A few months ago, I asked my Facebook friends if there really is such a thing as “too far gone”. I got a lot of the proper Christian answers that there is no such thing because of the love of God, but I wonder how many of us actually demonstrate that it in our lives. It seems that in one breath, we declare that God can do anything and in the next, we judge that someone has found themselves beyond help. It’s interesting to me that we want so much time to change but don’t always have the same amount of patience for others.
It’s time to have a Konversation about Redemption. A konversation that will hopefully restore our belief in the possibility of redemption even in the worse situations. For those of us who know what it is to make a come back in life, you may already know where I’m going. If you don’t, follow along anyway.
In life we have limits. As people, our patience wears thin and we frequently get down to our last nerve. (Somehow that nerve just keeps on hanging on though.) Somewhere along the line of repeated disappointments, we get fed up, and lose hope. We are limited here in the earth realm, and it shows.
I think it’s fair to say that we usually have an expectation for how long trouble should last. Our life experiences usually determine our tolerance, but we all get to a point where we begin to expect a breakthrough. After that time has come and gone, our hope begins to dwindle and we cease to believe that the situation will improve.
It’s really over when we start stamping “lost cause” on people. Perhaps, the changes needed are more than what we feel is possible to achieve. Often it’s our limited capacity to endure with a person that convinces us to write them off. But, in your core, do you actually believe people can get beyond the point of redemption.
Sometimes we give up on people so quickly, not even realizing how many times they’ve been given up on already. Redemption is the opportunity to restore value to something that may have been deemed worthless. Through patience, you could be the one to help restore that value in them.
I’m a believer!
Call me crazy, but I believe in redemption! I do not believe anyone can get too far off track to be redeemed from even the worst of situations. In fact, one thing that inspires me is transformation stories. I love a good tear jerking testimony! But my head is not in the clouds; I know that everybody doesn’t make the full 180 turn toward better. That doesn’t stop me from believing it’s possible though, and it should’t stop you!
Protect your peace, they said.
I’m protecting my peace sounds a lot better than saying, “I can’t work through this with you, so I’m cutting you off.”. Sometimes we choose to withhold love, in the name of protecting our peace, but only you know your reasons. Does it feel good to be mistreated? Of course not. And we certainly do not want to make concessions for repeated destructive behavior. But there is a way to protect yourself, and still be used to display the love of God.
Love is the gateway to redemption.
Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
1 Corinthians 13:7 AMP
Love, should always be available through those of us that believe. That’s the right answer, but it’s not always the easiest one. I will admit, I’m working on perseverance and endurance myself. To me, emotional pain is the worst, so I totally can relate to doing what it takes to avoid it. When it feels like my effort or love has been mishandled, disconnecting is a lot easier than I’d like to admit. In that moment, I can’t imagine having the desire to do anything but avoid the situation. But I’ve learned to take time to reflect and heal. There is a soberness that comes with being healed, which makes way for a better perception of the person and/or the relationship.
Don’t try this alone
I’ve experienced the burn out that comes with loving and working through a broken situation and trying to carry it all alone. That’s how I found out that redemption is not an individual job; we do not have the strength within ourselves to independently restore anyone. Redemption is a work of the Holy Spirit and it’s a team effort. Our role is to be vessels that God’s love can move through; to be the one to keep believing when everyone else has given up. The truth is, redemption is a risk, just as love is. So the question is, is it worth it?