling you to say things you do not want to, expecting you to carry yourself in a way that is out of your character, telling you to do things that are sinful; if you go along with such, one day you will wake up to find that you no longer recognize yourself, you will wake up to find you no longer have a relationship with God, you will wake up to find yourself a bitter, angry, depressed person.
We are not meant to stay with people who are not good for us. We are not meant to stay with people who are slowly making us die inside. We are not to hold on to people who have rejected God as evidenced by their words and actions. We are to let go and let God take over. We should not cling to people who are walking away. We will not find comfort in people, we only find comfort in God. God is our comforter. We are to cling to God.
People will never fill us; we are to love them but not turn them into an idol. We should not stay with people who are harming us in any way, we are to let them go. Even if a person was good to us but they reach a point where they want to leave, we are to let them go in love. Holding on is damaging to our health.
In His timing, God will bring the right people into our lives.
Forgiveness during such situations is vital. When someone has betrayed us, when someone has gone against us, when someone has hurt us deeply; forgiveness is the power we have in our hands. Forgiveness does not mean that they were right, it means we release ourselves from carrying burdens. We release them from our hearts; out of a tender heart, forgiveness emanates. Forgiveness is an act of mercy. We have been forgiven much by Christ, and because of that, we are to forgive much.
Forgiveness frees our souls. Letting go frees us.
The Bible tells us to set our minds on things above and not on earthly things. When we know why we are here on this earth, we will not hold on to things, we will not hold on to what people said or did, we will not hold on to how much people have hurt us. We are to hold things of the world loose.
If a person is interfering with our walk with God, if a person is pulling us down, we are to love them but let them go. We are to be focused on God at all times lest we stumble and fall.
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or to the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:25-27.
Never return evil with evil, bless those who curse you, allow those who want to walk away to walk away, never go spreading false information about them, never go talking about them and painting a bad image about them; instead, pray for them. Pray for those who persecute you.
We are to trust in God only, not man. When you trust in man, man will take advantage. They will walk away when you most need them, they will turn on you, they will boast that they are the ones who helped you out. Instead, put your trust in God; when He opens doors, no man can close and no man can take the glory. When we trust God, we are at peace, we know all things will work out for good to those who love God.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. Isaiah 26:3.
God is our refuge. He is our promise-keeper. He does what He says He will do. He is ever-present, He never walks away. We can count on God to be there for us every moment of every day in Christ Jesus. Nothing can compare to what God has in store for those who love Him.
We are to keep our hearts focused on God at all times. Nothing in this world is more important than God. Never make people an idol; love people but do not idolize them. Letting go is a strength rather than a weakness; it involves a willingness to face our fears. Letting go involves a willingness to venture out with God on our side. It involves risking being lonely for a season but be right with God. We press forward.
Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14.
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