Just Walk Away

Long Slice of Pie Ala Mode 4 of 4

(Photo credit: cobalt123)

Just walk away. Have you ever heard that command? Maybe it was your parents in your early years when other kids were being mean, your spouse when there is only one slice of pie left, or a friend trying to encourage you through a difficult time. Recently, I have been noticing the phrase from that voice that only I can hear and it has come in a variety of situations. 

It could be sitting down after lunch, passing time during a summer program, or just hanging out at the proverbial water cooler, I have found myself listening to that voice that says “just walk away, Nick.” As I reflect back on these times when the voice is heard, I am seeing a pattern: someone is oozing a negative mindset, complaining, or just talking to talk. Most of this is what Dave Ramsey defines as gossip. I am finding the best way to handle this is to just walk away. Paul teaches this well in his charge to Timothy (from I Timothy 6):

All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.

Respect those in authority over you. Chances are this pertains to your boss or their boss. Perhaps it is local, state, or national leaders. Whoever it is, we should show them our respect, not necessarily for ourselves, but that God’s name will not be slandered.

These are the things you are to teach and insist on. If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

Wow, this paragraph hit me between the eyes. I sometimes ask questions just to learn what is going on, but I know it is steeped in controversy and I want to know what is going on so that I might continue that or add my perspective. The fruit of this? Envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions, and constant friction. Yep, been there and I need to change that.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Am I content with what I have been given? As the bumper sticker says, “He with the most toys, still dies.” Godliness is about a relationship, one in which you are willing to live a certain way because of who you love, not what you will get. The foolishness of the tongue destroys the trust in that relationship.

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

This is that voice I hear. Flee from the slander and selfish desires, the poison that is being spread. But God also gives us a direction to go. Don’t just flee the bad, but pursue the good–righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.

What have you found yourself walking away from recently? Are you walking away from the bad or are you walking away from the good? 

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6 Comments on “Just Walk Away”

  1. skropp says:

    Great points Nick! There are soo many things every day we ought to just walk away from! And there are definitely more I SHOULD walk away from than I actually do!
    What really struck me though, was your last paragraph. Yes we need to flee from evil, and quite honestly, I think most of us are good at that. The problem is running towards good. I know that’s where I get caught up, actually, consciously going towards good, not just vegetating. Like CS Lewis said, every inch of the universe is claimed by God and counter claimed by the devil! It’s not enough to just not do bad, we must DO good!
    A favorite scripture of mine says, “…men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them…” (D&C 58:27-28).
    Thanks for the encouragement today!

  2. Cate Brinnon says:

    This is so timely! I understand completely. I am struggling with that line between walking away and “being the change I hope to see in the world.” One thing the enemy does is separate us thus weakening the collective strength we gather from our brothers and sisters in Christ. So what happens when get “sucker punched” (for lack of a better phrase)? I am praying for and seeking Godly wisdom and the fellowshiop of other believers. I struggle with whether or not this may be construed as gossip.

    I searched the word “offense” and “offended” and landed on Matthew 17:27. Jesus shows us here that we can respect earthly authority without compromising what we know is right….by talking it out with God who will then provide a way for us. In this case, in the mouth of a fish.

    As I struggle between just walking away (very wise choice in many a situation) and taking a stand, I look to heroes like Daniel, Moses, and others. We need to make it about God and our relationship with Him. If I don’t want to do what I know I should (good old Paul), then I pray for obedience to God’s will for me. If it is that I am afraid, I pray for God’s strength. What I know is that the conflict I feel within me is what I need to explore so that my heart can be examined and changed. Bottom line is that, whether I walk away or take a stand, everything WILL be handled as God wills it to be.

    Sometimes walking away encourages others to follow!

    PS
    I heard a great song this morning – Josh Wilson’s “I Refuse.” Made me think about this subject!

    • Great points, Cate! It is difficult to understand when to walk away and when to take a stand. In hindsight, many times I have taken a stand, it was for my own selfish reasons and not reasons to glorify God.

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