That may sound harsh, but I think there is an unspoken issue in the body of Christ where there is a lot of manipulation and shame taking place. Now I’m not an expert on this, in fact I’m still searching this out myself. But on this slippery slope, I stand to offer some insight from my experiences and hope to help anyone who feels stuck.
When it comes to Godly relationships, I think grace is a very slippery slope. It seems simple and to the point. Jesus died so that we would have everlasting grace and forgiveness among many other things. We are supposed to mirror Christ in everything we do. So therefore we are supposed to let grace abound in our relationships. But it’s not that cut and dry. I’m not saying everyone doesn’t deserve grace, because they do. But life isn’t that uncomplicated.
Offering someone grace and forgiveness sounds great, but what do you do with the pain? How do you deal with the offense? How do you truly move on? If you have a strong relationship with God you will be able to find healing, guidance and the ability to forgive and give grace to everyone. But that doesn’t change them. It’s not our job to change others, were really supposed to focus on our own journey. It says so in Matthew 7:1-5.
1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
But even if you’re doing everything right, forgiving, extending grace and trying to move forward in the situation it still may not change. Some people and situations we deal with are toxic, unhealthy and unrepentant. Unfortunately, offering grace and forgiveness to some of these people is just a license to continue their behavior. If someone messes up, is sorry and is actively working on the issue, that’s where we extend grace and forgiveness. Because we all mess up and need a chance to get back to walking in our true identity. But grace is not extended as to enable someone to continue on with their toxic, unrepentant behavior. That’s the difference. This is not your fault, as I said you can’t change people. But it does make it really confusing and painful. As we are trying to follow God’s commands, they may not be. The bible says in Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
So you may be offering forgiveness and grace times a million, but they may still be abusing you, dishonoring you and disrespecting you. I think in the middle of trying to do what’s right and obeying God, we sometimes may feel trapped or guilted into things that are not God’s best or his desire for us. You think you’re standing strong on God’s word and doing what Jesus would do in these situations which is great, but if the situation becomes abusive, if the person is completely unrepentant after you’ve approached the person and grace and forgiveness have been given time and time again, it is toxic. And when someone is unrepentant, it’s worse. There comes a point where all the grace and forgiveness in the world won’t affect that situation or person. If they don’t think they are doing anything wrong, then nothing will change.
You cant sit in guilt over leaving the situation if it comes to that point in the name of grace and forgiveness. These harmful people may even be feeding into that feeling directly. They may even try to guilt you on purpose with it. They may say, ” If you were a real christian, you would have grace for me here and not give me a hard time about this.” But that’s just not the truth. That’s not what God wants for you. It’s not healthy. And you don’t have to stay. You shouldn’t stay. This is what the Bible says about it. 15“If your brother or sisterb sins,c go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’d 17If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.- Matthew 18:15-17
So that means you’ve done everything you could to remedy the situation. You put the effort in and did everything in your power to fix it, offering grace and forgiveness the whole way. But God says, treat them as you would a pagan or tax collector. Which means get away from them. Nothing good can come from it. You did what you could.
Each situation is different and you have to be led by the Holy Spirit when it comes to the details of your specific situation and the appropriate way to deal with it. But just like when we sin, were forgiven but we grieve God’s heart. Were falling short of our identity in Christ. So when someone sins against us, they are dishonoring us, disrespecting us and obviously not fully walking in who they are in Christ. Grace is a gift. Not an obligation. Not a heavy burden. We are supposed to extend grace and forgiveness to everyone, but it doesn’t mean we stay in a really bad situation over it. It doesn’t mean we get abused or repeatedly mistreated in the name of being a perfect christian. Do you really think he wants that for you?
You can extend those things to someone, and then walk away. You don’t even need to be in the presence of someone to forgive them. It’s more for you than them anyway. It’s between you and God. It’s to set you free from the enemy’s grip and move forward in your life without it holding you back, making you bitter, angry and unrepentant yourself. So if everything in your gut is telling you to walk away, but out of guilt you continue to stay to “be the good christian”, then that’s the enemy. God doesn’t want us in bondage. He doesn’t call us to serve him out of a place of fear or guilt. Many times we have to serve Him out of a place of sacrifice or trust, but that’s for our own growth and advancement and is completely different. Serving Him is supposed to come from a place of love, joy and your royal identity.
So rest assured, that if your’e in a bad situation or even a rough patch in life, God did not bring that upon you. Nothing bad comes from God. The enemy sends the storms, but the lord provides the rain gear.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.- Romans 8:28
The Lord will use that trip up from the enemy to advance you! He will grow you and equip you! He will make sure you come out the other side better than you went in. He will not let that situation be in vain. It will not be a wasted opportunity. So trust that no matter how hard a situation may seem, whether you’re fighting constantly with your parents, a friend is being less than a friend or you are taken advantage of and unappreciated at work, God can make it right if you let him. Take his leading. He can make a way. He always will. And even when we mess up, get mad, or treat someone badly He has grace for us and wants to call us back to who we really are.
So if you’ve done all you could to make amends with someone and the Lord is leading you, let go. Don’t let it damage you and make you jaded and bitter. Pray for them, forgive them and move on.The Lord has something of value to you coming out of it. He has something better waiting on the other side. ❤ ❤ ❤
I hope this message helped you and gave you some good insight to chew on.
Until next time,