I recently walked away from a 23 year long friendship! It was one of the most painful processes that I have had to go through. I can honestly say that I was in shock when the Lord began dealing with me in my relationship with this person.
So many thoughts were running through my mind. God are you really showing me that this person is not good for me? Am I hearing you correctly? Can I remain connected to them if I just slowly back away? But God answered me boldly and abruptly! He told me to sever the connection immediately! I was obedient and I have not looked back since! I am so glad that I listened that day. My life has been much more progressive and joyful. If you find yourself wondering why you feel weighed down or why you may not be moving forward in certain areas of your life. Check your surroundings! Who is in your inner circle? Satan may just be using someone you are close to, to hold you back!
I must be honest with you and tell you that the friendship that I had with this person was always rocky. Meaning that this was not the first time that I had ended the friendship, more like the 4th! I chose to allow God to break this relationship off for the last time by truly walking away for good. There were always red flags there that I chose to ignore. I made excuses for certain types of behavior by saying things like, that’s just the way they are, or they just joke like that! But deep down I knew that there was something wrong. I knew that most of time after interacting with this particular friend I always felt negative emotions! I was always left feeling as though I had wasted my time, that there were things that I could have been doing to grow and get better in life. After spending time talking with this person I was always left feeling depleted in some way or another.
So let’s take a look at some of the telltale signs (red flags) that you may have a hindering relationship with someone in your life.
- You usually feel negative emotions after interacting with them. After spending time (more like wasting time!) talking with someone with hindering spirit, you usually feel worn out, angry, sad, or grieved in some way. Talking with these people can leave you stressed out, confused or just downright agitated. These people never pour into you, they only withdraw from your emotional bank! Even their attempts to pour into you leave you feeling lost or broken down in some way.
- You find yourself being pulled in the wrong direction. Maybe there are some past behaviors or ways of thinking that you have been delivered from, these hindering spirits will always cause you to go backward. They find ways to draw you back toward your past instead helping to catapult you toward your destiny. They discuss things that are completely irrelevant to where you are going in life. They tend to be gossipers, slanderers and back biters. They often attempt to get you to go back to old behaviors and mindsets. For example: If you used to drink or smoke, they will encourage those old habits, even if you tell them that you don’t do those things anymore. They will agree with you and then find ways to influence to you do it anyway.
- People with hindering spirits love to exalt themselves above others and most of all above God, sometimes without realizing it. They often hinder others and tear them down to make themselves look better than everyone else. They need to feel important and they want others to think highly of them based on their accomplishments. These people do not care who they have to bring down verbally, emotionally or mentally to bring themselves up higher. This is the whole point of hindering others! It is straight from the devil, this mindset and action is the very thing that caused satan to be condemned to damnation!
- The enemy loves to make these people use their tongues to destroy others. We already discussed that hindering spirits use slander and gossip to discourage others and to tear them down. But the enemy also uses them to deceive and accuse others. These people like to tell you lies about yourself and about who you are. They tell you things that aren’t true about you, so that you will come into agreement with who the devil is trying to convince you to believe you are. This is all an attempt to steal your identity in Christ! If Satan can cause you to believe the lies that he creates about you and about your personality, then he can get you to disregard what the Word of God says about you. You are a child of God, and an heir with Christ Jesus, nothing more and nothing less! Anything that anyone says about you that does not line up with the Word of God is a lie, period! All lies come from Satan himself and it does not matter who he is using to say them to you!
I must point out something significant that truly was disheartening for me to have to process, learn and accept. Once I did accept it, I realized that the enemy no longer had power over me in my relationships. I was able to let go of all of the toxic people in my life without fear or worry that I was making the wrong decision.
I learned that sometimes the enemy uses people who are exceptionally close to you to try to keep you bound throughout your entire life! He uses them as what I like to refer to as “life guards”. These “life guards” are strategically placed in your life to stunt your growth, to keep you bound and to create fear and stagnation. Even if you let them go, periodically they will come back. They love to play on your emotions and to manipulate you based on your love for them. These people can actually be family members! I’m talking about relationships that are sometimes too close to just walk away from. The enemy can use parents, children, siblings, grandparents, even our spouses! When the toxic people who are hindering our lives are those who are closest to us, it can cut like a knife! To have to come to terms with this can be one of the most challenging situations that we may ever have to face.
Never the less, God requires that we follow Him and love Him above all else! We are to follow Christ’s plan and purpose for our lives. That means we may have to choose to walk away from our closest family members if necessary. Whatever it takes to remain in alignment with God’s will for our lives is what we must be willing to do! I truly believe that is what Jesus mean’t when He said that we would have to give up everything to follow Him. When the people we love become our enemy because they are allowing the enemy (Satan) to use them against us and to cause them to wreak havoc in our lives, we must remember who we are in Christ and let them go! We are to pray for them, we are to love them and we are to forgive them just as our father has continuously done for us. But we are to love them from a distance and not continue to subject ourselves to their toxic way of thinking and behavior. Loving them with the love of Christ does not mean that we are to neglect our relationship with God to do so. In fact the more we choose Christ, the more the Lord will bring healing and restoration into our lives. Those relationships that he allowed to be severed can be healed and restored one day in God’s timing if He so chooses. We are to simply follow Him, choose Him first, and allow Him to fix every situation with every single person in our lives. Until our next chat, God bless you.