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Where did the adage “you never burn bridges” originate from?

Is that always healthy? Is it even true?

Bridges are means of connection. They help us move between places. They get us from where we are or were to where we want to be. They are necessary for growth and for movement.


But what happens when the place we were no longer serves us purpose, is toxic, is detrimental to our health or growth.....should it be burned at that point? If we’ve been released from the former place whether voluntary or involuntarily, why would we ever want to go back???


When a bridge is unsafe, it is either repaired, replaced or shut down. We’ve all seen it. A new bridge will be built offering a better way to move ahead. The old bridge is useless.

I’m certain the person who came up with this adage lacked faith and likely trusted what he or she could see or what they had already endured more than they trusted themselves or their God. Simply put, they lacked hope.


Maybe they were fearful or didn’t have hope for their future. Maybe they couldn’t see or imagine a future any greater or better than what they’d already known. Maybe they were so insecure in their self and in their strength that they would have rather gone back to a familiar place that no longer served them instead of traveling into unknown territories.


God rarely sent His children back to a place unless it was to recover something that was lost. But honestly, there weren’t many stories of people in the Bible going back. In fact, through Moses His message to the children of Israel was “for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.” (Ex 14:13). He meant they were NEVER going back.


Perhaps we should change our perspective on this narrative. If the bridge we crossed took us to new places or to the other side albeit uncomfortable or unfamiliar, do we shrink back and turnaround? Or do we keep moving forward trusting our strength, our ability, our fortitude, our faith, our tenacity, our courage and our hope?

I think the blessing is in moving forward. The complacency and the easier route is in going back.

Keep moving forward.


JNicole Speaks

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