LOVE FROM A DISTANCE
(Rom 12:18) If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Someone asked me one time if they had to like a difficult person. I said no but they had to love them! But does that mean we have to let them use us and abuse us? Do we have to be around them and be apart of their life even when it’s destroying us emotionally?
Paul says “as much as depends on you.” Have we done our part in showing God’s unconditional love to the unlovely? Or have we taken that hurt and internalized it to the point where we are fuming and just want to incinerate the person? Maybe the person hasn’t done their part but have we done our part in showing forgiveness and interest in reconciliation? Have we faced it head on or are we so caught up to the point where we just can’t deal with it? Ask the Lord to settle you down so you can face the issue and not attack the person. Don’t wait for them to make the first move. Humble yourself and take the high road. Extend the right hand of fellowship and see if you have a taker.
But what if the person doesn’t grab your hand? Well, at least you have done your part. Remember Paul said “if it is possible.” It might not be possible but no one can say you didn’t try to live peaceably with all men. And if this happens you might wonder about the next step. Well, you’ll just have to love them from a distance. That’s not being mean or anything. It’s just the other person isn’t ready. Why keep pushing it? You’ll only make matters worse and you’ll look like the bad guy (Mat 7:6). Let the Lord work in their hearts, and when the time is right their hard heart will be softened and ready for a change (Eze 36:26).
Remember love is also wise and discerning (Phil 1:9). Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is love from a distance. It might feel weird or odd to pull back like this but God knows your heart is pure and that you have given your relationship with this person over to the Lord (Mat 5:8; 1 Pet 5:7). Now watch what God will do . . . in His timing! (Eccl 3:11)