What are you willing to give up for your destiny? Who are you willing to walk away from for God’s best in your life?
I like to call myself "Ruthless Ruth." Not because I’m walking around with an ax cutting people off by the legs, but because I have learned to become extremely ruthless about my family, relationship with God, and future. As such, having to "forsake all others" and my former lifestyle has meant giving up some people I truly cared about.
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. - Matthew 7:14
Imagine Ruth in the Bible. She came from a pagan land, left to marry a man, only to have that man and his entire male lineage annihilated by death. She had a choice to make. Would she leave Naomi and go back to what was familiar, or would she choose to continue on the path with the woman she had come to know and love? I imagine for Ruth to walk away from the familiar and not look back, Naomi’s character had to be exemplary. I imagine Naomi was so upright, leading an integral life that Ruth had no doubt in her mind following her would not be a mistake. Whatever her reasons, "Ruthless" Ruth decided she would risk it all for a woman named Naomi.
As they journeyed into a new land, they found themselves beggars and in poverty. Once again, Ruthless Ruth was willing to do whatever it took to support Naomi. Unlike others in society at the time, Ruth honored Naomi. At one point, Naomi renamed herself, Mara, saying that the Lord had dealt bitterly with her. Ruth stuck with Naomi when she was at the absolute rock-bottom of her life. As a result, when the opportunity came to come before a king, a gentleman such as Boaz, Naomi had no reservations in coaching Ruth to make herself desirable before him. It was Ruth’s faithfulness, her willingness to forsake all others, and essentially ride-or-die character for Naomi, that would lead her to a place of destiny.
What if Ruth wasn’t willing to give up her cousins, mama, and all others to follow Naomi?
What if Ruth turned away when the going got tough and simply returned like Orpah did (no knock on her) to the life she once knew? There would be no book of Ruth. There would be no icon named Ruth. You and I would never be able to say the scripture, "your people shall be my people."
In this day and age, we are also busy claiming loyalty and friendship. However, unless your love looks like Ruth’s, I would seriously question how committed you are to the people you claim to love. I am fortunate enough to be connected with some amazing women who stuck by my family in some of the most challenging seasons of our lives. These are the women I like to call the "Ruths" in my life, and will forever be honored in my eyes.
In contrast, I also know some really great Orpahs. Not judging them, but understand that Orpah was only mentioned at the beginning of the story and her name never came up again.
What and who are you willing to give up? Who are you riding or dying for? If you walked away from a Naomi in her season of pain, can you really be trusted? These are all questions we have to ask ourselves in our private time. But one thing is for sure, you can call me Ruthless Ruth, I'm riding for my riders.
Issata O. is a leader, advocate, and lover of Christ. By day she is a leader in higher education, and by night she is a wife, student, and mother to a very special little boy named Mighty Manny. She believes in transforming the lives of imperfect women through the grace of a perfect God. She is the founder of The EZ Breezy Life, Manny's Village, and Issata O. Inc. Learn more about Issata O. by visiting www.issatao.com.