By: Al’Alai Israel-Dor
But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. ~Genesis 19:26
You know the crazy thing about letting go is that underlying voice that tells you that you’re a failure. A low down dirty quitter. There is this inkling inside that says, if you would have just pushed, prayed and maybe even prodded a little more than all would be well. But, what happens when not letting go is slowing down your progress? I’ve experienced times where my love for others handicapped my ability to move forward with my life. Sometimes I felt like a bad friend and other times I felt as if I was cheating myself. Over time, I’ve learned my issue wasn’t the actual act of letting go but rather learning to identify when it was time to let go.
The story of Lot’s wife in Genesis 19 exemplifies this very aspect of what happens when we don’t let go. If you know anything about the background of Sodom, then you know the people of the city were consumed with their lusts for material pleasures and sexual immorality. As the angels of the Lord rescue Lot’s family from the destruction about to fall on the city of Sodom, Lot’s wife turns around to look at all she was leaving and as a result she turns into a pillar of salt, standing solid in the place where she longed for her former life. She could not move forward or carry on with her life. She was in essence – dead. That is exactly what happens to us when we hold on to anything beyond the appointed time. Holding on to anything too long results in us breaking our own heart.
Here are a few quick tips to help you identify if it is time to let go.
1.Goals and Tolls
Get Real. Make an honest evaluation of your life. What are your goals? Have you saved that $1000? Have you lost that 5lbs? Evaluating where you are in regards to your goals makes it easy to determine if that person or thing is contributing to you fulfilling your calling. Don’t limit yourself to thinking that you have to let go of a person. Maybe you need to break up with social media. Maybe your vice is binge-watching seasons of your favorite tv series every weekend. Here’s the point: if the person or thing is you moving further away from your calling and even further away from God – It’s time to pass out pink slips. Girl! Pass those slips out with a smile. Now hear me out on this! If it is a person that you have to let go of, letting them go doesn’t mean you don’t love them. Letting them go means that you desire to live according to your calling. Sometimes to get to the place God is calling you to means leaving a few people behind.
2. Brain Blisters
Yes. Honey. Are you frustrated? If your eyes are bloodshot and your head is thumping; let it go and move on quickly. One thing I’ve witnessed firsthand is the immense amount of peace that occurs when I am in alignment with God. When we have sat in a season too long, tried to take matters into our own hands or plain and simply won’t let go of a “dead” thing – It’s frustrating. Keep in mind, that even when we experience hardship we should still have peace in God. Trust me. The more you align your heart with God’s the more peace you experience. The further you are from that alignment, the more chaos you will experience. There are people who have literally fallen ill because they would not let go. Sister. If you are frustrated, heartbroken and stressed beyond measure… Here is your indicator. This is your sign from God. Let it go. It’s time to move on.
Most people call it setting boundaries. I like to call it the “ctrl+alt+delete” method. As Christians, we should make ourselves available to be used as the Holy Spirit desires to use us to spread the Good News. However, we aren’t designed to be punching bags. Did you catch that? You are not a punching bag. While most of us probably hate to admit it, some of us have been deeply hurt by the words of those we love. Many of us are still trying to rebound from the hurtful words that have been spoken over us. For those that struggle with this area of letting go, boundaries can change everything. Boundaries are your friend. When your values and virtue start to become compromised, you may want to shake your coat tails. Many of our identities have been shaped by the words of others. Use your God-given discernment to know when you need to block people out of your life. Some people think cutting people out of your life is cruel but the reality is if the people around you don’t invest the love, positivity and utter virtue of God into your life, then they shouldn’t get to invest in your life. Would you let a thief come into your home and view your bank statements? Heck No! You’d lock down your home. Your life is no exception. Your purpose in Christ is sacred between you and God. Be able to identify the thieves in your life and set the appropriate boundaries. If all else fails… Ctrl+Alt+Delete.