HOW TO AVOID GETTING STUCK IN BAD RELATIONSHIPS
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A psychopath is a person without a moral conscience. They live among us everywhere in the world. They head politics and religious structures; Christianity as well. They head our homes; they preach in churches; they raise our children. Many of us are married to them. They work with us; live next to us, and often share our homes. They date our daughters and our sons; worship in the pews; lead our youth groups. Many are our family and friends. Encarta Dictionary explains a “psychopath” as follows: “Somebody affected with a personality disorder marked by aggressive, violent, antisocial thought and behavior, and a lack of remorse and empathy.” Psychopaths will promise you the world today and tomorrow they will deny they know you. They destroy people spiritually, and cruelly torture people and animals emotionally and physically without a thought to moral conscience.
In the mind of the psychopath there exists only one person: the psychopath.
No one will ever change a psychopath, unless that person deeply and truly turns to believe in, accept, and follow Jesus.
However, most psychopaths are so religious they know the Bible from beginning to end, but hardly ever turn to Jesus.
Believers must never be “unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness…? Christ with the devil…? Believers with unbelievers...? The [Scripturally born again] temple of God with idols?” (2 Cor. 6:14; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 15-20.) True believers and unbelievers come from two different spiritual realms, but on a physical level, they share life here on earth. Believers “cannot go out of the world,” (1 Cor. 5:9-13.) Until “the end of the world,” (Mt. 13-49,) the righteous in Christ and the wicked, (the “tares and the wheat,”) will grow together in the same “field.”
The parable of the “tares and the wheat” is not about the “unbelieving world” and “church Christians.” It is about “church Christians” and truly born again believers in Christ. ‘Tares’ looks much like edible wheat, but is a weed called ‘poison darnel’ or ‘false wheat.’ It grows among real wheat in the same fields. It is only when wheat and ‘false wheat’ ‘bear fruit’ or come into seed, that the difference between the two species becomes clear. Ripe wheat ‘seed’ are brown but the kernels of poison darnel are black. So, in this parable, Jesus was speaking to believers versus mere religious people. True unbelievers resemble the world and are easily recognizable, while this poisonous impostor resembles true believers but belongs to the world without Christ.
Christians were taught where the Bible speaks of “unbelievers” and “believers,” it is a comparison between the ‘unbelieving world’ and ‘the church’ – as in the separation between the sheep and goats. But the Bible was not written for the unbelieving world. New Covenant Scripture focuses on those who profess Christ; first before Jesus’ resurrection, drawing conclusions between true believing Hebrews and the Old Judaist temple system, (Heb. 8:13,) and after Jesus’ ascension, between the believing body of Christ and false church Christianity.
This is why Jesus gave us only one measure to ‘judge’ character to know who we really are ourselves, and who we are keeping company with: our continual ‘fruit’ or behavior, (Mt. 7:15-20.) This does not mean occasional slip-ups condemn us because we all sometimes sin, (Jam. 3:2; 1 Jn. 1:8-10.) Our constant behavior reveals our true priorities and the character and thoughts that power them.
Apart from going “into the world” to make disciples for Jesus’ Spiritual Kingdom, (Mt. 29:19-20,) true believers and the religious structures, norms and forms of the world have nothing in common. This is why Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 5:9-13, “…I did not command you not to keep company with the world [without Christ, because you must preach the Gospel to them as opportunity arises and the Spirit leads…] But do not keep company with… anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, covetous, an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or extortioner – do not even eat with such a person. For [we must not] judge [the immoral deeds of] those who are outside [the assemblies, but of] those who are inside. Those outside God judges. [We must discipline, not condemn, the immoral among us who profess Christ, Mt. 18:15-20.] Therefore, put from yourselves evil people [the Christian tares.]”
It is therefore foolish to think we will automatically find Godly friends, or a truly born again spouse in church. We must live with our hearts directed toward heaven and our eyes wide open. Many believers have befriended and married Christians to discover they are yoked to house devils, masquerading as church angels.
