Originally Posted by thrawn_84109
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. What you say makes sense. I'll talk to him again, go from this direction. Maybe he'll decide to think a little more long term.
It's hard for me to let go but I guess I just need to not care as much. Because of our age difference I've watched out for him for a long time, but I guess when people become independent adults there's not much you can do to affect them anymore. I guess that's the way it's supposed to be. At some point you stop looking to others for your decisions and look inside yourself.
I think you're on the right track with this thought process but just want to address what I bolded. It's not about caring less. If anything, you need to care more
. However, there needs to be a recognition that caring about someone includes letting them make their own decisions, exercise their own agency, and make their own mistakes.
Does God care any less about us because He allows us to exercise our agency and make our own decisions, even when those decisions are wrong? Certainly, not. He cares about us so much that He gave us the opportunity to have that freedom to act for ourselves and to use our own judgement, even knowing that we might make decisions that would lead us away from Him. It was Satan's plan to control our actions, to make
everyone choose right. Sometimes, when we really care about someone and want them to do what is best for themselves, we get a little Satan-esque in our thought processes and wish we could force them to do the right thing. But that wasn't God's plan. Because God knew that we wouldn't learn and grow and progress without the ability to make mistakes and learn from them, without the ability to steer our own courses.
Continue to be a good example to your friend. Continue to love him and care about him. But allow him the space and freedom to make his own decisions. Trust him with his agency, and hope and pray that he exercises it responsibly. Be a good role model. Offer him advice when he asks for it. Don't push or coerce- exercise patience and longsuffering. And even if he makes the wrong decision, be there for him to see him through it.