Tag Archives: The heart is deceitful above all things

Toxic Tuesday: A Real Life Toxic Letter

 

toxic-people-warning-keep-calm

Toxic people.

They can make a person want to scream, “What are you doing?”

“How could you?”

“What were you thinking?”

“Stop!”

Toxic people in the Christian community are especially difficult to understand. How do you resolve the discrepancies of a person who can be two things at the same time? How is it possible to be good and bad, godly and evil, spiritually sound and morally corrupt, pure and defiled, truthful but insincere to the core, loving and unfaithful, committed while betraying, outwardly dynamic and yet a fraud? They are a hero to some and a villain to others—a matted mess of a person that you cannot untangle; for their good, for your benefit, or for God’s glory.

For example: How can a pastor give the impression of being a biblical family man while; unbeknownst to his wife, partaking in an extra-marital relationship with a bi-sexual atheist? How can priests make oaths to the Lord while molesting young boys? Why do a few go to seminary to enter full-time ministry for the purpose of seeking victims to prey upon. How does a pastor carry on a sexual relationship with another staff member, get caught having sex with them in a room at the church, and still attempt to lie his way out of it? Better yet, how do pastors/clergy forced out of one ministry due to sexual sins gain a new ministry without the next church ever inquiring into their background? How do they keep family, friends and church leadership blind to their sin?

They are toxic. They are professional liars who take deception to a higher level. Daring individuals who seek thrills while leaving clues; desperate for someone to catch them, yet hoping to not be caught.

Here is an example of a personal value statement written by a toxic person living in a deep pit of sin and dysfunction.

 

MY PERSONAL VALUES by Toxic Logic

 

Nothing comes before God.

My God is not the church.

The church does not come before my wife.

The church does not come before my family.

Money is no obstacle to love.

Love is not dependent on money.

Marriage can survive without money,

But it cannot without love.

Although my mind and memory may fail me,

May I never fail to love.

Love is more than memories,

It is the memory in the making.

The child we bear is a gift.

It is the ultimate responsibility to be a parent.

If we fail here,

Then we have ultimately failed.

The child bears the marks of its parents.

May I have cut away from me the lack of integrity, dishonesty and irresponsibility;

So that my child may grow to love and know love

In the most extraordinary way.

The beauty and grace and wisdom of a mother

All come from having been loved, nurtured and provided for by the man of her life who is

Possessed by her love and who remains her knight in shining armor…

A few nicks and bruises…but still shining.

Some wounds remain always as permanent scars.

May I never inflict another so painful and so cruel.

The heart breaks in ways like no other hurt,

And I have broken hers today.

Lord, I thank you for the days when I love my wife…

Completely, totally, consistently, blamelessly.

Forgive me for the shameful days when I forget to love her

…those times when I take her for granted and nearly lose her.

Sickness, fatigue and busy-ness are no excuse for failing to remember to love.

Always remember, I love you.

Behold, a shining example of a toxic person.

This was written after forgetting a special occasion. With an apology like this for a small issue how would a wife ever guess there were major betrayals and mental issues going on with her husband? Resolving discrepancies is next to impossible in a situation like this.

To make matters worse the wife had to listen to the “Value Statement” read from the pulpit as an apology to her, all the while knowing it was insincere, for a show, and to gain exaltation for being ‘real’, ‘transparent’ and ‘humble’. Though she knew something was very wrong she was still clueless to the demons lurking in the shadows. Only the love of family, the help of caring friends, Bible study, prayer, fasting  and time would eventually reveal the depth of her husband’s depravity.

The condition of this man’s heart is a hard truth for her to accept; even to this day.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)

It is for women like her that I write this blog. You are not alone and you are not crazy.

God loves you and has a plan for your life. Ask Him what His heart and will is for your life, your future, and your family. Seek it. Allow the Holy Spirit to comfort you. Jesus will intercede for you if you ask. He is everything you need.

I am praying for you and I hope you are finding applicable help for your journey and scriptures to pray over your situation. Previous Toxic Tuesday posts are full of such information.

Below is my theme song for life’s ups and downs. I have enjoyed it in the best of times and sung it in the depths of despair.

I love most genres of music but the strings in this arrangement weave through my inner being and touch my soul; awakening me to God’s love while keeping me centered in Him.

