Sometimes there are times in our lives when we just HAVE TO WALK AWAY.
I propose 3 reasons why we walk away:
1. We walk away because we care too much.
When we care too much, we face the reality that a situation hurts more than we can bear, and the only way to stop the pain is to separate from it.
- the separation can be temporary (we will rejoin the situation at some point)
- the separation can be permanent (we will never reconcile with it).
In either type of separation, forgiveness is critical to the process of moving on.
We need to forgive, or we will carry an increasing burden that will only hurt us.
2. We walk away because we care too little.
If we care too little, it is the same as saying ‘we have no skin in the game’. We are a lot like the hired hand described by Jesus in John 10:
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
This context is described with respect to following Jesus. Jesus will not walk away from us. EVER. We are the sheep. We listen to the voice of the shepherd, — if he is our master. If we have no relationship, we are not going to participate with the herd that follows the shepherd (Christ). Let us all pray that we will care about having a relationship with Christ.
3. We may care and not walk away. This one is probably the hardest. Sometimes we need to deal with the pain which sometimes comes while doing God’s will in the face of adversity. We continue to love God, and it may take love and patience to carry on in this way.
When people care, they go beyond the surface level of emotions, and they are willing to stand up and defend their friends. Jesus’ metaphor reminds us that an owner cares, while a hired hand does not have to care. We should own a problem when we can, even if it is difficult, and depend on the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to get through it.