How do you handle toxic people? If someone has to tear you down, or deceive you, or betray you to make themselves feel better, they don’t have your best interest at heart. In fact, your heart probably doesn’t matter to them at all. Some relationships are just toxic and it’s best to know when to let those relationships be the one’s where the love of Jesus shines in you simply by having boundaries and not allowing yourself to engage with them. Reminding ourselves that we can’t change peoples hearts, only God can, relieves us of the need to fix everyone. Pray daily for them and that their hearts become soft to the truth that a true friend will love you at all times.
In our study last night, I was reminded, when someone tears you down, ask yourself truth questions. If someone says something negative about you, ask yourself who told you that? And is it who God says you are?
Does that mean everything a good friend tells us is always positive and encouraging? No, sometimes a friend has to plumb you up a little and hold you accountable. But it will NEVER be in contrast with who God says you are. You are loved, you are capable, you were worth Him dying for, you are Redeemed and blameless through his grace and mercy. God personally knit you together and nothing about you is a surprise to Him. He empowers you with His spirit to guide you and shore you up with strength when you struggle. His armor protects you and YOU ARE LOVED! Don’t ever trade that truth of who you are in Christ for the truth of who someone else claims you are.
A while back we decided to install a second showerhead in our master bathroom. With so many kids who need showers in the morning, we really needed to make the best use of our hot water on high output mornings. Sunday mornings are usually one of those mornings where everyone wants a shower. By putting two showerheads in our shower, my hubby and I both get done in the same amount of time in the same amount of water. It’s a large space, so it was very accommodating. And now that everyone over 10 has figured out that a 20 minute shower feels great, it seems like there’s less hot water available all the time! Last Saturday we both jumped into the shower at the same time, and I thought this is a great time for us to chat just with each other. And so I looked up at my husband and in the sweetest most serious way I could, I said “honey, This year, I would love it if we are on the same page together all year long.” I felt like I was truly have a introspective moment with the man I love. He looked back at me and he said, “it’s kind of boring if we stay on the same page all year, can’t we move ahead together in the book?” Well I kind of stomped my feet a little bit because I really thought I was having a moment here, I wasn’t being funny even though he always is. However, I realized he’s actually very right. I don’t ever want to stay stagnant together, I really want to move forward together to whatever God has next for us.
Later in the day I said to him why don’t we take the kids to the movies? We never really take them to do spontaneous fun things. He was in the middle of a big job on the car, and he looked at me with kind of a grumble and gave me a shrug. I chalked it up to it’s probably not going to happen today. About an hour went by and he came in the house and he walked up to me and hugged me and said “why don’t you get the kids together to leave for the movies.” Without questioning, I gathered the kids together, we quick jumped in the car and we made it just before the movie started. As soon as everybody was settled in their seats with their popcorn and their drinks and the movie started he leaned over and whispered in my ear “same page.” I almost cried realizing he had actually heard my heart and how much that meant to me.
The next morning when I got up and got rolling for the day, I was running behind. I thought I’d listen to the video for my Bible Study while I was in the shower and put the scripture on audio while I was driving. As soon as I got in the shower I heard God saying “me first.” And I realized he was speaking to me the same way I was speaking to my husband. He was longingly asking me to stop, be late, and be with him. He wanted me to be on the same page as Him from the start that morning. And the only way I could look at him later in the day and respond “same page” was if I would stop what I was doing and get on it now.
That sweet husband/wife relationship that I’ve enjoyed for 32 years is a great reminder of the necessity of continually being on the same page as my creator as well! It’s good to evaluate, near the end of the day and be able to say “same page”!