The people we surround ourselves with will either lift us up or pull us down. And the tough question becomes, when do we sever the ties of a relationship that’s toxic?
The Cost of A Relationship Part 1 Recap
This post is a follow up from The Cost of a Relationship Part 1. If you haven’t read it you might want to do so before going any further.
In The Cost of a Relationship Part 1, we discovered that every relationship cost something. There is an investment of time, and sometimes money. It is only in time that we get to know someone better, grow closer and learn their strengths and weaknesses.
When we hold on to past hurts, can prevent us from getting close to people. And if we do this, we will miss out on establishing good relationships.
But, what about the relationships we are in, that are toxic or dragging us down?
What About Toxic Relationships?
By no means, are we relationship experts, but we can share our experiences and what God’s Word says on the subject.
In regards to a discipleship relationship, our mentors taught us that if we’re discipling anyone and they refuse to take heed to counsel or do the work; that’s our que to back up.
That’s our que to not invest time and energy, until they prove they want to do the work. There is only so much time during the day, and we must prioritize our time wisely.
This became more real to us over the last six years while serving as Pastors at our church. In an effort to preserve our time and energy, it has required us to use discernment and spend our time wisely with people.
Now when it comes to toxic relationships, whether in business or personal, the Bible has given us two parameters to consider for those types of relationships.
Don’t Be Unequally Yoked
When we experience toxic relationships; we need to consider if it stems from not being on the same page. The Bible calls it, unequally yoked.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”~ 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV)
A lot of people think that this applies to marriages or relationships. The scripture doesn’t say that. As it says; do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.
So this applies to; business relationships, friendships, etc. It doesn’t mean we can’t have relationships with unbelievers, but if we invest a lot of time with unbelievers, there will come a point where our beliefs and the way we view life, will interfere with some decision making, resulting in discord.
This is important for business relationships as well, because it will make all the difference when you’re conducting business that honors God or dishonors Him for financial gain.
In regards to a personal relationship or your marriage, becoming unequally yoked can hinder how you raise your children, or deal with conflict. Now if this is you; don’t beat yourself up.
God knew some of us would marry non-believers, which is why 1 Peter 3 exists. That particular passage tells us that wives can win their unbelieving husband’s over by their godly lives.
If we choose to marry spouses who are on the same page with God, we can avoid heartache.
Don’t Allow Others To Negatively Influence Godly Character
We often have this conversation with our children, as we stress the importance of choosing good friends. We recognize that not every friend will be a Christian. Therefore, we encourage them to ask themselves; are they influencing their non-believing friends? Or, are they being influenced?
“Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.”
~ 1 Corinthians 15:33 (AMPC)
We can have unbelieving friends but the moment they begin to negatively influence our godly character, it’s time for us to make some hard decisions.
Jesus himself hung out with sinners, showing himself friendly and displaying God’s love, but He also spent quality time sowing into his disciples. Those whom He loved in the Lord and discipled them in the things of God.
Jesus is our greatest example of this balance spending time with unbelievers and close friends in the Lord.
In The End
Relationships can be your greatest asset or biggest liability. However, it’s up to you to seek God for the discernment to know if your relationship is lifting you up or tearing you down. And if necessary, seek God for the strength to walk away.
With that said, we will leave you with this…
“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you’ll know exactly what to do.” ~ Michelle Ventor
~ André and Timberley Gray