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Some people are simply stubborn. And no amount of reasoning will change their minds. Without giving up hope, there’s wisdom in learning to live in freedom with such individuals.

It’s true you can lead a horse to water but cannot make it drink. While we can set the ideal conditions, in the end, it’s the horse that must decide to take in the water. And we only frustrate ourselves when we try to force it otherwise.

And of course this applies to more than just horses.

For instance, there are those who will stubbornly commit to faulty perspectives, poor choices, or a life of darkness and sin.

And often we’re tempted to believe they continue on their path because we’ve not yet found the right words to convince them otherwise.

If only we could ask the right questions or get them the help they need then they would turn their life around.

And to be sure, we have this responsibility to them. Love provides whatever is needed, including tough and embarrassing conversations.

But like the watchman, we’re free once we’ve fulfilled this duty. We’re not responsible for the choices they continue to make.

In reality, some have already made up their minds long before we open our mouth or offer our loving correction. They’ve committed to the path they’re on and it doesn’t matter how passionately we present our case.

This is hard to accept when it’s not the outcome we want. And naturally we feel guilty when things don’t end well – constantly wondering if there was something more we could’ve done.

But there’s much peace in learning acceptance. This is not giving up hope. Hope remains until Christ returns. But it is living in freedom and not letting false guilt take us out.

Love courageously and live in freedom – challenging when necessary and humbly accepting the often stubborn choices others make.

Photo by Anna Kaminova on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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