Monday, July 3, 2017

When We Silence Those We Love

We need to let others’ speak into our lives.

Say, you have a friend. And they come to you in full love and gentleness with something on their heart. Maybe it’s a concern for you, or wisdom based on something they personally have experienced, and they want to caution you from heading down the same painful road.

And you don’t accept their words. You reject them. Maybe in anger. Maybe in bitterness. Maybe in disbelief that they can’t wholeheartedly understand your stance in the moment.

It’s easy to reject someone else’s words. Easier, for some people, to not even consider what was offered in love, but to put a hand up in a “stop” pose, and let them know you won’t hear any more.

Sometimes when we do this, we think we might have convinced someone that if they still want to be our friend, they must think and act like us. But all we’ve really done is silenced them.

We’ve put a wedge in an otherwise open relationship, and let it hang there in the balance between us. Always.

It exists whether we address it or not.

The beauty that exists in people is the differences. The unique mindset that each person has, and the way they approach life. We each have had our own experiences, lessons, and heartache. And so, each one of us offers something unique to the other.

If we reject that, we reject the person.

No one is entitled to only hear what they want to hear. No relationship that has true love and respect, will ignore kindness offered in the way of caution or inquiry. In fact, we should value it. For true friends hold us in check when we need it the most.

To have the kind of relationships you really want, you have to allow those who love you and want the best for you – to not agree with you. For they will not agree, but still offer love. They will have concern, but still stand by.

That is true love and authenticity.

Will you allow it when the time comes? Will you appreciate the character and devotion that God has brought into your life by the way of others?

Or will you embrace the “wedge” of silence? The one that says, “Our relationship was based on a need? And I no longer have that need for your input in my life, because its different than what I want?”

Hard questions. Deep questions.

Questions that could save relationships.

We are so blessed and lucky to have ANYONE who loves us enough to speak openly with gentle love into our hearts and lives.  Let them speak.

And listen with the same heart of love in return.

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