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About Writing People Off

Like a woman cooking a large family meal, I have a pot on every burner right now. Front right is the woman who has given up on her husband. Back right is the child still going the wrong direction. Front left is the young woman who has given up on her family. Back left is the woman who sees no hope in herself.

I keep a spoon of prayer stirring in each pot where someone teeters on the edge of writing someone off.

According to the Free Dictionary by Farlex, the idiom “to write someone off” means:

  • to give up on turning someone into something
  • to give up on someone as a dead loss, waste of time, hopeless case, etc.

This usually comes with the phrase, I’m done.

I’m done with him.

I’m done with her.

Writing people off is tempting for three reasons:

  • First, we are WORN OUT. We are to-the-bone weary with trying to understand or help or forgive. Fatigue causes us to throw up our hands in defeat.
  • Second, we have NO HOPE. Nothing changed last year. Nothing has changed this year. Why in the world should we expect anything to be better next year?
  • Third, we have DRIFTED FROM THE GOSPEL. We have forgotten that “…while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV). We have forgotten that Christ pushed past his own weariness and pain and trudged on for the sake of love. We have forgotten that Christ held hope we could become whole and blameless.

I see you today in that difficult relationship, so weary you can hardly take a breath. So much pain has been inflicted that you feel you will never be healed. You’ve been in the middle of the relationship challenge for so long that you can’t lift your head up and imagine things could ever change. It seems impossible to you. It seems impossible to everyone else.

But there is the gospel.

Writing a person off is so tempting when the relationship is hard.  -christyfitzwater.com

As we pull up close to the gospel, we remember there is hope for every man to be transformed when the light of Christ shines into his darkness.

So, what to do with a person’s name…

If determining not to write it off, then the alternative is to write the name on your heart. Vulnerable place, the heart. But either way there will be wounds, yes?

Better to pull a person in close and suffer long than to shove him away.



  1. Thank you for these words of inspiration! I had a difficult marriage for years on both our parts, we have put God into the center of our relationship and he is really working on me to be a help meet and to change the way that I look at things.

    But your words are giving me encouragement that things can be the way that God truly wants them to be!

    1. That is so tough. I almost added into that post a story about dear friends who were on the edge of divorce, but God rescued their marriage. There is SOO much hope if you plug away at it and definitely when you both make God the love of your lives. I pray God will continue to reveal to both of you how to make things better!!

  2. Thanks Christy. Wise words.

  3. Excellent….so needed to read this as I want to and tend to “write people off” …or let that pot just get hot and burn. Yikes! It is so true that the gospel was and is the game changer and we win. We win.

    1. I still can’t believe that I am just now discovering that we must apply the gospel to every situation. It is the ONLY reason to stick with relationships instead of bailing. We do win!!

      1. I am on the other end. I have been written off by my wife/divorced but never giving up”Till death do us part” and also my teenage daughter. I believe in all you said and it was something I needed to hear. God is always a God of restoration and healing. Thank you for your words of wisdom!

        1. You have a painful story. I pray God will encourage you and give you wisdom as you move forward. Thanks for taking the time to write.

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