You can’t hold them if you can’t let them go


posted by on Biblical Opinion, Christian Encouragement, Divorce Encouragement

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I was sitting with a friend the other day, and he spoke of a phone call he’d received from someone who was trying to persuade him to rejoin a Bible study that had lived out its purpose in his life. My friend’s response was, “I don’t want to be rude, but when I’m done, I’m done.” Jesus spoke, in John 6, about the process of learning to hold people and things loosely in our hands. He spoke to the freedom of letting go of those people who, for whatever reason, are no longer ours to hold on to.

I know that I’ve learned that I will have a few long-term friendships and relationships, but I will also have a lot of short-term and seasonal acquaintances that will be in my life for a short time, until something happens to burn them up, and at that point, they’ll simply be gone. I’ve learned that it’s okay for life to work that way, and I’ve learned to let go of the temporary things… In other words, I’ve learned to enjoy those short-term relationships for the time I have them, but I’ve also learned to hold them loosely, and to let them go when they want to leave. To use the language of the culture I grew up with, “I’ve learned to quit trying to make something happen that isn’t happening anymore.”

Jesus understood this concept very well as He lived out His life. Jesus spent every day providing us with a new example of living fruitfully and successfully on this earth.  At the end of John 6, Jesus made a controversial statement to a large group of people who were following Him around. Jesus basically told this group; “No one can ever follow Me unless it’s My Father’s will.”… Well, these folks didn’t like that statement very much, so they left. And Jesus turned to the twelve and said, “Do you also want to go away?”

See, Jesus understood that people were free to stay and be faithful to the requirements of the relationship, and they were also free to leave, and to be released from the relationship. Jesus understood that lots of associations on this earth are temporary, and He just wasn’t willing to hold on to someone beyond their willingness to stay.

Now, I know that marriages are supposed to be lifetime commitments, but I also know that sometimes marriages simply don’t work, and sometimes someone is disloyal and sometimes somebody leaves. Now, we cannot keep marrying people who are non-servants, and who have a history of breaking commitments, but we also have to quit trying to, “Make something happen that isn’t happening anymore.” And if someone leaves, we have to be willing to let them go. It sounds harsh, but we can’t be successful in God’s purpose any other way. That’s my opinion; I’d love to hear yours…

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