Toxic Relationships. Intro: The people in your life, they can be the greatest spiritual asset, or they can be your worst spiritual curse.

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1 Toxic Relationships Intro: The people in your life, they can be the greatest spiritual asset, or they can be your worst spiritual curse. 1. The people around you can be a tremendous spiritual asset; The right people will lift you, encourage you & equip you spiritually. The wrong people though, they can be incredibly distracting, destructive and poisonous in your life if you re not careful. The reality is People that you allow in your Lives will either inspire you or drain you. I think its all of our responsibility to give serious attention to this in our lives. 2. In fact, right now I bet there are many of you that can think of someone who is a negative influence and who drains you of all JOY, Energy or patience. They are always critical, always griping, always harping always leaching on your emotions. They maybe even tempting you to join in their misery because how man know that misery loves company. 3. How many of you would honestly say "I can think of someone, that after I'm with them, I feel worse about myself and maybe even life in general rather than better?" 4. In fact, chances are many of you are thinking of family members right now and that's with good reason, because there is a spiritual 1

2 principle that every family has a psycho! LOL A spiritual Norman Bates. Illustration: Just to prove it, if I can get you to participate with me, this is really important How many of you would say, "Unquestionably, in my family, could be the extended family, there is a psycho!" Would you raise your hands right now? Leave them up everyone. I want you to look now around, notice the people that do not have their hands in the air! Remember, there's one in every family and if your hands not raised your probably the phsyco LOL Sorry I couldn t resist myself! 1. This morning we re gonna talk about Toxic Relationships remember what Toxic is defined as a. Media Team Please put this on screen: Anchor thought: Toxic is anything containing poisonous material capable of causing sickness or even death. If you haven't thought of it this way, people contain something very poisonous. The Bible calls it sin and sin is capable of causing sickness or even spiritual death. In fact, I think that is why the Apostle Paul said this in. 1 Corinthians15:33 Do not be misled b. I think the reason that he said this is because it's so easy to be misled. We may think; 'You know, hanging out with this person is not that big of a deal, they are not that dangerous, but he said: Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." 1 Corinthians 15:33 2

3 c. Now, I don't know about you, but it's so easy for me to think; 'Well, good company lifts up bad character. I mean, if I'm there and I'm good, I am going to lift up those around me.' But Scripture says, 'No, no, don't be misled!' My Point: More often than not, the bad company is going to pull you down rather than you pulling people up. In fact, I will show you a verse that is very extreme, and I want you to understand, this is just how toxic the wrong relationships can be. 1 Corinthians Don t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? 16 And what union can there be between God s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. 18 And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. 2 Timothy 2:16, Paul says: Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 2.Thier filthy things are their sin a. Don't get around this godless chatter, sinful talk, sinful people, because those who indulge in it will become what? They will become more and more ungodly. My Point: If we engage in godless chatter, if we are hanging out with toxic people, we are not going to become more godly; instead they are going to corrupt good character and we are going to become more and more and more ungodly. 2 Timothy 2:17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. b. Now, I did a little research on gangrene. This is one nasty disease! 3

4 What it is, is it can start from just a simple, very small infection, and the blood or the life stops flowing to a part of the body and then a part of the body literally dies. And what I want to do is I want to show you some pictures in a moment, but first let me just warn you, that what I'm going to show you is nasty and disgusting! If you have a weak stomach, do not look! I will not accept any s telling me that this was gross! Just close your eyes, turn away and do not complain! But what I want you to do, is I want you to get a picture of what bad company can do, it's a sickness that can destroy. Let me show you some different pictures of what gangrene looks like. Media Team Show Pictures while I talk about it. SLOWLY What I want you to see, is that is a picture of what the wrong relationships can do to someone that is otherwise healthy. 3. Let me give you three different types of toxic company. A. The first type, if you are taking notes, there are those who are: 1. THE CHRONICALLY NEGATIVE a. Whenever you are with them, they drag you down. They are incredibly judgmental; they are critical, they re always gossiping, they re always complaining, nothing is ever good enough for them. These would be the people of Israel. If you remember in the Old Testament, God delivers them out of bondage, and they were like, 'Oh, if we could only go back into slavery, this is horrible! We are tired of this!' They are just whining and complaining constantly, chronically negative! How many of you know someone like that? 4

