Healing Toxic Relationships
“They knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools... They traded the truth about God for a lie.“ Romans 1:21-25 NLT
Toxic — acting as or having the effect of a poison; poisonous.
✓ A place can become toxic.
✓ A culture can become toxic
✓ A relationship can become toxic.
“It’s nice when toxic people stop talking to you. It’s like the trash took itself out.” — Dr. Dave Martin
“When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.” Exodus 15:23-25 NIV84
“He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” After leaving Marah, the Israelites traveled on to the oasis of Elim, where they found twelve springs and seventy palm trees. They camped there beside the water.” Exodus 15:26-27 NLT
1. The tree of honor.
“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7 NLT
“Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:17 ESV
2. The tree of trust.
“Trust but verify.” — Ronald Reagan
“We judge ourselves by our intentions and everyone else by their behavior.” — Steven Covey
“Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you.” Proverbs 3:29 NLT
3. The tree of loyalty.
“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness, keeping loyal love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Exodus 34:6-7 NET
“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Luke 17:3-4 ESV
What can I do to heal a toxic relationship?
✓ Start to honor every difﬁcult person
✓ Place trust in every gap instead of suspicion.
✓ Ask God to give you loyalty, compassion, patience, and forgiveness.