Sometimes the greatest change in the lives we love come when we let others go to make their own choices. Sometimes love means letting go. Sometimes giving ourselves and others the freedom to fail can be the greatest gift!

Love is not manipulation. Real love—authentic love—does not try to control. Manipulation, even if our motives are good, cannot bring about real change.

Inspiration, not manipulation, is the key. Inspiration speaks truth, prays, lives by example, encourages and empowers by letting others own their choices.

God calls us to encourage one another but realize we cannot change one another.

You and I have a will that chooses. The Holy Spirit will invite you to yield to him—but he will not force you to follow. Authentic love does not force or control but invites and gives freedom to make choices and experience the results from our choices.

Failures are not to be feared—they teach us. I am told that babies fall some 700 times before they learn how to walk. When they push themselves up again, they build the muscles in their arms, legs and core. As their muscles grow stronger, they gain the ability to walk.  If they never fall, they will not build the strength to walk. Falling is essential to walking.

Grace allows us to be growth minded. If I fall, I can admit my mistake and reach out to Christ by asking for help, take his hand, make a U-turn and learn from my mistakes. I have the confidence God loves me despite my failings and will use every mistake to build me into a stronger servant for him. If I get off the path, God in his love for me will discipline me back on track.

Manipulation, even with the best of intentions, is not God’s way. Sometimes love means letting others go to make their own choices. When this involves loved ones, nothing could be harder.

The Lord promised a land flowing with milk and honey to all twelve tribes in the Israelite family. While the Promised Land was for all twelve tribes, only nine and a half tribes took hold of that promise and settled inside the land. The Reubenites, Gadites, and half of the tribe of Manasseh (the Transjordan tribes) asked Moses if they could settle just outside the borders of the Promised Land because they thought that land was “suitable” for their livestock (Numbers 32:1–33).

Although Moses pleaded with the two and a half tribes to reconsider their decision, he granted their request with the stipulation they fight beside their brothers until the Promised Land was secure. Now that the battles were over, and the allotments made, Joshua blessed those Transjordan tribes and sent them on their way.

Even when God calls us to speak the truth in love to individuals, we must then release them to make their own decisions. The Transjordan tribes wanted to be identified as God’s children, but could not fully commit to Promised Land living.

God will never force us to move forward and partake of our spiritual inheritance in Christ. He will never violate our free will.  Jesus has opened the door for abundant life; it is our choice whether or not we will follow his voice (John 10:1–10). His love invites us to follow—it never forces.

God calls us to encourage one another, but realize we cannot change one another.

Part of love is letting go. You cannot manipulate anyone into the Promised Land. God has given all of us free will, and we cannot force anyone to live out his or her spiritual inheritance. But we can love them, speak truth, and encourage them live to follow Christ—especially by the way we live our lives.

Nourish Scripture: Joshua 23

By Aliene Thompson

© Copyright Treasured Ministries 2018

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