5 b. Don't point at them! Just acknowledge that you do! LOL There's a second type and that would be the group I would call: 2. THE CONTROLLER a. They are controllers, they are overbearing, they are demanding, they are manipulative. They might be abusive. They could use fear to intimidate you. Or maybe they always make you feel guilty, you find yourself saying things like I have to do this so they don't get mad at me!' b. Do any of you know someone that is a controller? Raise your hand. Some of you are going, 'I can't raise my hand because they won't let me!' Case and point! LOL My Point: If your in relationship where your constantly making that statement, you either need out or some professional counseling. So there is the chronically negative, there is the controller. Another type of very toxic company would be: 3. THE TEMPTER a. These are the people what to bring your flesh out! This could be your boyfriend that is always tempting you sexually, trying to push you to do something that you don't want to do. This could be your friends. You want to meet a great Christian girl, but they are always going clubbing and they re always wanting you to go there. What your going to meet is someone who is going to be drunk and vomit by 2:00 a.m. But you still keep going hoping to find something different. 5

6 b. It could be coworker that likes to flirt with every guy she sees even though she s married. And she s like I can look but not touch. That is such a misleading poisonous lie! c. It may not be what we call kind of the dirty sins, it could be that you've got a tempting friend that is incredibly materialistic. Every time you are with this person, you are just kind of sucked into it. You see the bling and you want more and you wish you had it. It just kind of rubs off on you in a bad way. It's not that they are horrible people, it's just when you are around them something happens in you that is not good. Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." 1 Corinthians 15:33 2 Timothy 2:17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. d. Now remember, these different types of people. My Point: these peeps can be toxic, they can be destructive, and they can take you away from God's best and draw you into a lifestyle that could actually kill you or spiritually hurt you forever. Proverbs 13:20 (NIV) 20 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. LISTEN>>> When the right people come into your lives you will understand why the wrong people needed to leave. LISTEN>>> It s ok to live a life that others don t understand and will not go with you on this journey. LISTEN>>>You have to be conscious of the people who are closest to you because they play a vital role in your purpose.. LISTEN>>>Surround yourself with people that are on mission with you. 6

7 4. Now, let's kind of unpack this a little bit, because all of us, We can be Toxic in our own ways. a. In all relationships, our goal is always to minister. We are to minister to people, we are to bring life. So, we are not going to go around, "Oh your toxic, run 4 your LIVES!!! That's not what we re going to do. But, we have to stay spiritually healthy, because if we are not spiritually healthy, then we cannot help people around us. Illustration: Before assisting the person next to you, you need to secure your own mask. To me, that's always sounded selfish. Why would you do that? Well the reason is, because if you cannot breath, you cannot help anyone else. You are going to help people more if you are strong and healthy, and then you can make a difference. b. So, what I want to do is look at two very simple principles of how we learn to effectively and Biblically manage toxic relationships. Two things if you are taking notes. The first thing is that we have to learn to: 1. SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES a. We have to learn to set healthy boundaries. What does a boundary do? A boundary keeps the bad out and it keeps the good in. It's not that the people are just horrible people, or just dangerous people, but there may be one part of the relationship that is dangerous to you! Therefore dangerous 4 those around you as well. Again this sounds like, 'Oh, this doesn't sound very Christian! I mean, isn't that the wrong thing to do? Shouldn't we be loving?' b. What we have to understand is it's actually a very Christ-like thing to do. 7

8 Jesus loved everyone equally, but He did not treat everyone equally. He recruited 12 people to be His disciples, not 200. When He would go into a town to heal people, He would heal a few people out of the crowd and then He'd leave and sometimes He wouldn't heal everybody. c. Think about this; He would leave those who were closest to Him, His disciples, and go up onto a mountain top for 40 days to fellowship with God. He was getting strong with God, so He could go back and minister to those who needed Him. d. Think about how He handled the Pharisees, the toxic religious hypocrites. JESUS boundaries all of the time. 'I'm not going there, I'm not listening to you, I'm not telling you everything, I'm keeping you at an arm's length.' He had boundaries. e. He even had boundaries with His very closest friends whenever they tried to take Him away from doing something God wanted Him to do. Illustration: Remember Peter?. Jesus tells him 'I'm going to have to give my life and die for you all and then I'm going to come back. It's really a good thing.' And Peter, with good intentions says, 'No! I'm not going to let you die! There's no way that I'm going to let that happen to you!' And look at what Jesus said as He put up a very firm boundary with Peter, Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Matthew 16:23 In other words Peter, what's you're saying, it's gangrene to me. 8

