Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater!

A couple of years ago, we divorced our church. We had been active members there for nine years. Baby and bathwater (1)Unfortunately, we became aware of too much hypocrisy and lack of integrity on the part of someone running the show. It became unbearable to be there so we left. We told the “powers that be” our reasons but it made no difference. In our minds at the time the only solution was to remove ourselves from the situation.

We had occasion recently to go visit in order to see some dear friends that were in town for just a short time. I was nervous about how we would be received, but as soon as we hit the doorway, we were hugged and welcomed by a lot of people. I didn’t realize until I saw some of these folks, that I had been missing my community so much.

Was it wise to leave because of one or two people and miss out on what was happening with everyone else? I don’t have a good answer for that. Thanks to the “miracle” of social media, we do keep in touch with some of those people but nothing beats face-to-face contact. I have been missing the hugs and camaraderie.

In my past I have been guilty of “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” I have been hurt by friends and walked away. Some of them I miss. Some not-so-much. But still, is that a grown up way to deal with people? Just stay away if they act like asses?

There is a point where bad behavior is abuse and it is important to protect yourself from that, but sometimes misunderstandings can be corrected and forgiven. I have long since forgiven the church situation and certain ex-friends, but the relationships will never be the same.

Maybe my lack of coping skills is the problem. Maybe I sometimes pick “friends” who are manipulative or controlling and it eventually comes to light. For whatever reason, the pattern keeps repeating in my life.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally grateful and appreciative of the great and loyal friends I have around me now. There are lots of good people who have stayed by my side, but maybe there are some who could have stayed had we just had one more conversation.

Any of you who know me well, know I can be a bit stubborn. (Now quit laughing about the “a bit” part!) My reflection today is on where I might have handled situations differently and if it is possible to make amends at this point.

Seems like just when you think your forgiveness work is done, something pops up to be looked at again. In this phase of my life, I intend to ask for forgiveness when I have hurt someone and practice forgiving others for any perceived hurt I feel.

How many times did Jesus say to “turn the other cheek?” I don’t expect to keep up with Him, but at least I can head in that direction.






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2 comments on “Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater!
  1. Dr. Crystal Davis says:

    Hi Rev. Stepahine,

    Your blog was powerful and brought up some of the same issues of forgiveness that I dealt and am dealing with. what a beautiful reminder you offer us today on this subject. Like you, I miss my community. I have visited a number of others and each present a different culture. Even from an international perspective, we have much work to do in this organization, but as you suggested, rather then call it quits, I reconsider the valuable teaching, forgive, and continue to be a beneficial presence. Wow! Thank you for your insight and reminder to throw out the bath water and NOT the baby!

    Dr. Crystal

  2. Ora Stafford says:

    Dearest Stephanie, I highly commend you for the self-examination and further exploration of your whole experience. I feel this is of the utmost importance. I further feel that sometimes it is just time to move forward and forge another path, or maybe a fork in that same road. I have no doubt that the explorers who helped to provide so many options which we enjoy and learn from today had their own disturbing times — times of feeling pushed or knocked about, of missing what they knew so well and feeling anchorless and rootless. And because there was the bigger picture, they persevered, maintained, discovered and continued the trail blazing that is of such benefit to later generations. I take comfort in knowing that everything is exactly as it is meant to be. And I feel this for thee and me. Much Love, Ora

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