Thursday, December 20, 2012

When to Be Silent

We can learn a lot about showing love to others by observing how God handles us.  He never pushes Himself on us.  He allows each of us to come to Him in our own time, our own way, and at the pace that we desire.  He is in no rush.  He is confident and assured enough of His own value to us that He can afford to wait.

This does not mean that He sits on the sidelines.  He does all the work He can behind the scenes to make Him more appealing to us.  He reaches out to those people we care about who already have a connection with Him, encouraging them to intercede on His behalf for our attention and affection.  He makes sure to continue to send us periodic reminders of His love and the affection He holds for us.  However, when we have told Him we do not want Him in our lives, when we have told Him we do not want to hear from us, God respects our request and remains silent.

I was reminded of this while speaking to a friend over Facebook today.  I found his post disturbing, the description of the treatment he was receiving at the hands of his fiance something no one should have to endure.  I am sure that there is another side to this story, but based on things that he has posted before about his relationship coupled with his posting today, I know this relationship isn't good for either of them.  It is inherently destructive and would require nothing short of a miracle to transform into something healthy and life-affirming.

My friend, however, was not appreciative of my efforts to encourage him to value his life and health enough to quit this relationship.  I was saddened when he told me, basically, to shut up he didn't want to hear it.  I thought about saying to him that I cared too much to let the issue go, since I know that the situation will not lead to any lasting happiness for him or his partner.  In the end, though, I realized that I needed to follow the example set by God.  I needed to back off and do as I was asked to do. I needed to be silent.

I do not love this man any less than I did at the start of the day.  I still have great hopes for his happiness, but I will respect his request that I keep my advice and my opinion to myself on this matter.  If he should change his mind and ask for it, that ts one thing.  However, I have made known to him my thoughts.  I have planted the seed.  It is up to God to nurture it, but I must give it room to grow for that to happen.

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