When relationships get tricky – maybe even dangerous – how do we love God wisely?  What does He expect of us?  

Are we to keep getting our hands dirty in love even though it may destroy us?

This week I’ve been confronted with an awkward situation where I must terminate a professional relationship, in regards to massage therapy.  I haven’t done it yet…I’ve been stuck and dreading it.  

I knew the moment I had to do it.  Also, Ted reinforced it and he is absolutely right.  I know this individual has had a tough life but it is no longer wise to be involved.  

I know I’m speaking in vague terms and that is not like me.  I’m just trying to be careful.  Ironically, though, this was the week where I was working on a chapter in my book about how to approach a relationship with a narcissist safely.

I compared it to running. 

When it comes to the springtime, our coach starts sending us on this trail by the river.  It is a dirt trail with potholes, tree roots, and uneven terrain. 

When we meet at the starting point, he will inform us which is wiser –  going on the road or the trail – based on the conditions from the weather.  

Often we are following a three month training plan to prepare us for our next marathon.  When he created it he did not know what the weather would be like in those three months.  He assumed it would be fine and gave us our distances and times to shoot for.

But then stormy weather comes.  The trail becomes messy, risky, and dangerous. 

He changes the game plan and gives us new, wiser strategies.  Sometimes we just make sure we are wearing the proper gear to handle it. 

Other times we adjust our pace expectations and approach it slower and with more caution than we normally would. 

But in the extreme circumstances, we abort the mission.  We choose a safer path and leave the trail alone.


I have learned this should symbolize my relationship with the narcissist in my life.  But then this week I was awoken to the fact that this applies beyond that relationship.  

First, let me give you the context of where I struggle. 

The Bible says we are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul.  And then we are to love our neighbor as yourself. 

I have interpreted this to mean that you set aside your concerns and love no matter what – a hands-on kind of love.  Nothing by distance, everything by direct interaction.

I think direct interaction is beautiful when the trails are dry…when it is wise.  If there are potholes, tree roots or uneven terrain in our relationships, we can wear the proper gear to protect ourselves but still love in a hands-on way. 

We may even have to go a step further and slow that relationship down.  We may have to approach it with more caution than we normally do in relationships. 

That’s okay too.  You’re still running.  You’re still loving.  You are just doing it wisely.  

But sometimes love looks like we are quitting.  Sometimes love looks like we are giving up.  Because sometimes loving our neighbor means we abort the hands-on mission.

The relationship has become too messy,


and dangerous. 

Love can no longer

be done wisely

by direct interaction. 

One time we ran this trail in the brutal cold of winter. We were all spread out and when I got to the top, I was on my own.  The trail was a sheet of ice.  It was terrifying. 

I was so scared of breaking something.  I was so mad at my coach that he sent us this way – FYI, he didn’t know it was that bad!  I ended up walking or even shuffling/gliding my feet on the ice so I didn’t fall. 

I wasn’t even running anymore.  I was just scared and there was no more benefit to this exercise.

I believe God understands this. 

There are other people who are equipped differently – not better but differently – to handle these kinds of things.  Maybe that’s not our gifting or mission but it is right up someone else’s ally.  

I’ve learned this is okay. 

My counselor once said to me that the narcissistic person in my life absolutely deserved empathy and help BUT I am no longer the person to do it.  It isn’t the wise move.  It isn’t safe for me or Summer. 

But rest assured, when God asks you to walk away, He also sends someone else to fill your shoes.  That person is never abandoned.  

So now I have to go send a text message. 

I don’t enjoy this part.  As I mulled it over yesterday, I had complete peace that God would hold this person in His hand but that it wasn’t my job anymore. 

There’s a safer way

to do it.

A wiser way.

So God is going to

change it up.  


I’m not the end all and be all for everyone or every circumstance. 

You are not the end all and be all for everyone or every circumstance. 

Tell the enemy to take his guilt and hit the road. 

This is the kind of amazing God we have. 

He orchestrates everything perfectly and right on time.  

It just might be wise to retire from this task and see what He has for you next.

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