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When Is It A Deal-Breaker?-by Heidi McLaughlin

Posted: September 8, 2019


We don’t like lying, broken promises or unmet expectations. It’s hurtful, unfair and we feel betrayed. And it’s not nice or right. I know of a married couple that got a divorce because he broke the deal. The agreement was that if the wife had to pitch in and help with alimony payments, the marriage was done. That ended the marriage. Now they’re onto their third attempt for happiness. I also know of parents that have lied to their children, and it’s hard for the family to move on because trust has been broken. This hurt is justified and the human response is to withdraw and resist. But is this a deal-breaker?

I often wonder the same thing. When we write/text encouragement and love notes and there is never a response. Do we continue? Is the “non-response” a deal breaker? When something gets too needy and tiresome or we feel over-burdened, do we walk away and say, “I’m done.”

When do we draw that line in the sand? 

When there is physical, sexual or emotional abuse that is toxic and harmful to our body and soul, that is absolutely the time to walk away. But our withdrawal response also has to be put under the light of God’s truth and love. We have to ask ourselves some hard questions. Such as:

  • Have I dealt with my anger? (Or do I plan to?)
  • Am I allowing my heart to become hard and cynical?
  • Have I forgiven the person that has hurt me?
  • When I stand before God some day, will my heart be pure?

It’s not what happens to us; it’s how we respond.

I’m not saying I have the right answers, so I look to the Bible to see how Jesus modeled this for us. Here is what I come up with:

  • He was put down, mocked, laughed at and scorned.
  • When he asked his closest friends to pray for him, they let him down. (They decided to take a nap instead)
  • One of his twelve disciples, that he did life with for three years, turned him over to authorities and betrayed him.
  • He was treated unfairly.
  • He never defended himself.
  • He was crucified for sins he did not commit.

He sacrificed himself so that we would be free.

Do we give up when we’re offended, feel overlooked, been lied to, rejected or various other offenses? We want a comfortable life; we don’t have time for dealing with other people’s junk. Yes, we have to guard our heart and not let people walk all over us and keep hurting us. But when is it a deal-breaker? I don’t recall anywhere in the Bible where Jesus gave up on us and walked away from us. In fact, he hung on the cross and uttered these last words: “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Please leave some comments as to when is the time to walk away, and how do we do that when it’s a family member?





Posted in: anger, betrayal, Christ, Conflict, deal-breaker, disappointments, emotional abuse, Expectations, Forgiveness, God's love, Jesus, love, physical abuse, sexual abuse, trust

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