This is why the following guideline in choosing relationships applies to everyone that might impact our lives. It has nothing to do with snobbish, sinful self-righteousness and partiality. This is about Godly discernment for the sake of our physical lives and eternal life in heaven. We are not expecting perfection because we “all stumble in many things” as we grow in God’s knowledge and in grace, (1 Pt. 3:18.) But we must be logic and sober in all things by “testing and proving to see whether it is of God,” (1 Ths. 5:21; 1 Jn. 4:1-4.) By living in denial and careless trust, we open ourselves to Satan to set us up for sorrow, strife, loss, and destruction, (1 Pt. 5:8.)
1. Do not get intimately involved with anyone who does not passionately share your love for, and Scriptural obedience to Jesus. Do not think you will change the character of a Christian that does not have a passion for the truth of Jesus’ contextual Word. You might succeed in the long run, but he/she will probably persist in the decision not to submit to Christ. Religiosity is the greatest enemy of true believers. James said to believers who disobeyed this crucial commandment, (Jam. 4:4-5,) “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with [specifically the dangerous, deceptive, religious] world is enmity with God…”
2. Never get involved with anyone who violates trust and frequently acts irrational. If this person breaks his or her word and displays infidelity or any of its accompanying demons, (lying, secrecy, unwarranted anger, manipulation, deceit, and underhandedness,) flee for your life. Every healthy relationship, (marriage especially,) pivots on trust, openness, accessibility, honesty and sober mindedness. A discarded, abused, neglected wife or husband may find it possible to work through one betrayal, but a series of adultery and other forms of infidelity destroy not only relationships, but innocent people, marriages, finances, and families.
3. Avoid sanctimonious ‘nice’ people who secretly look after their own interests and do not really care about you or other people in a Godly way. Such people usually ‘keep their peace’ when they must do what is right. They are emotionally closed and give little of themselves. Unless it suits them, they hardly ever defend and seek what is Godly and righteous, and ignore your real needs, and the needs of others. They pretend to be wise and self-controlled but show cowardice in the face of adversity. If he/she does not defend you now when his/her friends and family bully you, he/she will drown you in a dreadful sea of passivity, while aggressively destroying you, your relationships, finances, and life behind your back.
4. If that interesting Christian guy or girl narcissistically takes over the scene, glutinously gobbles up most of the food on the buffet or pretends to be so picky they only eat and own the best of everything, consume as much alcohol as possible, must win every argument, vetoes nearly every statement and decision you make, and assumes a know-all, have-all, done-all, been-all posture, this person will absorb and diminish your love for Christ, your self-respect and anything else that pertains to your life. Flee as far away as you can. Once yoked to such a selfish control freak, you will find yourself in the stranglehold of a religious anaconda whose death grip on you tightens each time you breathe out.
5. In choosing relationships, avoid people who are addicted to, or preoccupied with alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling, violence or any other destructive thing - destructive family and friends especially. “Bad company corrupt good morals,” (1 Cor. 15:33.) If that person does not exercise self-control and crucify scrambled priorities, you might always be yoked to a double minded person who drags you every which way but forward and heavenward. Unrepentant, bad behavior will only deteriorate over time.
6. Beware of people, who get very agitated, defensive, abusive, manipulative, moody, dishonest, and even violent when they don’t get their own way, or when they must explain their whereabouts, bad behavior , and unwise decisions. We must all be willing to give an account of our behavior , beliefs, and decisions, (1 Pt. 3:15.) No one can live a double life with a double agent of any kind. Too many mixed priorities, confused information, and bad attitudes will drive you crazy and worm away your life from the inside out.
7. Be careful not to be deceived and fall under the spell of a clever joker who plays cruel jokes and pranks. We all appreciate real humor, but if a joker targets your character, intelligence, and other sensitive areas of your life, or displays cruelty of any kind towards you, others, and animals, you may be involved with a dangerous psychopath, not just a religious prankster. God warned in Prov. 26:18, “Like a madman who throws firebrands, [agitation, trouble making,] flaming arrows and death, so is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking.’” Maliciousness and cruelty always power an unstable, loveless, unyielding and self-absorbed character.
We must pray continually to be delivered from all forms of evil. God does an almighty work in keeping us safe from the countless schemes of the evil one. However, may God give us the grace never to underestimate our personal responsibility in exercising “alertness and sober mindedness, for the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour” those who sleep while they are not securely hidden under the wings of Jesus, (Ps. 91.) “Resist him, [and flee where possible from him] standing firm in the faith… [and in the truth of God’s Word, as well as in the truth of every situation that comes our way.]”