Walk Away, or Walking Toward

The rebound girlfriend. I’ve had one before; maybe you have, too. But if you’re not familiar with the terminology, a rebound girlfriend/boyfriend is the person that comes after the person. You really liked the previous girl/boyfriend, but that relationship is over. And though you might not realize it at the time, your relationship with the next person is more about the previous relationship than the current one. You like the current person okay, but you’re still trying to get over what just happened in your life.

In short, you’re not walking toward the new person; you’re still walking away from the old one.

We do that in relationships, but we also do it in life. When the moment comes when we feel like we need to leave a church, we can easily get fixated on leaving. We leave because of this reason or that – preaching or financial decisions or children’s education or whatever. So we walk away, sometimes with hurt feelings and a sense of bitterness.

We do it with jobs. We get fed up with policies or managers, or we get bored with our list of tasks. So we walk away, glad to be leaving the drudgery behind.

But how about this one – Sin. We walk away from sin. We decide to stop a habitual practice of pornography, gossiping, overeating, or anything else destrucitve. So we walk away, leaving behind those ways of the past. In all of these cases, our walking away is reactionary. And it’s an act of the will – we are choosing to get out of a bad situation.

Thing is, you can only walk away from something for so long. Eventually, just walking away from something wears out. You get tired. You get bitter. You get angry. There has to come a moment when we aren’t just walking away from something; we’re walking toward something. We have to, at some point, catch a vision, a breath, a taste, of something else. It’s only then that we can truly leave things in the past and get excited about the future.

Jesus advocates the idea when He cast out demons, saying that once they’re out, the space has to be filled up with something. And in the case of sin, it must be Jesus. We aren’t just walking away from sin; we’ve to to start walking to Jesus. There’s a big difference.

Walking away is reactionary.

Walking toward is anticipatory.

Walking away is angry.

Walking toward is hopeful.

Walking away is will.

Walking toward is faith.

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4 Comments

  • Gena Rogers says:

    I like. I REALLY like.

  • chadjordan says:

    I never know how you do it, but you always do. You take a funny thing we all relate to, like the rebound girlfriend, and then you flip it around into a great theological truth. Great thoughts here, there is a good chance this should appear in other places, like maybe a printed Bible study aimed at young adults. I just wish there was a website devoted to communicating biblical truth to young adults and young adult leaders…

  • Jana Kelley says:

    The great thing about this that I see in my life is that every time I walk away from something God is very clearly the one that turns me toward something else. I will see the bitterness and resentment in myself, and then all of the sudden God graciously turns me with the direction of His Spirit. I love that I can’t find a time when I willed myself to be better at this. It is all about Him.

  • Becky Dietz says:

    You’re not going to believe this…but I just left the chapel here at Living Water where I met with God. I confessed to Him that I was bored. And as I confessed, I realized how many times I’ve met a new challenge and stayed in it to prove I could do it, and then got bored and moved on. I think I’ve also done that with houses. (For real!) I think the only things I’ve really stayed committed to are my husband and children…and now grandchildren. God has used the places I’ve been…but I’m thinking there’s a better way. For me, there’s no bitterness, just boredom. I need to go examine this some more. (Michael, I LOVE learning from someone younger!! What an encouragement to see how God is raising up the next generation!! I just schooled under my brilliant son-in-law, Jay, too!)

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