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As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
- Proverbs 27:17
Are you having trouble deciding if a few relationships in your life may be toxic? Scripture tells us quite a bit about the type of friendships and relationships that we should keep. While deciding to let go of a relationship is an extremely difficult thing to do, sometimes it is a necessary part of continuing to grow into who God created us to be.
Proverbs 12:26 tells us that, “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Pay close attention to those in your inner circle. Are they consistent, loving, and doing their best to point you back to God? If you find yourself participating in activities that aren’t glorifying God or ones that you wouldn’t otherwise engage in, you may need to rethink the friendship/relationship. It can be so easy to get stuck in a repetitive cycle of wanting to do the wise thing, but being persuaded otherwise by someone you are close to.
While deciding to let go of a friendship can be an emotional time in your life, when it’s a member of your family that is bringing the toxic energy into your life it can be that much harder. People may often try to tell you that “family is family,” or “That’s just the way so-and-so is,” or some other excuse for disrespectful or inappropriate behavior. But our relationship with God should be our primary priority, which I know can be so so hard to remind yourself of when it comes to letting go of a relationship.
Personally, I've had to let go of an entire side of my family due to their disrespectful behavior and the type of company I'd be surrounding myself with. Sometimes I still wonder if I made the right decision. But ultimately, it’s what I had to do to keep my mind and relationship with God a healthy one. While for me, this was the best choice, sometimes God will often call us to reconcile a broken relationship in our lives.
If we keep holding into a toxic relationship we may even see ourselves taking on traits of those people. 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us, “ Bad company corrupts good character.” This is why it is so vital to our relationship with Christ that we spend time with Him to discern over each of the relationships in our lives, trusting in Him to guide us to the wisest decision - whether that means continuing to work at the relationship or to release it for a time - and trusting Him as the only one who can change hearts. Regardless of if we are called to reconcile or let go of a relationship, it is essential to our hearts to remember that we are all children of God, and immeasurably loved.
1. Can you think of a relationship in your life that you may need to let go of? Go to God in prayer about it and see what He reveals to you.
2. Find 3 Bible verses about friendship and put them somewhere you can see them each day.
Dear Lord, help us to know what relationships in our lives are truly from You. Give us the strength to let go of any that may be toxic and the peace to accept it. Remind us of Your overwhelming love for us today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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