Recently ive been hearing from multiple “channels” about what love is and what it is not. Today I wanted to chat a bit about how love is not tolerance.
This might seem super simple, but I heard it from two different sources in the same week and both times my mind was blown. Not in a “I didnt know that” kind of a way, but in a “DUH!! Why havent I ever thought of that!” Kind of a way.
We know this with our children. Its simple, its natural. We love them so we correct them. We discipline so that they wont make pointless mistakes or get hurt. Now no matter what your thoughts on types of discipline are, you do this. If your child is running towards a street full of traffic you grab them and stop them. To have the chance to grab them and choose not to would be deemed “unloving” right?
So lets apply this with friends and loved ones. Have you ever had a friend that was “running toward oncoming traffic” so to speak, and you couldn’t choke down the shouts of warning. I know I have! The terrible part of it all is, I’m not very practiced in the ‘art of confrontation” so I lost that friend. Yes, I know its not completely on me, but all I can really change next time is my own actions and words.
I was always told “Unrequested advice is unheeded advice.” So I’ve gotten very good at keeping my mouth shut, when it comes to other people’s choices and lives. Do I have an opinion? You Betcha!! But unless you ask, I’m not squawking! Which is most likely a philosophy I will keep the rest of my life.
But there has to be a point, a line in the sand, where the choices are so monumental and so detrimental to the person you love that action must be taken. That words must be spoken. That the “unloving” thing would be to not do or say anything. It would be unkind, unloving, even hateful to simply “tolerate” what is happening.
If you knew your best friend was being abused by an outside force, you wouldn’t hesitate to step in and do something about it. But if your best friend is abusing themselves by cutting, drugs, addictions, or lets be more day to day negative self-talk, sexual thoughts about people other than their spouse, we’re silent or hesitant to do anything, cuz we dont feel its our business. Im not saying we suddenly have an opinion on every choice the people around us make. They can wear the makeup they want, wear the clothes they want, make day to day decisions they do all without our help. Im talking you see them heading down a path of destruction for them or their family and you say nothing. Is that love?