Friday, September 23, 2011

Safe People

Something I've been learning about lately is safe people and God's protection in our relationships. It is something I've never really thought in depth about before, and I don't have a lot of wisdom in this area. So what I'm saying here is just a few things I've learned, but I'm not claiming to have it all right. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

I have always thought that you should stick with someone no matter how much they hurt you for the sake of the gospel message.  Love God Love People is the motto I've always tried to have, although it is just a motto and I fail at doing both things all the time.  I think as a people pleaser, in the past, I often put Love People ahead of Love God, and I didn't realize it. 

God showed me his grace, took me out of the deep pit I had dug, and set me out into a spacious place.  He healed me and set me free.  All of God's chosen people throughout history, be it the Israelites or Christians, have been called to be a set apart people, a holy nation.  Being set apart usually means separation.

If someone causes you to actively sin and is a stumbling block, they are not a safe person, and it is okay to separate yourself from them.  God may allow them back into your life as you mature, but that's His decision.  As Priscilla Shirer illustrated in her One in a Million study, you don't have to keep falling into that hole.  You can walk around the hole, and you can even take a different path.

So it is okay to cut yourself off from people who cause you to sin.  For example:
  • that man or woman who always leads your thoughts down the wrong path even though you are happily married.
  • the girls who grow insecurity in you because you never seem to fit in and are always striving to get them to like you.
  • the girl who is easily angered and always yells
  • the woman who regularly talks behind others backs and you wonder if she's taking your trusted secrets and giving them away.
  • the woman who never seems to get around to asking you about your struggles but always finds time to talk your ear off about herself.
  • ladies who never mutually share struggles; if you are the only one sharing, you cannot grow together.
In some way or another these men or women are unsafe, and it is okay to separate from them for a season until you grow in maturity or until God grows them in maturity to a place of mutual safety.

Though it hurts my heart to think it, I am probably an unsafe person to someone, and so are you.  It absolutely breaks my heart to hurt someone and I worry about it for days if I know I have hurt someone.  I seek to be gentle in spirit, but even then, sometimes I am unknowingly harsh.  Though I am highly sensitive myself, I don't always understand the sensitivities of others.  Sometimes when I've written blog posts, I haven't used the verbiage that pleases everyone.  Even though we can be unsafe and though we find others unsafe, as God's child, actively seeking after Him, He may use distance from others, short or long, to set us free from those sins we struggle with :  lust, insecurity, lack of self control, gossip, self-centeredness, inability to be transparent, and more.  This is God's manner of protection (though there are more I am sure), His wings gently hugging us closer to Him for a time or a season, until we can provide others grace without stumbling. 

Often we worry or fear that our separation will cause an unbeliever not to know Him.  However, He is a big God who can heal us and save him/her at the same time.  Allow Him to do His work and follow wherever He leads.

1 comment:

  1. This is so true, Jamie. Thank you for sharing. I'm sure I have been on both sides of this. Sometimes I just wish I could see all of His story now instead of having to wait.


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