REFLECT: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us: 1 John 1:8
APPLY: Chances are that you can think of three instances in which a friend or family member was a toxic agent by being negative, controlling or a tempter. As you point them out, realize that your thumb is pointing back at you: think: when was it that YOU played any of those roles in someone else’s story?
It’s all very well to identify the toxins introduced by others, but we must also consider whether we ourselves are at fault…… not only by being our own enemy (as we saw yesterday), but worse, by being toxic to others.
Ask yourself: “Am I the problem?”
Before you conclude that you are not, know that we are cautioned to fix ourselves before trying to fix others (Matthew 7:3-5), and that if we claim to be without sin, then the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).
Christiane knew that God spoke to her through dreams, and that she had prophetic ability. During a difficult period of her life, a worried friend strongly recommended that she make contact with a specific pastor. Initially unwilling, Christiane eventually opened up and began to confide in the pastor. She shared some incredible promises and visions she did not have the maturity to realize were for her ears only. It wasn’t long before the pastor’s attitude towards her changed. She was deeply hurt and offended to learn that the pastor had described her as having ‘a very fertile imagination’.
Years later, while reading the story of Joseph and his brothers, Christiane was convicted of her fault in the matter. Joseph, though prophetic and truly spoken to by the Lord, had been unwise and obnoxious in the way he indiscreetly told others about his dreams (Genesis 37-50). Just like Joseph, Christiane had been indiscreet, lacking in humility, and careless of the human failings of another! For the first time she realized that in unwisely sharing – even with a minister of religion – she had aroused something that had needed to dismiss her confidences as untrue. Christiane saw that she had been naive and selfish in presuming that a minister would be inured from normal human failings when listening to her. She was finally able to fully forgive, something she had struggled to do before then.
PRAY: Father I am thankful that this christian life is a journey to maturity. I am so very grateful there is no condemnation for me and my mistakes (Romans 8:1). Thank you for being my safe tower, my refuge where I need hide nothing (Proverbs 18:10). Thank you for making it safe for me to examine my actions honestly, that I can find that I am the problem and have loving guidance from You on how to fix it. Help me to mature in You Lord, that I may be a blessing, and not a hindrance to others. In Jesus Name, Amen.