Did you know planting mint with other herbs or plants could completely overtake your garden? It’s an easy plant to grow, but it has roots called “runners” that grow quickly and can be invasive. So, you have to give them a place to spread without getting in the way of other plants. That generally means it needs to be planted alone. Well, I didn’t plant mint in my herb garden, but by the look of it, it was obvious I planted something that behaved like mint and did not play well with others. In my last post, I started sharing life lessons from my failed attempt at growing an herb garden. Here is another lesson I learned that I think might be helpful:
Don’t always cut off relationships -instead- Reevaluate then Reposition.
When I became a Christian, I often heard “You just have to cut some people off.” I understand the intent of this phrase, but I think it is often overused and misused. Let me explain. Would you agree that mint has a ton of uses and benefits? Most of us would say yes. If you don’t agree, just Google “benefits of mint” and you could spend hours reading about this herb.
But wait, this is the same plant that is invasive and can overtake a garden. If we just get rid of it, cut it off, we could loose a ton of useful benefits. So what are we to do? How do we maintain the benefits without letting it take over our garden?
Easy, REEVALUATE and then REPOSITION IT. Assess where you planted it, what it takes to replant it and then simply reposition it. Put the plant in a separate pot and replant the entire pot in the garden, or just display it in its own unique space. With other plants it can behave like a weed, in a space designed to accommodate it, it flourishes.
I use this same principle when planting in my life’s garden. I understand there are people we may need to “cut off”, but I think that is more of the exception than the rule. Often, we just need to reevaluate where they are planted in our life. When we take time to really get to know a person we have a good sense of whether or not they fit in the garden of our life. Side Note: Just because they don’t fit in our garden, at that time, doesn’t mean they are any less valuable. It simply means they are not a good fit for where we are in that particular season of our life.
There are people in my life that really hurt me. I didn’t cut them off. I simply went through the process of forgiveness and interacted with them on a different level. Some are now a part of what I call my growth community or should I say my “life’s garden”. Now, there was a season when the relationship was distant, but it didn’t mean they were no longer in my life. They were taking their own growth journey and unfortunately some of that journey involved me being hurt in the process.
That’s life, just ask Jesus. His own disciples left him alone at the cross. He didn’t cut them off. As a matter of fact, he commissioned them to take His message to the world. Oh, and Judas… Judas will take care of himself. Jesus didn’t cut off Judas; Judas cut himself off. Don’t waste time or energy on friends turned haters. If they truly are haters, they will take care of themselves. Often they are not haters, they actually admire and respect you. They just don’t know how to show it. I am certainly not advocating holding on to toxic relationships or any relationship that is unhealthy. However, I think we should reevaluate the relationships we have and see if they are worth salvaging. Maybe you will have to reposition it for a while. Maybe be a good heart to heart will resolve the problem.
I look at it like this; I behaved like mint in somebodies garden. But instead of cutting me off, that person saw the good in me. He saw all I had to offer and was willing to reposition me and place me in environments where I could flourish. That somebody is Christ. After all I have said and done AFTER becoming a Christian, I would understand if He did cut me off. But he didn’t, he keeps right on working with me.
So I will leave you with this point to ponder: Relationships involve people. People change, and then change again. It’s takes wisdom and courage to know when and how to reevaluate and perhaps reposition them. Give the “mint like” relationships the same grace you would want them the give you. Don’t lose the benefits…REEVALUATE and if possible don’t cut them off, just REPOSITION.
As always I would love to know your thoughts! Comment below and tell me what you think.