I have always been the type of person who needed to be needed. Unfortunately, due to this need, I’ve found myself in toxic and dysfunctional relationships my entire life. I love fiercely and try to believe the best in people. I have a good heart, and wear my heart on my sleeve boldly and proudly.
Because of this, I tend to trust those who are in my world too fast and too easy, only to be let down again and again. I put my all into any relationship that I’m in, and my good nature is exposed. In turn, I get taken advantage of, lied to, and cheated on. This happens whether it’s a friendship, romance, and even family relationships. Even after I see people’s true colors, I try to believe the best in them. I give them multiple chances. After all, didn’t Jesus say that we are to forgive 70×7?
Being a good hearted person can be dangerous. There are many people out there who will use it to their advantage, and take as much as they can. Meanwhile, you have love glasses on, and are sometimes blinded to the truth. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 tells us what love is. It tells us that when we love, with AGAPE love, we can’t hold a record of wrongs against that person, and we are to believe the best. It says we are to be long suffering and believe the best.
Yet, we are faced with the truth that not everyone is a good person, or has pure intentions. Not everyone that is sent to be in your life was sent by God. Satan can send people in your life also, to kill, steal, and destroy. When these people enter your life they can steal your peace (and sometimes your wealth), kill your joy, and destroy your call and purpose (or at the very least, derail you.).
So, where do we find the balance in being a good person, a loving person, and protect yourself against the evils of the world? The answer can be found in Proverbs 4:23. We are “to GUARD our hearts above all else, for it determine the course or direction of our lives.”
This word “guard” means to secure, protect, and shield. The word heart in the Bible refers to our Soul, or rather our mind, will, and emotions. When you pull this phrase apart, God is telling us to secure our will, protect our minds, and shield our emotions.
Think about this: When you fall in love, or enter into a relationship with someone, you tend to see only the good in people. But when you have been with them for a while, you start to see their flaws, those little nagging things that can bring dissension into the relationship. When dissension arises, our feelings and thoughts about that person starts to shift negatively. We start to think we married the wrong person, or that this friendship is more trouble than they are worth.
While most of the time this is a lie of the enemy, especially in marriage, sometimes it’s God prompting us to see the toxicity in the relationship. God doesn’t want us to be unequally yoked. The Bible says that iron sharpens iron. However, Proverbs 13:20 says, “Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.” (MSG)
God does not want our lives to fall to pieces. Nor does He want us to be foolish with our relationship choices. We are to have discernment and to “test the spirits.” God will give us discernment to know whether that person’s actions, thoughts, and motives are good, or if they are toxic. The Holy Spirit was given to us as a Guiding Light. He will lead us into all Truth. So, we need to pray for discernment, Guard our hearts, and ask the Holy Spirt to lead us, and help us see the true nature of the relationship and person.
When we feel that nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right, it may just be the Holy Spirit saying, “Honey, this isn’t the best situation for you.” Listen to it. Listen to the red flags that you feel in your spirit. Guard your heart without becoming accusing. Let the Voice of the Holy Spirit direct you in these relationships, friendships, and situations. But, continue to pray for that person. Even if the Holy Spirit says it’s time to leave, because the relationship or friendship may damage you, you are still called to love them, because God loves them. How do you show love to someone that may be toxic, or even someone who is not God’s best? PRAY. Prayer has a way of changing people and the atmosphere. Place them and the situation in God’s Hands. Let Him work on them, while you keep your peace, your health, and the sound mind that God has given you.