I know there’s another blog post on here somewhere about this particular topic. I’ve been just outside of a couple of interpersonal skirmishes lately that have got me thinking about it again.
I’m not trying to call anybody out and I’m not trying to passive-aggressively correct anybody. Frankly, neither of the situations have much, if anything to do with me, and I really doubt that anybody in those situations will end up reading these words anyway.
Nobody really likes to talk about it; unless you’re talking about somebody else’s vice. Of course, talking about somebody else’s sin makes one feel judgmental or hypocritical, thereby exposing oneself to further scrutiny. Because of this, even the concept seems to have been obscured a bit. It’s often difficult to discern at times, especially when pride, preferences, and personal convictions collide in the real world.
This is my own indicator: Anything that causes separation is suspect. Does a personal conviction cause the breaking of fellowship with friends? family? church? workplace? God?
Sometimes breaking fellowship is necessary. Even if there is sin involved. A physically/emotionally/spiritually abused/exploited spouse/lover/friend/church member/kin needs to get the hell out of there. This, not only for their own well being, but for education/edification/correction of the abuser/exploiter. It may not change the abuser/exploiter’s ways, but hopefully it will be a hint along the way of the need for better interpersonal interaction. Spiritual/emotional bullies need to hear (sometimes repeatedly) that they will not be allowed to continue to be so.
But if you find yourself moving out of every relationship, maybe it’s time to consider the common denominator. When conflict causes relationship stresses involving family, whether within, or your family’s relationship to others, motivations need to be scrutinized that much more meticulously. You are not your own.
No matter how justified or persecuted you feel, no matter how you consider yourself a prophet or spiritually gifted with discernment, the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control+ couple more: grace and forgiveness) trump personal convictions and preferences every time. If not, then you need to deal with the other P: pride.
And she’s a bitch.
Pride is a bitch because she tells you that you don’t need anybody. You don’t need that wife that’s always nagging you. You don’t need that parent that keeps meddling in your life. You don’t need that church that is unwilling to change for your personal revelation. You don’t need that job that doesn’t appreciate your hard work and dedication appropriately. You don’t need that fair-weather friend that only communicates when he/she wants something from you. All you need is her. Your pride. Your dignity. Your convictions.
But when you’re left with only her, she’s still a bitch. She’s frigid cold, but she’ll burn you up.
We were not made to experience life alone.
January 10, 2012 at 6:25 pm
In defense of moving out of relationships (and to play devil’s advocate), what about pulling out somewhat temporarily when you know that hanging around is going to be destructive, or more accurately, when you know you’re going to do something stupid, counterproductive and, well, sinful.
So instead, you disappear for a while to give yourself a chance to cool off.
January 11, 2012 at 5:03 am
I’d definitely go along with that, of course the difficulty is recognizing that point where you need to step away before you’ve done something destructive and causing the relationship to be irreparable. If we’re talking true relationships (as opposed to say like a job), hopefully truly burning bridges would be a harder thing to do. However, in the process of stepping away, one’s actions can often create such a mess and spectacle that the swallowing of pride and admission of guilt can eventually become that much more difficult hindrance to eventual reconciliation.