Choosing to Walk Away

by | Jul 23, 2012 | Encouragement

Hurting people hurt people

I’ve said it before, and I’m reminded of it again today…hurting people hurt people.

I gave the sermon at a local Presbyterian church yesterday morning. As I spoke on God’s love and loving others unconditionally, it brought back a painful memory of a person from my past to the forefront of my mind.

This friend in my life that was a hurting soul. On the outside looked like he/she had it all together and seemed to be pleasant to everyone. But after getting to know this person better, I found out just how hurt and miserable he/she was as I watched this person try to make my life miserable as well.

Displays of anger, manipulation, trying to make me feel guilty or have feelings that I just couldn’t measure up for this person was an often occurrence. I felt the only thing I could do…and the most healthy thing…was to simply walk away from this person and from the friendship we shared.

And so I did.

That may sound harsh. Especially just after giving a message on unconditional love yesterday. I wish I could go back to that church this morning and give an addendum. I’d like to add something to the fact that we are still called to love those who hurt us, but we don’t have to keep letting them do it. We can choose to walk away…and sometimes that’s showing love in itself.

I have continued to pray for this person, as I know only God can heal this person’s heart and life. Through time I have forgiven this person for the hurt that I experienced through our friendship. And I can still choose to love this person…but I’ll do it from afar. I didn’t need to continue to subject myself to the unhealthy treatment from him/her. And I know it was the right move, as I have a whole lot more peace in my life today.

I think it’s important to do everything we can to reach out to those who are hurting. Sometimes we are the ones called to show those who are hurting the love of Jesus.

In scripture however, we also read Jesus’ teaching…”If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” (Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11 & Luke 9:5)

It’s okay to walk away sometimes. It’s okay to leave the seeds that God planted through you in a particular person, and allow Him to bring someone else along to water those seeds. And I firmly believe, if God doesn’t want you to walk away, you’ll know it. And if He is calling you to walk away, He’ll reveal that to you too.

Maybe God will cross our paths again some day. Maybe He won’t. God always has a way of making things work out for His glory.

After time has passed, I can say I’m thankful that this person was a part of my life, and I learned much through our friendship…both good and bad. God has taken the bitterness and the hurt out of my heart, and has replaced it with love for this person. What a great God we have! And if you’re struggling in a similar type of relationship in your life, I hope this somehow encourages you!

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