Kiss Them Goodbye
Let everything dead in your life be buried. Don't try to dig it up. Don't hang around it. Bury it. And leave it in the ground.
There's a reason we bury dead bodies - they're decaying and they stink. If you take something that is dead and rotting and set it next to something alive, eventually that which is dead will contaminate that which is alive.
Those who have been in war torn areas, or places where major natural catastrophes have occurred and there's a large loss of life, often talk about the horrible stench that arises from all the dead bodies. Many times you'll see people wearing masks in order to try and cover the smell of death. Not only is there a stench from dead things, but if dead bodies are not properly buried they can contaminate the water supplies that people drink from in the surrounding areas, and that can become deadly.
So, all of us know better than to drag a dead body out from the grave and bring it into our home, or drink water from a contaminated source, but how many times do we go back to dead places and try to find life? How many times have we tried to drink from contaminated wells?
This is exactly what you do when you get back into relationships that you know are not good for you. It's understandable why you keep going back to these wells. You're thirsty. You're thirsty for love. You're thirsty for companionship, acceptance, conversation and affirmation.
But these wells are dry and contaminated. Time and again they have let you down. They've given their word on something, but didn't keep it, and you keep giving them chance after chance and they keep disappointing you over and over again. You're always there for them, but they're never there for you. You're constantly the one encouraging, but when you turn to them for encouragement there's nothing. The well is dry.
They lied or cheated, but swore it would never happen again. And what happened? They did it again and then when you confronted them about it they acted like you were the one with the problem. They started making crazy talk. You know, that's those conversations they create that go round and round in circles, where they begin to accuse you of the very thing they're doing.
Or they jump off in left field to start a conversation that has nothing to do with the topic at hand - all tactics of distraction to get the focus off of their unacceptable behavior. You finish the conversation exhausted and confused, wondering how you ended up being the one on trial.
And yet once again you find yourself back in this cycle - you giving and them taking. This is a dead relationship, and yet you keep looking for life, thinking they'll change. There is no life here. It's dead.
There is a difference between someone who is truly sorry for their wrongdoing and someone who says sorry just to get you to shut up or never even admits they've done anything wrong.
If you put a seed in the ground in order for it to grow there must be fertile soil. It also must have water and light to flourish. If you put the seed on rocky ground without water or sunlight it will die.
Someone who admits their faults, asks for forgiveness, makes amends and then changes their behavior is someone who is truly sorry. Should you choose to stay in a relationship with this person you are planting your seed of time in fertile ground. It can grow and live.
However, anytime you choose to stay in a relationship or friendship with someone who keeps doing things to hurt you, you are planting your seeds in rocky ground with no water or sunlight. The seed will never grow. It is destined to die, and if you try to eat from this harvest you'll only find yourself in a famine. A famine of love. A famine of encouragement. A famine of appreciation. A famine of progress. A famine of your destiny.
When someone is truly sorry for their actions they don't keep doing the thing that hurt you. That isn't love. Love is reciprocal. It means that they want the best for you. It means they treat you the way they want to be treated. It means you give and they give. It means that when you succeed they are genuinely happy for you, not secretly jealous and hoping for your failure.
Some people are only your friends so long as you are failing. As long as things are going bad they're in the gutter with you, but as soon as you start to climb out of the gutter you become a mirror to themselves. They are now forced to look at their own failures, their own shortcomings and that's too painful for them.
By you succeeding they now have to take a hard look at their own life and ask the question, why am I still here? They may make excuses and say you had breaks that they didn't have, but deep inside they know the true reality is that they gave up when you kept going, and they can't bare to admit that. So they abandon you.
Others are only there when times are good. As long as they can keep using you to their benefit they keep you around, but the minute you need something from them they can't be found.
When people leave your life, let them go. Stop chasing people. Stop begging them to stay. Stop begging people to love you and be in your life. Kiss them goodbye and let them go.
And when they come back around because they're lonely or things aren't going well in their life and they need something from you, or they realized the grass isn't greener on the other side, or the person they left you for didn't work out - stop letting them back in. Each time you do this it's like digging up a dead body and dragging it into your home, thinking there won't be a stench this time and you can breathe life back into this dead body. It's dead. Bury it.
Forgiveness does not equate access. We are taught to forgive seven times seven. And we should. If we do not forgive we will become contaminated ourselves and our souls will rot and decay. However, forgiveness does not mean we have to allow them back into our lives. You're allowed to have boundaries.
Forgiveness is releasing them from the offense in your heart. It means that you are not harboring ill feelings towards this person. You are not wishing them ill will. You wish them well. But sometimes you have to know when it's time to kiss them and then say goodbye. Release them.
Some people are in your life for a season, others for a reason, and a few for a lifetime. You have to learn the difference. If they were in your life for a reason or a season thank God for the time they were there and recognize when their time is up.
When Naomi had lost her husband and sons she told her daughter-in-laws to return home. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law and said goodbye, but Ruth clung to her and said, "....Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." - Ruth 1:16
Ruth's blessing was tied to Naomi and Naomi's blessing was tied to Ruth. When they arrived in Naomi's hometown, Naomi urged Ruth to glean in the field of Boaz, one of her relatives. Upon working in his field Ruth found great favor in this man's eyes.
Boaz said to his men, "....Let her gather among the sheaves and don't reprimand her. Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke her." - Ruth 2:15
Eventually, this wealthy man makes Ruth his wife. From this marriage Ruth provides for her widowed mother-in-law and Ruth becomes pregnant with Obed. "The women said to Naomi: 'Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth." - Ruth 4:14-15
Obed was the father of Jesse, the father of King David.
When people leave, let them go. Whoever is for you will stay with you. Those who are called to usher in your destiny cannot leave you. And those who are not, cannot stay. "Can two people walk together, except they be agreed?" - Amos 3:3
Trust God that those who stay will be seven times better than those who walked away.
Orpah left and that was okay because she wasn't part of Naomi's destiny, and that's why she had to leave, but she also missed the blessing of staying with Naomi on her journey. Naomi buried her dead and Orpah left. Naomi didn't go back and try to dig any of them up, and she didn't go chasing after Orpah begging her to stay or trying to convince her to go on her journey with her. She let her dead stay buried and let Orpah walk away. Then she started her journey with those who were meant to stay, and planted new seed in fertile soil.
Just because something has died doesn't mean there isn't new life waiting to sprout, for even flowers can grow by old gravestones. Let those things that are dead stay buried. Kiss them goodbye and let them leave.
There's a harvest waiting on you and those who finish the journey with you will give birth to Kings.