Proverbs 4:23 warns us to, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
One of the most important things about having a purpose is learning how to protect it. With that being said there’s just certain relationships that you don’t need to invite into your life. Below I’ve listed 10 Toxic relationships that you’ll need to lookout for in order to guard your heart and protect your purpose.
#1 The Arrogant
Generally speaking arrogant people like to make themselves look bigger by making you feel smaller. In the end it’s usually nothing more than a cover up for an insecurity that they’re trying to hide. Nevertheless, you need to surround yourself with people that pull you up not push you down.
#2 The Angry
Have you ever noticed that angry people usually aren’t happy until they’re making other people, well – angry? Proverbs 22:24-25 says, “Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.” It turns out that anger can be more dangerous than we bargained for. Life is too short to go through life angry so choose your relationships wisely.
#3 The Jealous
Beware of “friends” who can’t genuinely celebrate your success. Go where you’re gift is celebrated, not merely tolerated. James 3:16 says, “For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.” Jealousy opens the door for all kinds of darkness and drama that you simply don’t need in your life. Cut those ties and keep moving forward.
#4 The Controller
A controlling relationship is an oppressive relationship. A controllers objective is to force you to always see things their way. It’s not enough to simply agree to disagree. They have to either make you agree or at the very least make you admit that your wrong. And if you don’t conform to a controllers attempts to control you, they will often resort to emotional terrorism. You’ll never know for sure when they’re going to “emotionally-explode” or if they’re just going to give you the silent treatment. Either way you have to establish some boundaries in your life if you’re going to protect your purpose and guard your heart.
#5 The Gossiper
[shareable cite=”@PastorTHall”]If people will talk to you about others, they’ll talk to others about you. #Gossip[/shareable]
Gossip breeds distrust and offense and worst of all, it robs you of your peace. Be careful of anybody who spends all of their time pointing out everyone else’s dysfunction rather than working on their own. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up…”
#6 The Offended
Warning! If you spend too much time with people who are easily offended, it will only be a matter of time before you become offended too. Generally speaking offended people aren’t happy until the people around them are just as offended as they are. Proverbs 18:17 says “The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him” so refuse to take the bait of offense. And remember that the seeds of offense can only be sown in the soil of pride; so stay humble.
#7 The Taker
There are life givers and life takers. Life takers won’t respect your time and will unapologetically rob you of your emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual strength leaving you feeling completely empty and exhausted. Your purpose needs all the life that it can get so do everything you can to surround yourself with life givers that believe in your vision rather than life takers who want to kill your vision (and make sure that you’re a life giver in someone else’s life too!).
#8 The Manipulator
A manipulator will attempt to hijack your own heart and use it against you. They’ll often make emotionally passionate appeals to bend your will to their own. They’ll use flattery and false agreement in order to gain access to your heart. Proverbs 26:25 says, “They pretend to be kind, but don’t believe them. Their hearts are full of many evils.” Manipulators will cause you to waste your emotional energy by getting you to point it at “their agenda” rather than your own vision for your life, family, and ministry.
#9 The Historian
In this context a “Historian” is anybody that keeps bringing your PAST into the PRESENT in order to keep you from the FUTURE. (Go ahead and read that last sentence again). God spoke through the Prophet Isaiah and said, “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing…” (Isaiah 43:18-19). The apostle Paul wrote and said it like this, “…But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward towards what lies ahead…” (Philippians 3:13). The bottom line is this: You can’t move forward as long as you keep looking (and thinking) backwards. Don’t let anyone use where you used to be to keep you from where God’s called you to be.
#10 The Uncommitted
In both life and leadership there may be nothing more frustrating than dealing with someone who is extremely talented, but uncommitted. Instead of moving a vision and mission forward, you’ll spend most of your time just trying to get them to show up on time. As a leader I’ve discovered that uncommitted talent is often times the foundation for a very toxic relationship. That’s why I’ve personally learned to look for commitment before I look for talent. We can always work on the talent part, but if they aren’t self starters who are committed to the vision and mission that you’re pursuing, you’ll spend all of your time trying to get them to see something they may never see and thus begins the cycle of resentment.
Your purpose is far too important to leave it unprotected so remember to “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23).