“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.” 1 John 4:18, (NLT)
I often find myself unsure of what to do when people hurt me. After the initial shock, I hang the “unavailable” sign over my heart for a while and I pull away. In the midst of my hurt and fear, I convince myself that I need space and healing. The path of solidarity looks promising for a bit, so I take a step back and close myself off from everyone.
The fear of confrontation loves to confuse me. It spins my mind into a frenzy and instead of letting God come into the picture of brokenness, I point fingers. The hurt within me soon evolves into anger. I talk to God, but it’s mostly about the other person. Then I wrestle with the question of whether I really need people in my life and I let God know, “I’m good with just You and me.”
Yet, I’m wrong—wrong to think that I don’t need people in my life. Here’s why:
- Relationships will always keep you on your knees. You will always need to run to God because without Him, you can’t love.
- Relationships provide God’s comfort. Only people can encourage you, care for you and support you. You need others to build you up and help you when life gets difficult. And whether you like it or not, God made you to have relationships with others.
- Relationships is in God’s plan. It’s how God made us—hardwired to need each other. God created all of us to be loved by Him and by other people.
- Relationships help us grow spiritually. Our feelings will always want to trick us into wanting the pleasurable and easy as opposed to the friction and the hard. Through the difficulties in our relationships, God works in our hearts, builds our character and blesses our lives through people.
- Relationships remind us we need the gospel every day! I forget that I have a God who loves to save and likes to heal the hurts within me. His business is in restoration, especially in relationships.
- Relationships make us strong and courageous. Because of our deep need to be loved, we do everything for protection against those who shows signs of not loving us. Through relationships we conquer those fears. We grow stronger and courageous both in how we love and how we let others love us.
- Relationships expand the Kingdom of God. Through them, we reach unbelievers and the unchurched. We get to show them God’s love.
Taking a step back to avoid relationships will only lead to bitterness especially if the hurt stays bottled up inside. Welcome the wrestling, the questioning and the gentle whispers of God when your relationships get difficult. Hope for the best, pray for reconciliation and listen to God’s Word, “For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:28, (NIV).