Catch & Release

"you gotta let go"Going fishing with my Dad taught me to limit my catches to 12 fish in a day, based on fishing license limits, except when we lived in Alaska. There was no limit to fish then. One of the tricks to limiting fish, is learning to release. Keeping the bigger fish means letting smaller ones go. When you catch a fish, you pull it into the boat, u decide whether the size is too small, and if so gently release it back to the water for it to continue to grow.
Catch & Release” has value in our life too. In an age of Twitter, FB ‘friending’ and social networking, one begins to think that accumulation of status and friendship is a goal or a status. Is that the goal God has for us today? Could it be that God brings people into our lives for a purpose, and releases people out of our lives for another purpose? One friend of mine talks about “shepherding souls” as a God-given way for us to care for people along life’s journey until they move out of our lives. She says, “When someone moves out of her life, it is best to bless them and release them physically, emotionally and spiritually, so that they can become the person God is designing them to become.”
How do you release someone? I imagine there are healthy ways to release people to become what God has designed and unhealthy ways, which result in not letting go. Some unhealthy indicators might include a feeling of jealousy for the other person’s new situation. When you cannot get their new living situation out of your head, or wish it were your new life, then maybe you haven’t released them. Bitterness or lack of forgiveness is another indicator of not releasing someone. If you can’t forgive them, you have not released them.
What are some healthy ways to release people to be who God’s called them to be? Possibly here are some steps you can use to release others to grow:
~ Forgive them. If there’s anything that remains a hurt in your life from unresolved pain, it’s nearly impossible to let someone go. Forgiving means coming to resolution about an issue together or reconciling your portion of the issue so that you might release that person in your heart. “Above all else guard your heart; for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23). You have a part to play in forgiving someone so that you can release them from a ‘bondage’ they unwittingly hold over you. When you forgive, you release them from a grip in your life.
~ Give them permission. One of the ways I’ve found that helps me release others to greater potential is granting permission to grow. One of the worst things clingy friends have done to me in the past is attempted to control my growth by not granting me permission to explore, to fail, or to go in a direction away from them. I feel that the same needs to happen in others’ lives. If I am to release someone to grow, I need to stop assuming they will respond the way I would like them to, or grow in the direction I presume for them. I can’t control anyone.
~ Pray for them. Scripture tells us to pray for one another. Even the Apostle Paul writes, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Philippians 1:4-5) You can partner with others in the spreading of the gospel by praying for them and releasing them to another ministry in their location. Prayer is a wonderful venue of ‘releasing’ someone into God’s care.
God is the master fisherman. It is His intention that we all grow, mature and flourish as we were designed. It is not my role to play the fisherman in others’ lives, catching them for my benefit. I need to release people to thrive in the freedom God has granted us by His grace. May you come to find a “releasing” skill growing in you as we mature in Christ together.

Published by Reid Olson

I was a pastor who still knows a personal connection with God and I like to share thoughts and insights to make God's Kingdom a little more tangibly, while sharing conversations on leadership insights. Now I'm a funeral director, still seeking to share about Jesus.

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