Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Courteously Unfriending

Many years and several experiences ago I held staunchly to the idea that I would never distance myself from anyone, regardless of how they treated me.  The Savior loved everyone and would be there for everyone, regardless of the situation or their behavior.  He called all, without reservation, to come unto Him, and as His disciple, I felt it correct to do likewise. 
 
It worked beautifully.  Bridges were mended, rifts became smoothed and miracles scattered themselves throughout my life with reckless abandonment.  Peace reigned in my heart.  I had learned to love all people regardless of the situation or their behavior toward me. 
 
I maintain that idea still, but have found it tempered with another principle, which proves equally important.  If we love others, we also must do what is best for them, and though I may stand here with open arms, those people who recklessly and repeatedly, knowingly and deliberately injure me need a different line of attack to aid them.  It proves ignorant and arrogant to assume that what every single person needs in their life is me.  Pray for such people, and in the same breath help them find distance from a situation that would lead them to do wrongly.  Help them avoid injuring their own soul by ill behavior.  I would do all things in my power to reach out to others but I find that sometimes what people need in their lives is an absence of my presence - indeed, my own person in their lives may be what is injuring them and stifling their progression.  Some years ago in this spirit I found myself of necessity distancing myself from a person I would have given literally anything to embrace in the harmony of friendship. 
 
Recently I enjoyed an online conversation with a friend regarding the merits of courtesy.  We agreed that it proved a powerful and necessary tool in eliminating anger and hatred.  We also agreed that in extreme cases providing distance proves the most courteous thing a person can do.  This individual with whom I spoke has continually treated me rudely, harshly, and unfeelingly when I have done no wrong to them.  Thus, shortly after this exchange of ideas I courteously unfriended them on Facebook.  To said person, you are welcome. 

 

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