Protecting Yourself From Negative People
As a Christian, one of the things I struggle with is when you try and work things out with someone when they refuse to meet you any part of the way (let alone half.) What’s worse, these people take the things you do and twist it, or outright lie about it, and then tell others about it who don’t even know you. I’m one of those people who will try again and again with someone like this. DH thinks this is just asking to be kicked around. I don’t know if that’s true, but I feel like if I don’t give it my entire effort, I can’t walk away. I will shed tears, pray until I’m blue in the face, and finally, question why God doesn’t let a reconciliation happen. I’ll beat myself up about the whole thing, no matter what the other person does to continue the estrangement, and I’ll do it for years.
I’m not proud to admit that. I definitely don’t think it’s one of my finer qualities. Because while there are people I know instantly not to be around, others are harder to walk away from. Besides all that, people who should open their arms to you and instead treat you poorly confuse me as a Christian. I always go back to “What would God want me to do?”
As part of my evolution as a Christian, one of the most difficult things I’ve had to learn is when to completely let go and leave it to God. I keep thinking God wants me to do more, but when I analyze the things I’ve done I realized I have done all I can.
Perhaps God purposely keeps you from people who will continue to hurt you. Why then, do I insist on chasing them? Acceptance? Love? I shouldn’t have to do that for either one of those things, especially not with people that should love and accept you unconditionally.
To really know unconditional love, you have to turn to God. It can honestly be hard to wrap your head around the love God has for us if you’re someone that grew up like I did. Every once in a while you have to say, “I am doing all I can” and realize that God doesn’t want you to chase after people who treat you horribly, no matter who they are.
I have my husband to thank for this realization. That, and God’s word. In the last year especially, I’ve prayed about this a lot. One message from church recently was listening to God as opposed to others. This sounds really simple, but just think of how many people lay expectations on you based on what they think is right. “You should do this,” “this is the right thing to do.” They give you “advice” (unsolicited) to satisfy some displeasure they have had with a way they’ve dealt with a situation in the past, instead of advice that applies to your situation. They can’t give you proper advice when all they’ve heard are lies (but that never stops them from trying), and they tell you what a disappointment or bad person you are because you aren’t doing X. The fact that they don’t know what they’re talking about (or hey, even that it has nothing to do with them) never seems to come up.
The lies are the thing that really get me. I can deal with all kinds of crazy, but when someone decides to lie about you in order to create something for themselves (pity, attention, etc.) it’s confusing for me. I wish I would learn to walk away sooner, but in the past I have just kept trying. A few months ago I tried once again, for the millionth time, to reach out to someone. I was met with silence. It dawned on me then, that this person doesn’t want a reconciliation. This person wants the pity and attention that they receive because of their lies and manipulation. There is nothing more I can do in this particular situation. I’ve let this invade my happiness and that of my family for years. I love this person, which makes it even harder. So I pray that if a reconciliation is in God’s plan, I will have an open heart for it. I pray that this person is well and that God will continue to work on all of us.
If you’ve spent years holding on to a situation like this, pray about what God wants you to do. Have you done enough? Do you need to focus on other things now and let Him do His thing? If the answer is yes, then let the anger and fear and hurt leave your heart and mind, and realize that when a reconciliation won’t happen no matter what you have done, maybe it’s God’s way of protecting you. Allow yourself to feel the grief of a relationship ending, because there is sadness to it. But turn to God, and not to those who tell you “what the right thing” is. Listen to God. He’s the only right way I know.