Many of God’s blessings come in the form of a relationship or through a relationship that honors Him. God is a God of relationships. He seeks a relationship with us and gave His Son Jesus Christ as ransom so that we would enjoy a relationship with Him. Moreover, He lets the outflow of our relationship with Him fall over our relationships with others.
But not all relationships are from and through God. Reality is that in this broken world where sin still has a hold, some relationships can harbor ungodly things. 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'”
Have you ever had or are you in a toxic relationship that only hinders you from God’s best? Here are six ways we shouldn’t respond to them.
Prove yourself to them
A toxic relationship will push you to prove your worth, skills or abilities, but there is no need to give in to such manipulation. Because we are founded on the security that is in Christ, there is nothing left to prove. We are accepted and we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus and we don’t need to earn His approval or the approval of anyone else to feel a sense of worth and value.
Take their words to heart
Much of the things that toxic people may say can hurt us. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” But that power is nothing compared to the power of life that is in the truth of God’s Word. When toxic people spill toxic words, you don’t have to hold on to them. Surrender them up to Christ and let Him take the weight for you.
Demand that they change
Changing people is never our job, even when it’s for the best. It’s something only God can do and only the person who needs to change can accept. We are not in control of anyone’s life, and the more we try to bring change on our own the more we will get frustrated.
Feel obliged to remain in it
While we don’t always have to leave a toxic relationship, we don’t have to stay in it either. Sometimes we can cut all necessary ties or even just limit the number of interactions we have with such people. We are never obliged to keep investing in a relationship that acts like a black hole that sucks your joy and peace.
Ephesians 4:31 says “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” Sometimes it’s hard to deal with the bitterness that creeps in, but the Holy Spirit is more than able to provide you the love, joy and peace to melt the bitterness that builds up. But again, if bitterness is all that comes out of a relationship, sometimes it’s best to just exit.
Follow in their footsteps
Maybe in our exposure to such toxic relationships, we find we ourselves are turning into toxic people. We should always be ready to surrender whatever parts of our hearts are given in to worldly toxicity and let Christ rule in them over our own thoughts and feelings.