Treasured Tribe, can we talk real today?
There is a difference between ministering to someone who needs the Lord and tying your soul to someone who is unhealthy.
There is a difference between loving others and deeply enmeshing yourself with them. I know this – because for years I did not understand the concept of boundaries.
Can you relate?
God is the only one who can be God (it’s not our job!) and when he is, we are free to love others and let go of those unhealthy entanglements.
Sometimes we must take drastic steps to detach from unhealthy relationships when they are causing us to stumble. Relationships, like our eyes, hands, and feet, are good and necessary in our life, but some relationships are not healthy.
“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell.” Mark 9:43-47
Jesus was not advocating self-mutilation; he was making the point that it is wise to recognize your weaknesses and temptations and remove anything or anyone enticing you to sin.
Jesus is teaching an effective strategy to avoid sin—it is better to sever ourselves from anything that separates us from him than to keep it and sin.
For a time, you may need to lose something or someone valuable, essential, and beneficial so you can find your life in him.
Identifying Unhealthy Relationships
Unhealthy relational entanglements have destroyed many of Christ’s strongest branches. We all understand the overt signs of an unhealthy relationship—signs like physical, verbal, emotional, or spiritual abuse, and infidelity. But what about the more subtle signs?
In her book When Godly People Do Ungodly Things, Beth Moore, who has ministered to the church for years, points out how some of the most committed Christians have fallen into “messy” relationship entanglements. Beth Moore also talks about the importance of discerning clean versus messy ties in relationships.
How can we discern a messy tie? Beth provides some warning signs.
Do these describe any of your relationships—either friendships or romantic ties?
- Unhealthy dependency on each other
- Temptation to engage sexually with the person outside of marriage
- Someone in the relationship becomes a false Christ figure, spiritually guiding the other person more than Jesus
Is there a relational tie in your life that needs to be severed?
Don’t ignore those red flags and warning signs, no matter how strong your emotional attachment is and how well your desires are being satisfied. Anyone who is influencing you to sin is not worth keeping around, no matter how valuable the relationship may be to you. The situation may be sticky, and the severing may be painful, but you must cut it off.
Instead of depending on this relationship, bring your desires to God, who can fulfill every one of them.
Nourish Scripture: Mark 9
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Blog written by Aliene Thompson. Aliene Thompson is the founder of Treasured Ministries and the Author of the Nourish Bible Study Series. © 2019 Treasured Ministries.