Compassionate Endings

A few weeks ago, Scott did a message at NSC about compassionate endings in relationships. He started out by observing that as the year draws to a close we often begin to talk on and on about new beginnings but we aren’t too keen on talking about endings. True and compelling. Since that message I’ve been thinking about endings in general, and if compassion can accompany them - all the better. It’s given me a lot to think about.

Frankly, he gave us room to begin small. He talked about how easy it is end a relationship by burning bridges, maybe even blowing them up. He encouraged us by saying that if we could avoid doing that - maybe that is the best we can do. I’ve heard him speak similarly about forgiveness. Sometimes, according to Scott, we are forgiving “enough” if we can restrain ourselves and refuse to seek revenge, i.e., burn bridges.

So let me level with you and start where I ended up: it ought to be HARD to end a relationship. I mean REALLY, REALLY HARD. Why? Because relationships are the glue that holds the world together. (I know, you thought it was gravity.) Relationships are fueled by love. If there is any universal characteristic of God that we are all challenged to reflect - it’s love.

12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

~ 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 The Message