I want to tie today's blog in with Tuesday's blog, Better Together? That Depends on the Condition of Together.
Have you ever been given false hope as it relates to a relationship? By that I mean has someone ever told you to stay with someone "to make it work" because "God hates this or that?" Or have they told you, "it will work out, just keep trying or loving them"?
Now I will start by saying some of these things may be well intentioned or they may come as a result of someone who feels you should care about their opinion. To the latter, I say no, do not care about their opinion. They are neither in your situation nor having to deal with the fallout. As to well intentions, I say consider if this person is somone who cares about you or someone who is a total stranger and go from there in your response. I have even said things with good intentions and messed that up royally.
I am here to tell you that giving someone false hope does not work, particularly if they are in a really bad situation such as an abusive relationship. As I said on Tuesday, "better together" depends on the condition of "together." If "together" is dangerous or unhealthy, telling them it will "work out" or they should "do more" or "try harder" does not give them hope, it can actually make them hopeless and keep them in a very dangerous, evil situation. Also, using the Bible to back this false hope borders on religious manipulation, something the Bible was never intended for and something I personally won't tolerate.
I want to encourage you to guard against giving false hope - it does more harm than good. Let God work out what he needs to say to someone or show them about their situation. I promise you He is quite good at communicating, sometimes we humans are not so good. He communicates much better about what He hates than we do as well.
If you want to give someone real hope, and I believe most of us do, just listen and pray with them. Do not offer advice unless asked and do not throw Bible verses or do's and don'ts at them. And most importantly, love them where they are! Love is the greatest hope of all! Love gives real hope!
Remember, not all things work out because not everyone wants them worked out and that really is okay. We all get our choices. False hope implies choices don't matter and that everyone will change. I can promise you they won't and choices do matter!
I implore you to give Jesus's hope and love instead! People will appreciate it and be more open to what you have to say.
Always giving His hope,