A few days ago, I wrote this on Twitter, “Believing in free will is accepting that adults won’t always do what we think they should do. It’s acknowledging the reality, while respectfully helping them to see our viewpoint if we genuinely believe it’s good for them and not just us.”

I’ve been following Justin Bieber’s redemption journey. He’s mentioned how God changed him and delivered him from anxiety. I am very glad for him while accepting that he will keep singing about weed and sex. Populist music is his legitimate source of income. Music is his job.

Many Christians struggle with this kind of conflicting behaviour, even though it is none of their business. This is because we assume people should change according to our moral script. And so, celebrities are supposed to immediately give up drinking, smoking and indiscriminate sex when they find Jesus. Toeing the line is supposed to be an outward testimonial of inner transformation. 

Now, if you had a friend who started changing everything about them to please you, outsiders would suspect emotional abuse, not transformation.

Relationship is a journey.

Because you value each other and want to meet each other’s needs, you modulate one another willingly. It’s organic not forced.

Many people desecrate the concept of free will because they relish controlling others. Christians in particular do this while expressing a shocking lack of trust in God. They inadvertently signal that God lacks the capacity to nurture and groom his children without them. Quite frankly, they are prideful and presumptuous. I used to be on this table, but I’ve changed.

When people are in crisis, as long as they are not suicidal and thus require immediate intervention, my first instinct is not to help or speak immediately. I pray instead. Many times, people don’t have the internal energy and courage to take the first steps to deliverance, despite your willingness to help. So, I pray for them to find the energy. Then, I pray for God to show me my role and how I should help specifically. It’s better to do the right thing than to scatter everything with the wrong words or actions.

I am forever mindful of an interaction I had with a friend many years ago.

He was going through a crisis and had taken to sleeping around and doing drugs. A mutual friend asked that I speak with him because word was filtering through corporate circles and his business was at risk. 

I spoke to him and he said something I won’t forget. “Subomi, I know I have a problem and I am dealing with it. The issue is, my friends expect me to snap my fingers and become alright overnight. I am an inconvenience and long-term burden to them and so they want quick results. However, I can only heal at my own pace.”

We must allow adults to grow and heal on their own terms, not yours. You should spend more time praying for people. If you genuinely care, it will become obvious what you need to do for them. In the meantime, just be present and remind them that they are loved and never alone.

For more, please read Do Not Give Up.

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