Saturday, April 30, 2011

hairy relationships

one of these things is not like the others

We've all got 'em. What I plan to address here are the relationships that God warns us about in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, a specific type of person He tells us to avoid. Several characteristics of this type of person are highlighted in the passage, some of which follow:
  • lover of self (i.e. selfish, self-centered);
  • lover of money
  • boastful
  • abusive (the word in Greek emphasizes speech)
  • disobedient to their parents
  • ungrateful
  • without love (the Greek word "astorgoi" is used, specifically referring to hard-heartedness towards kindred)
  • unforgiving
  • slanderous (the Greek word used here - "diaboloi" means accusatory)
  • without self-control
  • brutal (untamed, "animal-like" - people giving themselves over to base instincts)
  • treacherous (ready to betray friends and family in a heartbeat
  • rash (impulsive)
  • conceited (swollen with self-importance)
Beth Moore spoke much on the topic during our last bible study session, also sharing several tips to help us recognize toxic relationships. Proceed with caution when dealing with the following type of person:

1. One who is always coming up with new relationships but has trouble hanging onto old ones.
2. Incongruent, inconsistent. Their words don't line up with their behavior, for example. There may be an area of their life that seems to stand out in stark contrast to the rest of it. Elaborate or bizarre explanations when questioned.
3. Someone looking for instant intimacy. Healthy relationships grow over time. Beware of anyone attempting to become an instant best friend.
4. Beware of the pity play. You will find a superb article on the topic HERE. An intriguing excerpt is below:

The pity play or attempt to appeal to the sympathy of others was also addressed in research conducted by the Minnesota Department of Corrections and The Hazelden Foundation (2002). There, researchers concluded that criminal thinkers most often attempt to control others by portraying themselves as a victim, turning to fear tactics only when the victim stance fails to get them what they want.

Learning to set healthy boundaries can benefit us in every relationship but it is especially important when dysfunction abounds. Click HERE for a wonderful book on the topic. You will also find some great resource videos (like the one below) HERE:

Perhaps it's time for a change.

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