Flashing Billboards on My Forehead

TOXIC TUESDAY warning

“I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”

Philip Yancey

Conflicts: Dysfunctional. Abusive. Boundaryless. They can happen to anyone including Jesus followers who daily spend purposeful time with God through reading the scriptures, in-depth Bible study and consistent prayer. You may be a godly person and a good neighbor, boss, employee, co-worker, parent, spouse, child, sibling, relative or friend finding yourself in an unwanted and uncalled for difficult relationship or circumstance.

I have had relationships in which I interceded for the other person through prayer by asking Jesus to heal them of their dysfunction, mental illness or sin. Most scriptural records of Jesus healing a person were instant, complete and permanent. Even though the person I prayed for had not asked for the help or healing and I could not physically take them to Jesus; I could spiritually bring them before Jesus.

I have previously witnessed Jesus provide in ways that seemed impossible to me relationally, emotionally, spiritually, physically and even legally. He is so like that. When I have been at my wit’s end believing there was no possible way, no hope, no healing, no relief, no safety to overcome an obstacle; Jesus did the impossible. My mind had not previously conceived what He chose to do on my behalf. It was so out of the box that only He could have done it. There lies the beauty; Jesus has no box and I cannot put Him in one. Whoop — whoop!

That being exclaimed, I must also add that I have known Jesus long enough to realize not all prayers are fulfilled the way I wish, in my timing, or sometimes they may not be answered in my lifetime and I know I’ll have to wait until heaven to see how it is eventually answered. My heart may sometimes doubt Jesus heard my prayer but my mind always knows better. He hears, remembers and acts. Always.

If you use Pinterest, the online bulletin/pin board, you have likely read quotes about trusting your heart: “There is no instinct like that of the heart.” “Trust your heart. What is true feels good. What is false causes doubt.” – Monica De Liz. “Always listen to your heart.” “When you can’t believe your eyes you can always trust your heart.”  “Trust your heart and you will be with the one you love” -Aunt Wu.

Here is what trumps all these quotes: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV). Our hearts need to be established in Christ first and even then scripture tells us not to trust in our heart, but with all of our heart, trust in God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5 (NIV).

I knew Jesus was capable of healing the person I was praying for. Scripture told me of His great power and; moreover, scripture states the power is for us. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,” Ephesians 1:18-20 (NIV). I have longed for this kind of power to be exerted in to the heart, soul, mind and strength of someone I knew on multiple occasions. The bottom line was they had to want it and believe Him for it. When they did not —I was not quick to give up on them. I’m stubborn like that.

Often when I sense God has released me from relationally reaching out to someone and has shown me the exit door from a dysfunctional, abusive or boundaryless relationship; I usually look for a detour and go back for the person. I find myself wondering, “Have I done everything I can?” I do not want to question if there was possibly something else that would have worked. I continue to pray and ask if there is please, another way. I must know I did everything I could and when I look back; have no regrets. If I am going to error I can live with erring in faith but I could not live with erring in what was convenient. I am capable of missing the proverbial boat when it comes to discerning the voice, the will, of God and I want to make certain I clearly understood his heart and will for this concern.

On the other hand, I have a history of allowing anger (toxicity) to be taken out on me so when it comes up in a relationship it feels natural but I know God is calling me to recognize and respond to it in a biblical way. This is anything but easy for me.

Sometime I imagine I have a flashing sign on my forehead that reads, “Easy to Manipulate: Free Test Try” or perchance “Bounaryless: Trespass without caution.” God keeps the lessons in these areas coming at a steady pace and He is determined to teach me how to soar by handling the issue without becoming nervous, shaky, lightheaded, heart pounding out of my chest or; as in my most recent lesson, feeling like Icy Hot was rubbed on my chest. I never before experienced this sensation during a difficult confrontation and fortunately was able to laugh at myself when the conversation had finished. Icy Hot — seriously — I never knew!

Thankfully, God is a patient teacher who does not give me a failing grade. He just keeps teaching me new applications and giving me new situations in which to work them out. God has also given me a godly, humorous private tutor who happens to be an Ace when it comes to practical application. God is very serious about me learning this lesson and passing on to you what I learn. I must add that these lessons are not easy and are sometimes painful. To quote Beth Moore from a lesson in Daniel: Lives of Integrity, “You want to learn this lesson in the classroom and not on a field trip.” I imagine I have more field trips logged than the average student.

In an upcoming post I will refer to toxic relationships, or what the Bible refers to as relationships with fools. Until then; if you, like me, have a flashing billboard on your forehead — turn it off! And keep clear of Icy Hot.