He showed radical grace. He modeled what love was supposed to look like, he “turned the other cheek” when insulted, BUT he also refused to be anyone’s doormat. If people weren’t willing to be in a healthy relationship, he didn’t chase after them. He gave them space and didn’t compromise his character or the rules that must exist in all healthy relationships as a way to appease people who weren’t pleased with him. We can learn a LOT about dealing with difficult people form his example.
#5 sums everything up in one important point…
5. Do all you can to live at peace with manipulative people, but if they refuse to live at peace with you, then live your life in peace without them.
This “tough love” can be so difficult, but sometimes someone will simply refuse to be in a relationship with you unless they’re pulling all the strings and you’re jumping through their hoops. Do all you can to live at peace and be one who builds bridges instead of tearing them down, but if this person isn’t willing to do their part, then you might need to love them from a distance. Don’t let them manipulate you or control you or steal your joy. Pray for them. Put the situation in God’s hands, and once you’ve done all you can, move forward in peace, and trust God to do the rest.
For more on creating healthy boundaries in relationships, I recommend the book Boundaries by John Townsend and Henry Cloud.
This article originally appeared here.