Restitution and idolatry. . .

God sends people into our lives for a reason. We don’t always know what that reason is, but there is one nonetheless. Sometimes it’s to teach us a lesson about him. Other times it’s to teach us a lesson about ourselves.

And there are times when he wants to teach us a lesson about both ourselves and himself.

When that person came into my life, I had no idea that God would be teaching me some very hard-hitting lessons. Not the least of which was that I sometimes need to let people out of my life, no matter how painful that may be.

It ended up being far more difficult than I realized it would be, and took me a lot longer than it rightfully should have taken. And I’ll admit, the way I went about it wasn’t the most noble. Heck, it was sloppy and hurtful. But something happened the day I finally let go. God grabbed me again. He drew me close to his heart and said, “See, you don’t need someone else. You need only me.”

Why did I have to do that? Why did I have to let go? There are countless reasons, but none rings truer than this: someone had replaced God as the primary focus of my attention. First thing in the morning, I’d get a phone call from her. Right before bed, I’d call her. I’d spend four to six hours of my day in conversation with another human being. Shouldn’t those time slots have been reserved for God?

But now the question begins gnawing at my mind: do I seek restitution?

I know for a fact that what I did hurt her. I’m supposed to live at peace with all men to the best of my ability. And the hurt that took place could have easily been prevented. But I didn’t take any steps to prevent the pain, and the damage has been done. But when I ask for forgiveness, can I do so without allowing her into my life again? Or, if I do allow her in again, will I be able to keep my life Christ-centered and not person-centered?

But then again, after what I did, would she even want me in her life again?

Either way, this question still stands: can I keep Christ first in my life and not put others in his place? Because I learned something about him. He cannot, and will not, share first place in my heart.

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