Hooray! I was present in church this morning. Well actually, I really intend to complete my attendance for this month because of our pastor’s sermon series DEAD CITY. I was so enlightened with Part 1 last week so I came to hear some more. He preached about Deadly Thoughts that everybody needs to battle with. I took some notes but I cannot find the flyer right now so just click here for the link to our pastor’s video on that topic. For this Sunday, Pastor Dale talked about DEADLY RELATIONSHIPS. Oh boy, this is exciting so here goes…
Whether we like it or not, the truth is “every person is in a relationship with another person”. It may be with your family, a co-worker, a friend, a lover… there is no exception to that. (Some will jokingly use the phrase “in a relationship with myself”, well yeah, go ahead and use that. And honestly, that is the most terrible relationship you will ever have because you will always be in conflict with yourself. So technically, the preaching still applies, you know.)
RELATIONSHIPS ARE NEVER NEUTRAL.
Anyway, relationships are never neutral. It has always been two ways: the positive and the negative. It’s either the relationship is going to build you up or bring you down. To give us insight on what the Bible tells about relationships, Pastor Dale used these three passages as foundation for the topic:
Do not be misled. “Bad company corrupts good character.”
1 Corinthians 15:33
Often times, we use this verse to point out to our youngsters that they have to choose their friends. We usually say that if they hang out with juveniles they will also become one. That is the blunt way of putting an illustration to this verse. But a special note here on the word MISLED. When Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians, he was not pertaining to a group of young people. He wrote this to a group of adults. So that kind of relationship is more subtle in adults. When you hang out with the wrong people, you start behaving like them. When you always hang out with people that are negative, they will eventually make you negative.
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
Proverbs 22: 24-25
Relationships like these are deadly because you are going to pick up what they are doing. Ever experienced hanging out with someone who is always angry? How does that person’s attitude affect you? Have you noticed how easily you get into a bad mood after talking to them? This verse is not limited to just the hot-tempered person but to any negative traits.
Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene…
2 Timothy 2:16-17
Again, the Bible setting here is that Paul wrote this to a group of Christians who are in frequent company with other teachers who spend time debating. The principle pointed out here is “if we spend time with these kind of people, their habits are going to spread to us like gangrene”. Pastor Dale showed pictures of gangrene but I am not showing it here coz I really don’t like the illustrations. Gives me goosebumps.
A “deadly relationship” is not frustrating or annoying… it is dangerous. And just like gangrene, the only remedy is to amputate it.
“A deadly relationship is not frustrating or annoying… it is dangerous!”
Having built the Biblical foundation, there are numerous Deadly Relationships that we should be aware of, and as much as possible try to avoid, but Pastor Dale gave us only three.
3 TYPES OF DEADLY RELATIONSHIPS:
1) The CRITICAL
The negative in spirit, the complainer, the whiner, a downer, someone who hates changes and cannot stand positive people. This kind of relationship is not hard to spot and we could easily identify with it since people can always find something to complain about. All of us know somebody who exhibits the said characteristics. What’s more dangerous is that most of the time , we are that somebody.
2) The CONTROLLING
The common sterotype for this kind of relationship is controlling by fear but there are other subtle ways that we may be in this controlled situation. People who are manipulators and guilt-trippers also fall under this category. Manipulating with tears (woman, you’re in trouble! haha) is one good example. You will never feel good after you walk away from a conversation with a guilt-tripper.
3) The INSTIGATOR
Again, we normally point this type to the young people (e.g., drug users, etc.) but even conversations we have that takes us to a place or situation we don’t want to go is classified under this deadly relationship. Gossiping, talking about sex, and backstabbing conversations are a few examples.
HOW TO MANAGE DEADLY RELATIONSHIPS
Now that we are aware of the deadly relationships we are in, what do we do now? How can we get away from it?
1) Check Yourself!
Ouch! We are in a tightrope here, right? Yes, but we have to make sure that we are not one of the deadly relationships. So how do we stop doing that? Contemplate and assess yourself then change. Dead people cannot help other people. You have to be strong enough so you could manage any deadly relationship.
“Dead people cannot help other people.”
2) Set Boundaries
You can manage any bad relationship you are in by creating boundaries especially when you do not want to leave that relationship. Here are three ways how you will set limit:
Emotional Boundaries – your emotions have remote controls that only you have the right to operate. Don’t let others take hold of your emotions.
Verbal Boundaries – sit down with the person you are in a deadly relationship with and talk it out. Tell that person how he/ she makes you feel and figure out how both of you could change that. But if verbalizing your concerns still doesn’t work out, maybe it is time for you to jump to the third one…
Physical Boundaries – temporarily limit the time you spend and the opportunity for the other person to affect you. Hold that person off for a time. For those who are in their workplace, it doesn’t mean to quit your job. It just says don’t spend time with negative people if you don’t want to say negative stuff. The best example here is physically setting limit on your social networking time. Most of us (and i’m also talking to myself now) gets easily affected with what we see on our friend’s facebook timeline. I’m not talking about shunning out facebook and deactivating your account because facebook is also a usefool business tool. It has its pros and cons but we see a lot of critical, controlling, and instigators in this type of social network and subconsciously we become like them.
3) Create Distance
After checking yourself and setting your boundaries and still all else fails, maybe it’s time for you to just leave. This does not apply to a family situation though BUT if you are physically abused get out of the situation TODAY!
OUR TAKE HOME
We are given the challenge to ask ourselves the following questions:
1) Am I a deadly person?
2) Who am I deadly to?
3) Who are the deadly people around me?
NOTE TO SELF
It was such a powerful message that got me to my knees. I felt that stones were thrown directly at me and I have no power to deflect any of it. Yes I’m guilty, and surprisingly, for most of it. You should see my Facebook or Twitter. Hahaha. Whether I acquired it or it’s intrinsically in me, I know that I am and have been a deadly person. It’s time I should do something about it.
I hope you enjoyed reading what I shared here. We are not required to take in the whole chunk of it but I pray that we all grab a piece a day to help us become ALIVE persons and not DEAD PEOPLE.
Here is a short clip of Pastor Dale’s introduction to the DEAD CITY series this month.