9 >>>>Even though you don't mean it, the enemy is trying to work through you to try to take me off of God's plan. 'Get behind me Satan, I am not going to let you trip me up!' Now, I do not recommend that you say to your mother-in-law, "You're gangrene to me! Get behind me, Satan!" LOL LIFE APPLY: But we have to do this YOU have to be willing to set up some healthy boundaries with the people you love, live with and associate yourself too. Two real simple ones if you re taking notes, just very practical, very simple; here's kind of how we'll do it. There may be times when someone is demanding, they are talking about the wrong things, they are tempting you, and what you re just going to do is you are going to say: 1. I WON'T LET YOU TALK TO ME OR TREAT ME THAT WAY a. You're not coming out swinging, you're not yelling, it's just very calmly, you are putting up a healthy boundary and saying, "I'm not going to let you talk to me like that", or "You can't treat me like that". It's actually the right thing to do. b. Ladies, you may be married and you've got some other girl friends that are always trash talking their husbands. On and on and on and on, and that kind of gets in your soul and you start having negative thoughts. LIFE APPLY: You gotta set up bounderies, "You know what, I'm going to honor my husband; He's a man of God, I believe in him, I'm going to speak the best. If you are going to go there, you guys can do that without me, I hope you don't. But, I'm just not going to be a part of that, I'm not going to go there." You may have friends at work or the GYM, and they say things like "Man, did you see her over there? She is hot!" And should you be like.. "No! I'm not going there with you. 9

10 2. "I'm not going there with you!" Wherever there is. a. Maybe you had a problem with alcohol. You used to drink all of the time, you used to get drunk, and you've been clean and sober. You've got some friends that are like, "Hey, we're going to the keg party!" It's like, "Hey, I really care for you, I want to be involved in your life, you are a good friend, but I am just not going to that turn up to get turned out. That's just not what I'm going to do." b. You just draw the line and you just say it. It could be, ladies, you are married and an old boyfriend contacts you on Facebook. He says, "Hey, I'm just glad to see you, I hope you are doing great! Can we get together for lunch sometime?" c. You're very polite, but you just say, "I'm not going to go there with you. I'm married, I'm glad to hear from you but that just wouldn't be right." LIFE APPLY: You do not go there! I want to just drive this point home for a minute because this is happening all of the time. You do not go to lunch with an old boyfriend, or an old girlfriend, or start talking with them on Facebook, you just don't do that! The potential for a toxic relationship is there, you just don't do that. d. Maybe You're dating someone and they are putting the moves on you and you re a Christian remember??? And you're not going to do it. 10

11 You say, "Wow baby, back it up!" speeding ticket hit the brakes. Pull on the ejection seat start shouting in tongues do what ever you have to run forest run! LOL d. And then you just bust it out and say, "If you like it then you should have put a ring on it! No ring, no thing! Can't touch this!" That's what you do! You just tell them! I'm not going to go there with you! That may be your thing, it's not my thing! You draw a healthy boundary because you re going to please God with your life. My POINT: When you start realizing your worth, you ll find it hard to stay around people who don t. LISTEN>>>>: Now, all of that being said, there will be times when you do that and someone does not respect the boundary. They continue to tempt, they continue to criticize, they continue to abuse, they continue to poison. At that point, what I am about to tell you is something very dramatic, many of you may disagree, but I stand by this 100%. 3. YOU HAVE TO CUT OFF THE TOXIC RELATIONSHIP a. You have to cut it off. You have to! Now, I want to be very, very clear, everybody listen very carefully; I am not talking about divorce. 1. This is not a marriage issue. Everybody repeat after me, I will not divorce my toxic spouse! If you have a toxic marriage, it's because both of you are toxic. There is sin, and if there is sickness you go to a doctor, you go to a counselor, you go to your campus pastor, you go to your Life Group, you work through it. 2. I'm also not talking about divorcing your family. 11

12 Prayer: Father, thank you for your living Word. Thank you for the way you speak to us. God I pray that right now, at this moment, that your Holy Spirit would help us to identify anything that is potentially toxic. Any relationships that could be poisonous that could corrupt, that could hurt our relationship with you and ultimately the ministry that you've called us to do. As you are praying today, many of you are going to say, 'I see it, someone who is always negative dragging me down. There's someone who is controlling. There is a tempter. I really need to set boundaries. It may have been beyond that, you've tried and maybe you need to totally redefine the relationship. In Closing: Now, no matter how sinful you are, when you call on the name of Jesus, He will save you. The Bible says that if you confess your sins He is faithful and just to forgive your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Perhaps that's why you are here today, you are toxic and you need a Savior. I'm not going to ask you to do something and change or modify your behavior. Instead, you are going to enter into a relationship. Because of what Jesus did, you are going to have access to God the Father. He will change you from the inside out. You will be forgiven and forever transformed. We are not talking about what you do, we are talking about what He already did. You are going to call on Jesus and He is going to transform you. If that is you today, would you lift your hands high right now and just say, 'Yes! Jesus take my life!' Lift your hands and say, 'Yes! I surrender to Him!' Pray Heavenly Father, save me from my sin. I need forgiveness and I need a Savior. I want to know you, I want to serve you and I want to follow you. Thank you for forgiveness. Thank you for new life. Fill me with your Spirit so I could walk with you always. Thank you for new life, now take all of mine. In Jesus name I pray amen. WELCOME HOME! 12