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I grew up believing that this verse, paired with talk of dying to self, meant my opinions and preferences were of little to no consideration. By giving in, I would demonstrate the love of Jesus to others. My job as a Christian, especially as a southern Christian woman, was to give in to the everyone else’s ideas and wishes.

The opening clause of that verse, “if possible,” disappeared into the background. Despite the abundance of resources on setting boundaries, I could never accept that doing so was a viable option for a Christian. While the concept sounded healthy and admirable, I could never reconcile it with Scripture.

My perspective changed dramatically after hearing a recent sermon where the pastor led with scriptural guidance to restore broken relationships, then addressed what we should do if reconciliation is not possible. He shared an experience with conflict from his college years which required separation from someone. What are Christians to do when we explore all paths to reconciliation, yet discover that they are not enough?

Read more at The Glorious Table.