Walking Away From Toxic Relationships
Are any of your relationships unhealthy? Bible-based advice for how to tell--and how to cut them off.
BY: Paula White
There are several types of relationships that are liabilities, not assets. If you are going to develop healthy relationships, you first must cut off the unhealthy ones you have developed. How can you tell if a relationship is toxic? Here are three major indicators:
Constant Strife and Division. First, there will be constant strife and division. Amos 3:3 asks us, "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" A healthy relationship is one in which there is a oneness of goals, purpose, values, and beliefs. God's Word also says, "Where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there" (James 3:16).
The Greek word for confusion means "unstable." The Bible tells
us that a double-minded man is "unstable in all his ways" (James
1:8). The situation is out of order and therefore out of control. God
is a God of order. He has set up lines of authority, and when those
lines are violated, the door is open to every type of evil spirit. You
don't get to choose the brand of evil spirit you want. When you get
out of line with the way God has designed things to work, the devil
has a legal right to touch you with any form of evil he wants.
Strife and confusion sap your energy and drain your creativity. They take your focus off what God has for you.
People Who Knew You "Back When." One of the most dangerous relationships is the one that holds you to your past. The Bible tells us that when Jesus went to his "own country," He taught, and the people were astonished, but they were also "offended" at Him because they kept saying, "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't this the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? He can't possibly have all this wisdom and do these mighty works. We know Him. He's just one of us." And Jesus could do no miracles there "because of their unbelief." It wasn't that Jesus had lost any power in Himself. He wasn't any less of who He was in his home country. It was because of their, unbelief that He could not manifest the fullness of Himself (see Matthew 13:53-58).
The associations of your past can drag you down and hold you back. They can keep you from fulfilling your potential.
I'm not talking, of course, of relationships that you have entered into with a covenant or relationships that God has ordained for your life. You can't just casually walk away from a father or mother or spouse or child. I'm talking about friendships and business associations and casual acquaintances and distant relatives who remind you continually of what people used to think of you. Those old opinions that were not God's opinions are opinions that do not relate to your tomorrow. They relate only to your yesterday.