You probably know the signs of being in a toxic relationship with a significant other, co-worker or friend. These relationships drain you and make you feel worthless, because the other person is not putting in adequate effort, manipulating you, or are using you for their personal gain. You may have lost friends because they got stuck in toxic relationships and it only brought you down as well. These types of relationships weigh on the soul and are imperative to get out of.
How then could we possibly be in a toxic relationship with God? God is all perfect and nothing but love. There is no way that having God in our lives could negatively impact us, right? We sometimes miss the painful but real truth: we are the ones who are toxic in the relationship.
Many Christians find themselves in toxic relationships with Christ without even realizing it, because they are the one who is exhibiting poor behaviors. They do not glorify God in the way that the Bible instructs. Here are key signs you might be in a sour relationship with Him.
You don’t take responsibility for your actions.
We’ve all had that friend that will blame everyone else but themselves for all the terrible things happening in their lives. If they lose their job for example, they’re quick to blame their boss for being hypercritical rather than looking at their lackluster job performance. Do you blame God for the bad things that happen in your life, rather than admit that you could have made better choices? It is incredible easy to play the blame game and put responsibility on God’s shoulders, but that’s not what He wants us to do. It’s not healthy to be in a relationship with someone who we believe is the cause of all our problems. Secondly, blaming God neglects us from realizing the sins we committed that led us to the problem.
God knows that we aren’t perfect and He doesn’t expect us to be. He wants us to come with Him with a heart that is begging for forgiveness. Take a look at yourself and the things you could have done better in the past, and apologize to God for your mistakes. Not only will you be able to receive His grace, but you’ll start a more positive conversation with Him.
You act as a fair-weather friend.
Do you have any friends that only seem to be around when they need something for you? Maybe friends that acts like they love you, but are really only using use to comfort them when times get tough? That is the case of a fair-weather friend. They only invest time and energy into certain relationships when they have something to gain from it, rather than create a lasting bond.
Christians are in a relationship with God 365 days a year for 24 hours a day. There is no picking and choosing when you want to have God in your life. It’s not fair to God to only call on Him when you need His help; yet ignore His whispers when things are going swimmingly. Furthermore, we deprive ourselves of the amazing blessings God can give us no matter what stage of our lives we are at when we act as fair-weather friends. We should pledge to constantly strengthen our relationship with God each day.
You don’t put God first in your life.
If you were asked the question “who or what is most important to you in life?” would you say God as your answer, truthfully? Many Christians value God in their lives, but let Him hang as their second or third priority. They let their marriages, children, and careers take the stage instead. God calls on us to build such a strong relationship with Him that He becomes the most important aspect of our lives, but that can be easier said than done.
Are you a Christian that is all talk and no action? Do you set time aside each day to read the Bible, go to church, or pray with the Lord? If you don’t, then it’s likely you aren’t actually putting God first. Take a step back and reevaluate how you can incorporate Him more into your daily routine. Over time, this will help you create a healthier relationship with Him.
You let others dictate your relationship with God.
There are times where you might find it difficult to stay loyal to Christ because friends, family, and strangers inject their own thoughts, opinions and beliefs onto you. It’s a reality that we live in a very secular world today that doesn’t value Christianity. You might have an atheist co-worker tell you that you are believing in Santa Claus, for example. If you let these people get to you and into your head, you’ll quickly lose the bond you made with Christ.
Furthermore, there are many Christians that believe their journey of faith is the “right” way. It’s important to remember that each person has a unique and individual bond with the Lord, and that no one way to Christ is better than another. Do not listen to what others have to say about how your spiritual life is going. That is between you and God, only.
God is not supposed to be a tool you use to get what you want, only at a time that is convenient for you. It’s hard to admit when we are the toxic ones in a relationship, but identifying your poor behaviors is the first step to fixing the problem. God loves you very deeply and He wants to have a healthy, strong, intimate bond with you. Ask Him for help and guidance for stopping the toxic behaviors, and you’ll quickly learn how easy it is to make Him the best and most important part of your life.