Whether we are able to maintain a relationship or choose to let it go, there is a principle that applies to both situations all the time. We do not let the (feared, expected, dreaded, desired) outcome dictate the way we show up for the relationship.
As image bearers of God, we are called to show up for relationships with our truest, most loving selves. Our work is to have the courage to love others EVEN IF we do not get our way in the relationship.
There are limits. In cases of abuse, neglect, and years of evidence that someone is unable (or unwilling) to learn how to relate with some degree of reciprocity, these relationships may need to end.
But what has no limit is our capacity to do so with compassion, even love.
Once I was in a relationship tussle with someone over a disagreement related to how our organizations interfaced. When it became apparent that I was holding firm on my position he said, “I’m sorry to say this, but if you continue to take this position you are my enemy.”
I thought he was joking. He was not and proved it in the years that followed. But what I knew then has remained true for me - he was not my enemy. It is easy to confuse a disagreement as a deal breaker if we are more invested in outcomes than we are committed to living out of our core values and inspired way of seeing.
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