There are few things more disappointing and hurtful than when a person who should support you chooses not to. Perhaps they are a family member, a friend, or a person that you supported to some degree and you feel they should support you back despite their opinions. Maybe you have a grand dream and when you share it with them they don’t seem to respond as you would like them to. Maybe you have chosen a lifestyle that is contrary to their way of thinking. Maybe you would just simply like a little support with your little ones and making ends meet. Whatever the case, it is difficult to deal with the emotional turmoil this type of situation brings. So, what should you do?
- Search your Heart: If your heart is right, God is pleased with you and His opinion is all that truly matters. So many times in my life, people have disapproved of my beliefs and actions, even when they were ultimately good. Many people only support those they see eye to eye with on all issues, which is silly since we all have unique perspectives. Agreeing to disagree and supporting one another despite our differences is a fine art that many people refuse to practice. But this is not your problem, it is theirs and if they choose to miss out on your life, they are not worth being stressed over.
- Focus on the Folks who do Support you: There is no greater friend than one who supports you even when your convictions don’t line up exactly. One of my best friends is a vegetarian and I love her for it. I love meat, and she loves me for it. Another one of my friends believes women should not be lead-pastors in a church and I disagree, so we just avoid the subject and still support one another’s Christ-centered endeavors. We shouldn’t expect people to agree with our stances or our lifestyles all the time. It is OK to support a person fully, without fully agreeing with everything they do and say. Spend your energy on people who love you and support you no matter what; those are the people who will give you the confidence you need to succeed in life.
- Vent to a Trusted Friend: Sometimes when you are really frustrated with someone who should support you, but isn’t, you need to get it out! Talk to someone you trust with your heart. Lay it on them and let them help you work through the pain of the situation. Just make sure you talk to someone who gives solid advice. Talk to someone wise and sleep on it before you act (emotions can make us do things we will regret later)!
- Be Humble & Seek God’s Word: Sometimes we are wrong. I know weird right? There have been plenty of times in my life where I thought I was right, only to search the Bible and realize I was not “walking in truth and love.” Sometimes people don’t support us because they believe what we are doing is harmful for us and they don’t know how to get through to us. I am not talking about gray areas; I am talking about black and white areas of truth. Be humble enough to admit when you are wrong if it means restoring your relationship with God and others, but don’t back down on your beliefs if your evidence is grounded.
- Let it Go: This is the biggest one because it is the most difficult, but the most important. If someone who should support you refuses, we have to learn to let it go. Sometimes this means letting them go as your friend or family member, but most the time it simply means that you cannot be as close with that person as you would like to be. If a close friend or family member’s lack of support is devastating your life, it may be time to let that relationship subside and that is OK. God has called us to love everyone, but we don’t have to like everyone and we certainly don’t have to spend our energy on those who don’t support us. Forgive them and move on with your life. You have great things to do; don’t let their issues get in your way!
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