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Does the Love Walk make me a doormat?

Today’s Question: My family has several members who have disrespected and hurt the other family members over many years. This disrespectful behavior has nearly killed the rest of us. My parents have a motto: "You must fight evil with love". They let these family members continually treat them (and us) like dirt, and refuse to do anything but throw kisses back. They feel their love alone will eventually make these people come around and love them back. So far, it has not happened, in fact it gets continually worse. I know Jesus wants us to have a spirit of love and not hate. I do not hate. But these family members never get told the truth from anyone. I feel abused. I hate seeing my parents reduced to cracker crumbs and nothing ever said or done. What exactly should I be doing as a Christian and follower of Christ who wants to do the right thing, and wants to have a right spirit, and yet does not want to be a doormat? I am hurting, yet I don't want to do something just because I'm angry. Can you enlighten me as to what I should do?

Name withheld

Bible Answer: The motto your parents have is taken from the Word of God. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom 12:21). Right now I can sense that you are being overcome by evil. This happens when you allow what others are doing to get on the inside of you to torment you.

I don’t think your parents feel like doormats. You are the one who feels like it.

Please understand that what your parents are doing—walking in love—keeps people from dominating them. It protects their hearts from anger.

You see, people can do things to you but if it doesn't get on the inside of you, they can never rule. Your parents need to be commended for their love walk, not called "crackers crumbs." They’re in charge, not the other family members. They’re not doormats, you are! You have allowed them to make you a doormat, your parents haven’t.

The other question is, will these unruly family members change? Maybe they will. There is no guarantee, though. Romans 12:17-18 says,

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

The Bible says: "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." This Scripture implies that it is not always possible to live at peace with others, so sometimes you just need to keep your distance from them. At the same time, this scripture says as far as it depends on you. It doesn’t depend on others, but on you personally. It seems to me that your parents have lived at peace with these disrespectful family members. Their greatest motive appears to be winning them to the Lord. Don’t let them get the best of you. Choose to walk in love. Their eternal soul is more important than your feelings.


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