Of course, we hold on tightly to the things we love. But sometimes the most loving thing to do is to let go. We see this, for example, as kids grow and mature. While parents might want to hold onto them at times, it’s not love to hold them back from their potential. Love gives them the freedom to become all that God has for them. And this is true throughout our life and relationships.
To be sure, all too often we’re very fickle in our affections for each other. What we call love tends to be more about our own comfort and convenience rather than true love. And we’re very quick to disregard our stated loyalties to each other whenever things get difficult. But honoring our commitment to love is not just about holding on.
Love seeks to advance the good of the other even when it comes at a personal cost for ourselves. And this means sometimes we have to let go of what we want when this is in the best interest of the other.
This is not just giving others what they want, but it’s discerning the true good and being willing to make personal sacrifices whenever necessary.
For instance, we don’t try to guilt someone into staying in our life just because it’s better for us that they do. We consider the impact of our relationship on them and if letting go is what’s best for them.
Like setting a bird free, it’s not love to hold onto others for our sake when it robs others of their freedom to flourish as God intends.
To be fair, it’s not always easy to know when we should hold on and when we should let go. And this is why it’s important to regularly discern the fruit of our efforts. In short, when holding on harms others, it’s time to let go.
Hold on tightly to the things important to you. And be willing to let go as an act of love when this is in the best interest of the other.