*CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST
- Love is unselfishly seeking the best or higher good for someone and this can be done from a distance. You can wish them God’s blessings and peace rather than evil and that is love. Praying for someone is a sign of love. You must not date or marry someone to prove that you love the person.
- Sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone you love is to distance yourself from them. If you are still close to them, they may never realize their faults/weaknesses and may never realize the need to work on them. But your absence could be an eye opener for them, motivating them to work on themselves and become better.
- Forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing. You can choose to forgive someone without rebuilding the friendship or relationship. Rebuilding a friendship is not a proof of forgiveness. You can forgive someone and choose not to remain friends with them or stay in contact with them.
- “Turning the other cheek” towards someone that slaps your right cheek simply means to ignore insignificant insults or trivial losses rather than retaliate or revenge. It doesn’t mean you should stay in an abusive relationship.
- The Bible tells us to try as much as possible to live at peace with each other. It doesn’t necessarily mean be friends with everyone. I can be at peace with you but I don’t communicate with you and I’m not your friend.
- You need to lose some people’s number forever. Some people’s contact need to be blocked forever. You need to end some friendships forever. You need to walk away from some people, in fact run from them and never look back for your own good; just as Lot and his family were told in Genesis 19:17; “Run for your lives! Don’t look back and don’t stop in the valley. Run to the hills, so that you won’t be killed.” (GNB).
This doesn’t mean you should cut all ties with everyone or go about ending friendships and relationships as you like or whenever you feel like doing so. You need wisdom and a discerning spirit from God to know when to stay and when to walk away.
- There are certain friendships, relationships and associations that are a weight and burden pulling us down into sin and preventing us from moving forward and growing in Christ. And so, in order to grow and make forward in Christ, we need to distance ourselves from them.
Matthew 5:29 says, “If your right eye makes you stumble and leads you to sin, tear it out and throw it away [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (AMP).
I’ll rephrase it; if your friend makes you stumble and leads you to sin, remove yourself from the source of temptation [that is distance yourself from the person]; for it is better to lose one friend, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
- In Acts 16:6-7, the Holy Spirit did not permit the apostles to preach the message in certain regions.
Sometimes, we feel that we must be friends with and associate with everyone and preach to everyone that we meet. Yes, we are commanded to preach the message of Jesus Christ to all peoples but we must first be led by the Holy Spirit. What’s the effect of preaching without the presence of the Holy Spirit?
This doesn’t mean that God wants anyone to perish. God doesn’t want anyone to perish; but His ways and plans are different from ours. Sometimes, you don’t even need to come in contact with a person to pass the message of Jesus Christ to them. You can lead someone to Christ by praying for them from a distance or by the way you live.
And God may not permit you to preach to a person because He wants to use someone else to do so or He wants to use another means to do so all for His glory. We should allow the Holy Spirit to lead and direct our lives and we must obey God.
- In 1 Samuel 15, God commanded Saul to completely destroy everything that the Amalekites had and not spare them but kill man and woman, child and infants, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.
Saul totally destroyed all the people with the sword but spared Agag the king of the Amalekites. He also spared the best of the sheep, the oxen and the fatlings, the lambs, and everything that was good. Saul and the people were not willing to destroy them entirely but they completely destroyed everything that was undesirable and worthless.
When God commands us to move away from a place or completely let go or cut all ties with a person, we should not preserve or hold unto the ones we feel are good while letting go of the ones that we feel are undesirable or worthless.
A person or thing may look good to us but in God’s sight, they are not good for us and God expects us to obey Him without trying to reason things out. Don’t try to assume that something is good and approve it when God has disapproved it. God may approve that person/thing for someone else, but if He has disapproved it for you, let it go and obey Him.
- In 1 Samuel 15:21, Saul told Samuel that he spared the best of the things that were to be totally destroyed to sacrifice to the Lord but that is not what God commanded him to do. God did not ask for a sacrifice, He was interested in Saul’s obedience.
God expects the same from us, He wants our obedience not our sacrifice.
Are you holding unto a friendship or relationship because you feel that you want to use it to give glory to God? Maybe you feel that you can use it to lead people to Christ and win souls for God but is that what God asked of you?
The thing that brings glory to God is not your efforts, good works, hard work or sacrifice but your obedience. Sometimes God may not even want you let go of that person or thing, He only wants to know if you’re willing to obey Him.
13. For those that say that Jesus was a friend to sinners so we should be friends with everybody; Proverbs 12:26 says, “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” (NIV). “Choose” means to select a few out of a number. And so, this implies that everyone can’t be your friend. You need to choose your friends carefully.
14. There are some things that Jesus has already done that we don’t need to do. Jesus Christ died for sinners and no matter how much you love a person, you will be wasting your time if you die for them saying you’re following Jesus’ example. Jesus died for sinners and brought salvation to us but you are not Jesus and no matter how much you love a person, and no matter your level of spirituality, you can never save or convert anybody. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts people of their sin and makes them to change; it is not by being friends, dating or marrying a person. There’s a possibility that they will change when you marry them but it is not a guarantee and it is definitely not a risk worth taking.
They may say, “If you’re a Christian, you will stand by them and pray for them even if they are abusing you.” “If you are a Christian, you will not end the relationship but love them like Christ loves you and pray for their salvation.” “If you’re a Christian, even if he physically abuses you, you’ll not quit the relationship but forgive him and turn the other cheek like Jesus said you should do.
Don’t let anyone use your identity in Christ to manipulate you to give in to temptation or to remain in an abusive and toxic relationship
15. You may say; “I don’t want to hurt his feelings,” “How will she feel if I cut all ties with her?” “I’ll hurt him if I break up with him and I love him, I can’t stand to see him hurt.”
Well, my dear friends, it is good to be considerate of people’s feelings; it is good to make others happy and put their feelings above yours. But there should be a limit. You can’t please everyone all the time. Don’t put the feelings of others above yours at the expense of your peace of mind, safety, well-being [emotional, mental, financial, and physical]; and above all don’t put the feelings of others above yours at the expense of your soul and eternal life.
16.Loving your neighbour as yourself does not mean you should stay in an abusive relationship; and walking away from a toxic and abusive person does not mean you are judging or condemning the person neither does it mean you hate them.
The summary of it all is, YOU CAN LOVE SOMEONE FROM A DISTANCE.