I read a prophetic word at the start of the year about 2017 being a year of ‘uncoupling’ and re coupling’ and I can surely say that for me it has already begun that way and we are only in February. However, let me put it into context.
I have constantly all my life been worried, worried about what people thought of me and worried about pleasing others. My mother would continuously scold me for being as she put it ‘too much of a people pleaser’. I used to get this muddled up with helping people, being there for people and being kind to others. However, the truth is being a people pleaser is the opposite, being a people pleaser means you fear others and their opinions so badly that you place their opinion above God’s. Jesus calls us to put Him first (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison… Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). Wow you might think, what an offensive and dreadfully outlandish statement in comparison to what we otherwise know of Jesus’ character. However when reading this in detail, what He is doing is not contradicting himself but rather saying our love for other’s should come as a result of our love for God or we cannot love others at all. We should love God so much that our love for others cannot be compared but we should also love our neighbour as ourselves (which is the second most important commandment) and is of the up most importance as a Heavenian.
What is loving others? I used to think it was to hide my opinions and agree endlessly with others whilst doing everything possible to make that person happy.
Loving others means that sometimes you are not always going to be loved by others. This means you should love others unconditionally knowing that they have no obligation to do the same.
Loving others means speaking the truth. Sometimes it will be necessary to share true opinions, your true desires and your heart and if the other person doesn’t agree or like you anymore then they should have the choice to walk away. This doesn’t mean you stop loving or praying for them but if you cannot show yourself then you are actually being dishonest to them.
Loving others sometimes means letting go or distancing yourself for your sake, for your family and sometimes your own health because sometimes we say things like ‘Oh but what if they won’t know God’. We shouldn’t say things like that. We need to be declaring truth over them and God should be the one in charge not you.
- There are those people who have suffered much, who are broken and make mistakes but who welcome your light of God into their lives. Encourage them, stand firm in your faith because if they seek the light they will always be open to your helping hand of friendship. Help them, sacrifice for them, speak life over them.
- Then there are people who don’t like the light you carry, maybe they hate it, they hate the way you’ve changed for the better and they don’t want your positivity. In fact they try to curb it, they try and knock it to the ground. They deserve to be loved unconditionally but the darkness and negative energy sometimes is so great that you feel your faith shrinking. In these cases my advice would be to ‘walk away’ or to ‘distance yourself’. This doesn’t mean sending a message telling them you don’t want to see them again but rather explaining your reasons and being honest. Usually in these cases they will choose to walk away but you may be surprised. I would like to make a note that I am talking from the perspective of a mother and thus have a greater responsibility to protect my child but in the same way we need to also protect ourselves. We need to be honest and careful and if something is not good for us we need to walk away or to distance ourselves (I am talking about long term friendships here not strangers in the street). However, NEVER stop praying for them.
- Finally, there are some people who are filled with faith and will always be there encouraging you and yet ready to listen to you at the same time. Yes they will have their ups and downs as you will and that’s what we do as friends is to take one another by the hands. As C.S Lewis said in his book ‘The Four Loves’ a friend is someone who you can walk with side by side towards a common goal helping one another along the way.
In conclusion, this doesn’t stop us from loving unconditionally, we should always seek to listen to God, God will tell us when and who to help and how to help them. We should be generous with our time, our money, our help, our words and our hugs. However, I wanted to share with people that sometimes it’s OK to let go and you shouldn’t feel bad, just don’t dwell on the issue, continue to pray for them and never speak badly about that person. Put them in God’s hands as you never know what can happen, be it in 5 days or 50 years. He will always be in control if you let Him.