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Are you focused only on what you can get from people?

The man saw Peter and John going into the Temple and asked them for money. Peter and John looked straight at him and said, “Look at us!” The man looked at them, thinking they were going to give him some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold, but I do have something else I can give you. By the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, stand up and walk!” Acts 3:3-6

young_woman_praisingRecently, I realized that all the dead and dying relationships I’ve been writing about for years ended, in the mind of the other parties, because they no longer saw any usefulness in me. They had gotten what they were after or no longer had any interest in what initially brought us together. Some exploded in anger as they exited my life, intent on making me bear the burden of their dissatisfaction with life. Others simply faded away by not answering calls or responding to messages or showing up when asked or needed. However, not one of them had the decency and honesty to simply say, “I no longer want or need anything from you so this is where we part ways.”

I could have understood and appreciated such a direct statement. It would have stung, yes. Perhaps the hurt would have lingered. But I would not have wondered “what happened”, “what did I do”, “how can we make this right”, “I thought we were friends”, “I thought you said you love me”. Such unanswered thoughts are torture to the soul. Such aching questions do more damage than being dismissed by someone you held in your heart as a friend. But honesty should not be expected from selfish people. Selfish people will always and only do what is in their best interests at the expense of their relationship with other people. Being confronted with this world reality repeatedly over the years has not eased the immediate pain of recognizing the end of a relationship. However, the more I have focused on my relationship with my Father God, the Son He gave me as Savior and His Spirit He poured into me, the less time I’ve spent mourning the fruitless relationships I poured myself into.

The first blog post I wrote was titled, “Can I love you?” It was written at the beginning of my intentional walk with my Lord. I pleaded in that post for people to allow me to love them as an expression of God’s love for His creation. In this post, five years later, my message is no different. I still only have love to offer to those who have rejected and will reject my sincere efforts to share the love poured into me with them. I can truly say, my life and the love in me are not diminished by rejection. {That has been an excruciating lesson to experience and learn!} However, the quality of my love has been refined through the many rejections. I’ve learned to offer less of me and more of Christ and with each disappointment I am strengthened in my resolve to remain submitted to God’s will for me in these fleeting relationship interactions.

As I look back over the relationships that have strained and drained me the most, I recognize that those people were not interested in truth, honestly, faith, or love. They weren’t interested in me as a person. They may have talked a talk for a while, but they were only interested in what they could get from me at that particular time. As they rifled through my life scavenging for what they valued, they threw away the most valuable gift I had to offer: the love of God, given as His Son, Jesus, and poured into me as His Spirit.

Related posts:

Can I Love You?

When your love is rejected

It is finished. 

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