Overcoming Toxic Relationships with Raymond Wienand



When you choose your relationships, Choose them wisely

Sometimes we are bound by blood, sometimes we are bound by choice, and sometimes we are bound due to circumstances. But the truth is, we are bound to people and we cannot escape that fact.
What we can escape, or at least minimize, is the toxic relationships that we have. It might be due to family relationships, professional relationships, or it might be due to 100 different reasons. But the worst of them all are the toxic relationships that we are in by choice. They can be deadly! Yes, that’s right. They can be  deadly. Spiritually, emotionally and physically deadly.
I know someone named Charles quite well. From his teenage years he was involved in toxic relationships.
They were all by choice: to be seen, to stand out, to be a rebel. He formed friendships at school with the “wrong” crowd. He followed their way of doing things, their way of speaking, and their way of living.
Charles knew that everything about it was wrong, but he didn’t care. At times it seemed he was proud of it, unashamedly proud of it. He purposefully hurt people, especially those closest to him. The ones that loved him most. He made a total mess of his teenage years. The fact that he made it through school was a miracle. A Godly miracle!
The sad part is that Charles didn’t change after school. He became worse, a lot worse. He did things that I won’t even mention. He carried his behaviors through into his employment, he carried it through into
his first marriage. In fact, his first marriage was due to a toxic relationship. His “wrong” friends introduced him to the wrong girl. She introduced him to the night club life. The life of drinking more than he used to, a life of smoking, a life of sex and pornography. A life that was disgusting.
Their marriage was also toxic. It was 8 years of drinking excessively, fighting, financial problems and so on. Not one of them could keep a steady job. Charles and his wife eventually got divorced. After losing everything for a third time, his own mom had him arrested, he tried to kill his wife in a drunken state...you might ask... Did it all end there? No, it didn’t.
Charles eventually sorted out his life when he surrendered to Jesus Christ. Jesus drug him out of what the lifestyle he was trapped in and into the life that He had planned for Charles. A new purpose and destiny.
By that time Charles was married again. This time to a beautiful, loving woman. A lady to be proud of! But unfortunately, he began dragging her down with him.
Fortunately, today, they are living a blessed and happy life. A life to be proud of. A life worthy of living.
Some of the above events might seem fictional to you. But they're not. It’s a true story written with  permission from Charles. And trust me, those events are a summary of the “mild” events in his life.
You might wonder why I wrote about Charles’s life. You might think that some of those events and circumstances might feel or sound familiar. That’s the idea! I wrote about his life to show you what can happen due to toxic relationships. How those relationships not only affect your life, but also of those around you. The life of the ones that love you the most.
What do we do about toxic relationships? How do we overcome them? Sometimes it might be easy, depending on the situation and circumstances. Most often, it’s not easy. Toxic relationships that you are in at work or other social gatherings are ones you can’t always do something about.
You might be able to ask for a transfer to another department, you might be able to get out of those social commitments, you might be able to do a lot of things. But what if you can’t, what if you can’t get out of those situations? Tolerate them for as long as you can, without building a relationship with them.
Pray and pray some more. Ask God to give you strength and courage. Ask God to change the circumstances and the people. Or maybe not! You say what? You say don’t ask for the circumstances and people to be
changed? Yes, that’s right! That’s exactly what I said. Ask God why you are there, why He placed you there, what’s happening in that person’s life. Ask God what does He want you to do in the situation.
There’s also toxic relationships that you are not forced to be in! What now? Do you run; do you stay?
The answer is God. God and nothing else. Pray first, always pray first! That’s the short answer, and the best answer. Ask God to reveal the same to you as He did in the “forced” relationships. Ask Him if He wants you out of the relationship.
But wait, there’s more…
Did God not give us a brain to use? Did He not give us common sense? The ability to think for ourselves and to make our own decisions? Yes, He did! So, use it!
• Use it to decide if the relationship is building you up or breaking you down.
• Use it to decide if the relationship is improving or destroying your life.
• Use it to the best of your ability, hand in hand with prayer.
A question to ask yourself is “With whom do I gather?” “For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:10).
You see, we can’t avoid relationships altogether. Jesus wants us to have relationships. But He wants them to be healthy, supporting and meaningful relationships.
Even more important, though, Jesus tells us that he is uniquely present when we gather in His name (Matthew 18:20). You see, God, by the Holy Spirit dwells within each follower of Jesus. (John 14:17)
• When we gather, in His name, the power of the Spirit can flow from one to another and back.
• When we gather, in His name, the work of God can be done: confessions can be made; sins can be repented; love and compassion can be expressed; hearts can be healed; encouragement can be given; lives can be transformed.
Choose your relationships. Choose them wisely!
Get out of toxic relationships that you are not to be in. Do it quickly!
Raymond Wienand


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