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Those you allow to remain will become... thorns in your sides...
Earthquakes result from two tectonic plates on a fault line shifting against one another, then lurching in opposite directions. And that's what happens when you bond with the wrong people. It's why God instructed the Israelites concerning the hostile nations in the Promised Land, 'Those you allow to remain will become... thorns in your sides.' When a relationship is not working, when your efforts to rehabilitate it have failed, acknowledge it. Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and admit that instead of lifting them up, they're dragging you down. Releasing somebody doesn't mean they'll never improve, it just means God is better suited to the job. Be careful around those who are always trying to make you feel guilty for not 'being there'. Only God can always be there!
There's a difference between helping somebody and carrying them. Your help may actually be a hindrance. Why should they even try, if you're always there to do it for them? Your need to be needed could be getting in the way of their need to grow. Step back and let them walk on their own. Not everybody will be happy when you do that, but they're not supposed to be. Jesus said, 'Woe to you when all men speak well of you...' (Luke 6:26 NKJV). Don't let fear of criticism overwhelm your common sense. People don't take confrontations well, but this is a matter of survival. Every relationship is for a reason, and a season. Discern those who belonged in your past, from those who belong in your life now.
Used with permission from UCB Word for Today. Free issues are available here for the UK and Republic of Ireland.