The Unpacking of My Heart Continues Volume 3: Jesus Does not Discard People But He Does Discard Evil
Hello everyone! I have missed my blogging! I hope all of my readers had a great Thanksgiving! I was traveling last week and catching up this week. I wanted to pen one blog before the week was out. The Lord has given me several other great ideas and I can’t wait to share them with you! Today I want to do the last in a series of blogs, for now anyway, that have opened the door to much heart work in my life. I was thinking about today’s topic on a flight last week actually. Traveling alone has its definite advantages.
Jesus never discarded anyone. He gave them choices and they chose what they wanted to do. He was there if they wanted to follow him and he loved them but he never forced anyone to do anything. A perfect example of this is the rich young ruler who had the chance to follow him but chose his riches over Jesus (Luke 18:18-30). He also never perpetuated evil – read the story of the demoniac of the Gerasene tombs in Mark Chapter 5 if you don’t believe me. I will explain more about this further into my blog post. Keep reading.
As I was thinking about these truths, I had to ask myself; have you discarded anyone? Have you followed Jesus’ example or made up your own way of dealing with people as you’ve gone along? I can tell you that I arrived at a yes and no answer. Yes, in the past, I probably have discarded people who needed my love not my judgement in my less mature mindset at the time – I could be particularly harsh in my younger years, something I’m not proud of. I also had less life experience and thought I knew more than I really did – the only person I fooled was myself. Can anyone else say they have been here?
Yet, the answer is also no, I have not discarded people, particularly in more recent years as I have matured both in my thinking and in knowing and understanding Jesus and how he dealt with difficult people and with evil. I have not discarded them, I have simply let them make their choices as He did – even if those choices meant I had to move in the opposite direction from them. Sometimes they have moved in the opposite direction from me. I let people make their choices. If they choose to be a positive force in my life and someone I can trust as well as someone who can build me up and love me for me; then they get to stay in my life. If they choose to be a negative or abusive force, if they are untrustworthy, a liar, and/or someone who can’t build me up or what I like to call a controller/manipulator – they get to exit my life. Why? All of those negative things I just mentioned perpetuate evil and if there is one thing Jesus did not do, it was perpetuate evil. He stopped evil in its tracks. I refuse to perpetuate or enable evil in any relationship, whether that be marital, friendship, or professional. Two things Jesus did in Mark Chapter 5 with the demoniac are: 1) He determined what was going on quickly and called it out, 2) He did not have a long conversation nor give an inch so that evil could have the upper hand. In doing these two things, He set the demoniac free from his spiritual oppressors. This is what we also must do, not only with spiritual oppression, but with oppression brought on by other people. In doing so, you are not discarding anyone, you are discarding the evil they choose to perpetuate and if that means they leave too, well then, so be it. They get to make their choice. You must make your choice. We are never responsible for the choices of others, only our own choices. We must never perpetuate or enable evil in our lives, it only leads to more heartache and further damage to our soul.
I invite you to examine those in your circle. What are they perpetuating in your life? Is it love, peace, joy, encouragement and hope? Is it hate, abuse, worthlessness, fear, lies, strife or pain? Once you answer those questions, you must make a choice. Do I move away from this person or keep them in my life? Please keep in mind you are not discarding people who you need distance from, you are simply increasing your distance for a time or maybe even permanently because they are not good for you or anyone else close to you. Remember, by their very actions and choices they are helping you decide what you need to do for your own mental, physical, emotional and spiritual good. We don’t make people do bad things to us or good things to us – that is what they choose to do and many times they are simply showing us who they are. Distance can be needed for safety. Letting go of certain people can be needed for safety. This does not mean you don’t love them or can’t pray for them – it simply means you won’t be able to keep them in your close circle because of their poor choices. Yes they may accuse you of “discarding” them but then again they’ve probably also accused you of other things that had no basis in reality either. They have been doing this for so long to you that they don’t know what to do when you do decide you’ve had enough. This is okay – stand your ground. You do what is best for you and you do what Jesus would do with evil – he’d kick it right on out the door.
I will conclude my thoughts today with one simple message: we are not discarding people when they are perpetuating evil in our lives and harming us either directly or indirectly – we are cleaning up and cleaning out the clutter in our lives just as Jesus did for the demoniac. And just like the demoniac was free and clothed and in his right mind at the end of that chapter, so our lives will be free and we will be able to think clearly and with the right mindset. Until next week, Elizabeth