Guard Against Toxic Relationships
Excerpts from Making Wise in Life.
When people speak about relationships, quite often they focus more on love relationships than other types. This chapter, however, will address relationships with people like friends and neighbors and coworkers. The kinds of friends we have influence our lives more than we think. In fact, they deeply mark our characters, values, decisions, and the direction of our lives. They will either build us or drain us. The Bible speaks profoundly on the influence of relationships.
Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’ (1 Corinthians 15:33).
The righteous choose their friends carefully (Proverbs 12:26).
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).
Carefully choose the people you allow to influence you, because the negative influence that appeals to your carnal nature is more contagious than positive influence. Many people could significantly change their choices and attitudes for the better if they would only change their friends. Indeed, they would do well to follow the old saying: If you cannot change your friends, change your friends.
Types of Relationships
Parasitic relationships involve those people who have perfected the art of living off others. Parasites will befriend you because of what you have, not who you are. They are always needy and beset with problems. They nearly always call you about a problem they need you to solve for them. Their relationship with you works only one way. You’re the giver, and they’re the receiver. They view you as a service provider, and if you enable them, they will become even more demanding. Often such people do not want to work for what they need or walk the extra mile to get it. They strive to get what they want the easy way: living off others. They want others to do the hard work while they reap the benefits. The irony is that such people live off others not because they don’t have the means to meet their needs but because they know they can easily get what they want from their friends.
Insecure people have very negative mindsets. They always see the downside of anything good that another person does. They like to put other people down, and they do so intentionally to project themselves as better than others. If you have a friend who critiques everything you do or attempt to do, then you have an unhealthy relationship. Such people complain habitually about anything and everything, even when nothing is really wrong. Such friends drain your energy, motivation, and joy, because every time they talk to you they dampen your spirit with their negative venting. Such friends literally drain your spirit. They burden you and hinder your progress.
To be continued next week….
By Boniface G. Gitau
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