It can be difficult leaving a job, a church, a friendship, or a marriage. How do you finish well, especially if you feel you have been wronged?
Often how we finish is more of a truth-teller of our character than anything else. It’s so easy to want revenge. It’s easy to let our anger, our flesh and our desire for justice take control. We often see examples of anger gone wild with employees going postal. Anger in itself is not wrong but anger can lead us to do wrong things.
Lately, I have been thinking about the idea of finishing well. I have some friends that live about a mile away, and just the other night, one of their neighbors murdered his wife and committed suicide, leaving their 4 year old daughter behind. This little girl discovered the bodies when she came home from preschool. Yeah…that did not finish well.
There have been a handful of times when Stephen and I have had to walk away from jobs, churches and relationships. I am thankful this is not one of those times. But a wise friend told us during one of these times, you can’t teach a lesson when you are walking out the door. And, you can’t control what others say and do after you leave.
What is the best finish? The Bible speaks of peace. God calls us to be peacemakers.
Romans 12:17-19 spells it out. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord.”
So, to finish well means we have done everything on our side to live at peace. Maybe that means we get a counselor involved or a 3rd party to help mediate, maybe its simply a loving confrontation and sometimes it means ending a destructive relationship.
Second, we need to do right in the eyes of everyone. This means we don’t always walk away with everything we feel we deserve.
Last, to end well means we trust God. We leave judgment, wrath and revenge up to the Lord. We recognize that in this life, we may not see the justice we want, but we trust that God will take care of it.
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