Wikipedia describes Burning Bridges as an expression synonymous to the "point of no return", typically used when a relationship becomes irreparable. I guess we think when a relationship is at the point burning bridges is ok, but I personally don’t think it has to be that way or should be that way. I don’t think we should hardly ever burn bridges, but I suppose many times we do either intentionally or sometimes unintentionally because we are angry, hurt, resentful, vengeful, or selfish or immature.
Whether it’s in friendships, dating, marriages, divorce, parenting, or working relationships, many times we choose to burn a bridge in a relationship only for it to come back and bite us or we regret it. I don’t believe in Karma, but I definitely believe in God’s word of “you reap what you sow” and I also believe in God’s divine plan and that paying back wrongs is His job not ours.
The thing is when we burn bridges we are really hurting ourselves. It could be in a job and we get mad and quit without a notice or tell our boss off and down the road a year or two somehow some way, that keeps us from getting another job or we end up needing something from that person and we can’t because of how we acted. It could be in a dating relationship or marriage where we treat our partner wrong and horrible and walk away trying to hurt them as much as possible, only for it to turn around on us when we get hurt the same way by someone else, or we have to live with the pain we caused someone else.
Or it could be in a friendship where you used someone, betrayed their trust, or threw them under the bus, and then down the road you have to deal with that person again in another setting or you lose other friends because word gets out on how you treated people. Many times people do it in churches and church hop or even people get divorced and do it to their ex-spouse, but problem is there are kids involved and they are the ones who suffer for their parents children or selfish behavior. The lists of scenario’s are endless.
I can see burning a bridge with an abusive parent or spouse. I can see burning a bridge with someone who is evil and brings nothing but pain into your life. But, I believe most of the time this is a rare exception and not the rule for every break-up, divorce, job change, or church move. we must be careful to not leave a path of burnt bridges in our path or sooner or later we are going to be on a deserted island with no bridges at all, because we’ve burnt every bridge and we have no friends, we can’t find a job, no church wants us, no one wants to date or marry us, or no one wants to be friends with us. We end up alone because we refused to recognize the cycle of destructive behavior in our lives and do something about it.
The one who ends up getting burned in the long run is yourself. You can’t go through life constantly hurting people, pushing people away, and hopping from one relationship, friendship marriage, job, church, etc..to the other and at some point not end up alone and with a life full of damaged people most of all including yourself.
I would encourage you today, to not burn bridges. To not destroy relationships. You don’t have to date, marry, or be friends with someone that you don’t want, but you don’t have to purposely try to hurt or destroy them. You don’t have to work at a place you don’t want or with people you don’t want, but you don’t want to do anything that ruins or destroys your reputation or keeps you from future employment opportunities. You don’t have to stay at a church you don’t like, but you don’t have to leave a path of destruction when you leave at every church you attend.
On rare occasions you may have to burn a bridge to protect yourself or your family, but I would hope most of us would try to be bridge builders and sometimes just walk away and move on and let go and leave whatever injustice or vengeance up to God. Do not burn bridges, walk over them and keep walking. Also guard your path so you don’t get in relationships, situations, or places you shouldn’t be in, in the first place.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay says the Lord.’” Romans 12:18-19(NIV)