Do you feel like you need to emotionally detach from someone but you are finding it difficult to actually let them go? There’s a very important biblical principle that can really help you. But this principle is multifaceted, meaning it can be applied in many different ways.
So to help you rightly apply this principle to your situation, I’m going to give you three different points to consider. You may need to apply this principle in all three applications that I will share, or you might just need one or two. Spend time praying what the Lord is leading you to do.
The big biblical principle that we will apply in three different ways to help you easily emotionally detach is: Count the cost.
1. Count the Cost of Remaining Emotionally Attached to This Person
I’m not saying letting someone go that you are attached to is an easy task in and of itself. However, one way to make something a lot easier is by comparing it to something even harder. In Luke 14:27-28, Jesus said:
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”
In other words, it’s not easy to bear your cross. But compared to not getting to be Jesus’ disciple, the choice is easy. Jesus warned us about the cost of not picking up our crosses so that we would find it that much easier to pick up our crosses.
This principle applies to all of life. Changing your diet may be hard for you. But if you know you are about to have a stroke or heart attack if you keep eating poorly, the choice becomes a lot easier. Going through training in a career is hard. But it’s a lot easier once you’ve struggled at dead-end jobs for a while and you have no way of making a good income. Compared to that, now the career training doesn’t seem so bad. It’s difficult to get knee surgery and then needing to go through physical therapy. But it’s a lot harder living your life in constant pain every time you take one single step.
So yes, it is hard to let someone go emotionally, but if you count the cost of holding onto this person, it will make the process of letting them go a lot easier. For example:
- If you remain emotionally attached to this person, you will always feel this aching pain in your heart.
- If you remain emotionally attached to this person, you will always be controlled by them and they will continue to have power over you, coming in and out of your life whenever they feel like it.
- If you remain emotionally attached to this person, you will waste your life grieving rather than enjoying the time you have here for God’s glory.
2. Count the Cost of Emotionally Letting This Person Go
Point 1 was about finding motivation to let this person go through remembering the pain they are causing. But now in Point 2, we need to also count the cost of losing the good this person has brought into your life.
Why? Because you have to be genuinely truthful with yourself before you will be truly free to let them go or not. You have to be fully aware of what you are losing and gaining so that you know for certain this is the right choice.
After Jesus told us to count the cost in Luke 14:28, he then said in Luke 14:29-30, “Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” In other words, Jesus tells us to make sure we are willing to let go of the pleasures in this life before we decide to follow him so that when we suffer in the future, we don’t go back to our old way of living.
This same principle applies to our topic of letting this person go. You have to reckon with the good you are losing so that when it becomes really painful as you try to let this person go, you have already decided the trade is worth it. For example:
- Yes, if you go no contact towards this person so you can let them go, it will hurt even more than it hurts right now. At least now you get some contact with them.
- Yes, it’s kind of nice feeling like this person is “the one” for you because now you feel released to not look anywhere else. You feel comfortable just waiting safely for this person to change their feelings for you.
- Yes, it’s kind of reassuring to find your identity in your pain. It’s nice to know you are someone who needs healing all the time because this person is always hurting you. Now you always have an excuse to not live up to your full potential. If you got healed and lived healthy, there would be no more excuses to hide behind.
I’m not saying these things sarcastically either. These actually are nice little benefits to holding onto this person.
I’m just encouraging you to be brutally honest with yourself. While this person really is misusing you and there is no excuse for that, don’t ignore your own motivations for participating in this for as long as you have. Perhaps the worst part about being wounded by someone else is that we are then easily blinded to our own flaws. Two things can be true at the same time. They are wrong for treating you that way and there are things in your own life that you are doing which you can correct.
To stop this unhealthy emotional attachment, you have to decide to let go of these little pleasures you are getting from this dysfunctional relationship so you can go out into the real world and truly live again. You owe it to God and to yourself.
3. Count the Cost of Not Being Available to All the Other Options Out There
At the end of this passage in Luke 14:33, Jesus said, “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” When it comes to Jesus, the math is simple but also a bit shocking. You have to subtract everything in your life to add one thing in return. You have to give up this world and then you get to follow Jesus. But once you realize how empty the world is, the math becomes a no-brainer. We would be fools to choose this world over eternity with Jesus.
When we apply this principle to relationships, you have to remember what you are really looking for. Yes, you have to give up this emotional attachment with this person. But the reason you know you have to give it up is because deep down you also know it’s an empty relationship already. You want true love with someone who actually loves you too. And you will never have that if you cling to this old attachment.
Is God telling you to “go no contact” towards someone? If you’re unsure, here’s an article that may help you: 4 Signs God Is Telling You to Go No Contact Towards Someone.