Have you ever wondered when enough is enough in a relationship? Is there a point of no return, and if so, where? Is a small offence, over and over, different from one or two big cannon balls of damage to the heart? First of all;
Ignorance is never a virtue.
Have you ever heard that “Ignorance is bliss?” Do you think God made up that statement or the adversary? The more the devil can convince you he’s not working in a situation, the more he can get away with in the situation. Therefore, he keeps people ignorant. Ignorance is not a lack of knowledge in general or someone stupid. It is a lack of knowledge of something specific. Ignorance is for whatever reason; laziness, apathy, truly not understanding the scope of a situation–a hinderance to effectually receiving results in a persons walk with God. If you do not know what gets a stain cleaned out of your clothes, are you going to get the stain out? No. We need to stay results oriented.
“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” 2 Corinthians 2:11
One of the things the devil will do in any group is cause divisions, envy, and strife. How? Nothing gets everyone’s attention like a good old-fashioned mistake. We’re human after all. Mistakes are a part of life. So, what do we do when someone we love inflicts pain, heartache, fiery darts, maybe even physical damage? We feel violated, deceived, hurt, angry, and our good intention or our trust is annihilated. How dare they! After the initial knee-jerk reaction, comes the questions. Can we ever trust that person again? Do we forgive? Do we move on? They hurt us? Do they deserve our love?
Let’s break it down. The devil would like for you to trust in things of this world. He earns that trust by dressing up wolves in sheep’s clothing. But where should we put our trust?
“[It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” Psalms 118:8
Where do we put our heart, the most treasured and priceless thing of all?
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:5-7
Protect yourself by trusting in God. Well, the damage is already done. Now what? Do we have to forgive this person? Should we hold a grudge? Let’s go back to the context of our original verse in 2 Corinthians 2. There is a difference in the kind of sorrow.
“But if any have caused grief (made heavy in godly sorrow or regret with a mistake or wrong action), he hath not grieved me, but in part:(I, Paul, am not there) that I may not overcharge (overburdened) you all. Sufficient to such a man [is] this punishment, which [was inflicted] of many (by the godly sorrow). So that contrariwise ye [ought] rather to forgive [him], and comfort [him], lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow (the doorway to depression, oppression, etc.) Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm [your] love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive any thing, I [forgive] also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave [it], for your sakes [forgave I it] in the person of Christ (Ask God if you should forgive him); Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” 2 Cor. 2:5-11
There are two kinds of sorrow here. One is godly, repentant sorrow, and one is worldly sorrow that causes fear and torment. Do you see the difference? Godly sorrow changes the course of behavior in a person. With godly sorrow, a gossiper, causing all kinds of problems, will change once they are confronted and the problem is exposed. That confrontation caused godly, repentant sorrow. That is good sorrow. It takes time to change a habit pattern of thinking. Sometimes that person will slip up and do it again. Then what? Who do we trust? God. True godly repentance is always followed by a change of course, and action. What if, they do not change or repent? What if they continue the behavior?
There are levels of law enforcement in the Civil and Federal Court systems, there are also levels of justice with God as well. Keep in mind that everything God does for you revolves around your blessing and protection. He doesn’t like seeing His kids hurt anymore than you would. But we have to go to Him to find out what steps should be taken. He can’t help if you’re not going to listen to him.
First, we posts boundaries, speed limit signs, etc. What is the first offence for speeding? A ticket. Then it grows harsher to removal of driver’s license, then prison time etc. Same with relationships. If someone is abusive to the point of developing a habit pattern of doing it, a slap on the wrist is not going to change their behavior. It requires harsher punishment, especially if they got away with it for a long time. God’s courtroom is a Just place. The highest justice. God may say that an emotional, spiritual and physical restraining order is needed. If that gets the results, of repentance and change of behavior, then that’s why we go to that extent.
Are you obligated to stay in a relationship of this magnitude? What if your married? What if it’s a family member? That’s where Proverbs 3:5-6 come in. It depends on you. It depends on your personal tolerance level. But keep in mind, God is filling your tub of blessings while the devil is putting holes in the bottom. You deserve a blessed happy life but that means you have to resist the devil getting in that tub with you.
Here’s the all-time, best advice on relationships. If a relationship causes you to be out of fellowship with God, and not enjoying the abundant life He promises, it’s time to rethink the relationship and possibly take your exit. There are billions of people in this world, but only one God and Father of Jesus Christ. I’d say that relationship means the most, don’t you?
God bless you today!
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