[…for everything you do flows from it.]
Loss is hard. Things have changed. Things are always changing. So what’s the big deal, right?
In the last two years I’ve lost three close friends; Two of them passed away, and one friendship had changed in a way that was no longer positive: we kept butting heads.
I’m still trying to process what went wrong and how I could have handled things differently, but for the sake of peace we agreed to part company. I don’t do well with human losses. Especially close ties.
Lord, help me to be like Job and say…
“….The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” –Job 1:21
(All pics in this post courtesy of Pixabay.com)
This wasn’t the only tie that was cut; I also cut email communications with someone who I was certain wasn’t going to be good for me. We were too far apart in our thinking. I would’ve loved to have been friends, but I’m very protective of the people around me. This makes me very careful about who I choose to associate with closely.
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” –Proverbs 12:26
Bad company does ruin good morals. (1 Corinthians 15:33) Here Paul was speaking of close contact with false teachers who were negatively influencing the Corinthians thinking. However, we also have to be careful of fellow Christians who cling to their sin. It’s better to pray for such a person while keeping our distance than to be influenced by their behavior.
We’re also advised to have nothing to do with certain types of individuals (Titus 3:9-11, 2 Timothy 3:1-9), and we’re taught that believers cannot form close intimate bonds with those who don’t belong to God. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) It just doesn’t work. We risk being polluted by their way of thinking. Often, however, they simply won’t let us too close to them because of the things that we believe.
As I get very attached to people, I take loss hard. I just love to love. When I originally wrote this piece I assumed it was a nurturing instinct and that my friends become my family because I don’t have a family of my own. Maybe that’s part of it, however, after doing a bit of digging, I’m doing a rethink.
Instinct or Fruit of the Spirit?
Looking back I never became this attached or involved, but then I also struggled much more with social anxiety. I was far more comfortable doing my own thing. Of course I’d still get lonely. No one is meant to be an island. We don’t do so well when we aren’t plugged into a reliable community. We need those close ties, encouragement and wise counsel. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
If my drive to love and nurture was never this strong, then this isn’t purely instinct; It’s something that’s grown in me as the Lord has drawn me closer to Him. Love–the way that God loves–is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)
“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.” — 1 Thessalonians 3:12
Truth be told, I frequently find myself feeling quite melancholy. I’m still grieving those losses. However, I’m also aiming to NOT be so heavily involved in my friends lives. (The reason for this will be explained in a future post.)
I know that these adjustments will be good for me, but change is hard, and no discipline feels good at the time. It really doesn’t. (Hebrews 12:11)
Final Words: Defeat Evil
While I’m glad to know that things are growing in me as they should be, the devil can easily use our softening hearts against us. Because of my losses I know that I’m in a vulnerable place. As he ups his game plan, we have to adjust ours as well. Defeat evil by doing good, right?
Always gaurd your heart (which is your mind or your thoughts), but even more so when you’re at your weakest. Don’t join with someone who isn’t good for you to fill a void. Instead, fill your mind, even more so, with the truth. (Hebrew12:7-13) Accept God’s discipline and allow Him to draw you close to Him because He disciplines the ones He loves. Last, but not least, plug into a reliable community because it’s easiest for a predator to go after a lone sheep rather than one who is part of a flock. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”–Proverbs 4:20-23
“You know I’ll never let you fall apart if you keep your eyes open, my love.” –NEEDTOBREATH/Keep Your Eyes Open