Reading again the devotionals for SheReadsTruth. We are almost finished with Soul Detox. Today’s reading comes from three different scriptures.
Paul and Barnabas disagreed about taking John Mark with them. Paul felt that John Mark could be detrimental to their mission and Barnabas did not. Paul felt so strongly about this he ended his long-term relationship with Barnabas. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Paul to make this decision. It is interesting to note that for Barnabas, his decision to include John Mark was probably because of his familial relationship with John Mark (they were cousins) and not because he felt that the work would truly benefit from having him along. Even though this relationship ended, it is also important to note that Paul later commends both Barnabas and John Mark for their work in the ministry. He held no ill feelings towards either of them. But he felt so strongly about this relationship that he decided it would be best for it to end. And in the end, God used this particular break-up to further his ministry by allowing more work to be done with more people!
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
In II Corinthians, we are warned not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. We are not to enter into binding relationships (work partnerships, marriage, long-term friendship) with them. God reminds us here that there can be no fellowship between light and darkness. This does not mean that we are not to befriend an unbeliever at all. God wants us to befriend them in order to lead them to Him. How can they be led out of darkness if someone doesn’t show them the way?!
Deuteronomy talks about the Israelites driving out the idolatrous nations from the Promised Land. God knew that His people would be tempted by the idolatry that these evil nations practiced and wanted to keep them from this temptation. He felt so strongly about this that He commanded that everything about these idolatrous people be destroyed. He wanted there to be no trace of them. His one main commandment throughout His word is that He is to be the only God His people worshiped. And yet time and again, God’s people fell into disobeying Him in this way. God reminded the people in Deuteronomy that His people are holy and chosen to be his treasured possession.
God’s Word makes it very clear what we are to do with toxic relationships in our own lives! Drive them out, get rid of them, cease from fellowship with them. We do live in a sinful world and just as the Israelites were, we are too easily swayed by these toxic relationships and the idols that these people worship. We have more toxic relationships in our lives because we, like the Israelites, do not put God first! We have become too comfortable with them in our lives or we think we are being disloyal by ending a long-term relationship. But God says GET RID OF THEM!
There have been several toxic relationships in my life that I realized just had to go! God wants us to be a light for Him, but He also wants us to remember that we are to be a holy, chosen vessel for Him and we cannot have fellowship with darkness. The New Living Translation for Deuteronomy 7:6 reads like this ~ For you are a holy people, who belong to the LORD your God. Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure. WOW!! I am chosen to be God’s own SPECIAL TREASURE!! You don’t keep a diamond in an old box of rocks; you keep a special treasure in a special place. If I am God’s special treasure, I am not to be rubbing shoulders with old rocks! I am to be SET APART – just like what you do with a treasure! God wants me to get rid of toxic relationships. He wants me to be set apart for Him. He wants my light to shine brightly!
What are you doing about toxic relationships in your life? God wants you to get rid of them. Are you willing to do that?