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The culture of saying everyone is toxic

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by quintessentialramble, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. quintessentialramble

    quintessentialramble Member

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    Let's talk about this word "toxic" that my friends love to use. I hear this from Christians and non-Christians alike. Whenever it's used, it's typically used to justify why you cut somebody out of your life, because they upset you, they annoyed you, they didn't live up to YOUR standards. But what's really going on here? What's really going on here is two very important things.
    1. You fully recognize the toxicity in other people--and you're not wrong. They are toxic.
    But ask yourself. Have I been toxic? Have I failed to live up to a standard? We readily outcast others for the very same things we ourselves commit. This story is nothing new. I'll get to that in a second.
    2. We use this word toxic because we don't want to use the word sin. Because if we use the word toxic, then it's not about judgment, and it's also not about restoration or repentance--it's about self-righteousness.
    Back to that story I mentioned.
    9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed[a] thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
     
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  2. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

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    Thank you. I am in the process of trying to excise psychological buzz words out of my head. I *have* used this kind of reasoning to distance myself physically and withhold forgiveness, in the interests of emotionally protecting myself.

    And while it is ok to set personal limits on contact, and ok to be careful, it is not ok to dismiss people outright, withhold mercy, or exalt yourself over those who have hurt you. I am learning this.

    Thank you. God bless you for posting this.
     
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  3. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla His little lady

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    That’s the buzzword for 2019 along with race. Last year was privilege and SJW.

    Absolutely. But mistakes don’t obliterate consequences. Repentance doesn’t set aside discipline. Consequences are a part of life. And sometimes they result in losses.

    I don’t use it. That doesn’t explain the problem or offense. I know what I can handle and the behaviors that cross boundaries which impact my well-being in a negative way.

    Everyone is imperfect. To expect change or conformity is unrealistic in my opinion. There are challenges I’m able to support and others I’m unqualified for. I don’t have the tools the person needs and I’m honest about it.

    That’s not an issue of blame on either side. We all desire companions whose love and support enrich our walk and we provide the same in turn. There are many forms of ministry and I’m cognizant of my strengths. I forge connections where both are utilized.

    I don’t think that means we should withhold love, compassion, or kindness. You can display that to others without being friends.
     
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  4. quintessentialramble

    quintessentialramble Member

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    "we all desire companions."

    This shows me that your love is rooted in self-interest, and not agape, unselfish, sacrifical love. It sounds like you love if it pleases you. This was never love.
    Jesus calls every repentant believer FRIENDS and BROTHERS. The reason he uses this word brother is because we would recognize that the bond of family is tighter than any bond. He compares his church as a bride--what is supposed to be the loyalest of the loyal.
    I don't agree with your statement that we don't have to be friends with true believers. The Bible states that our love for the church needs to be greater than the love of those in the world. If you're saying there's no need...you've already failed.
    Where I do think we need to be careful is recognizing a true believer.

    If you can honestly say you are loving a person but they are not you friend...you do not love them; you are tolerating them and showing acts of charity. But love is deeper than this. Love is built over time and relational. Love is patient love is kind, love is not self-seeking, love is not rude, love keeps NO RECORD OF WRONGS, love rejoices; love reconciles, love forgives. The very nature of our ministry is reconciliation with God alongside forgiveness. What if God said, "I forgive you, but you may not come to me." What kind of love is that? Not one I would want to be a part of.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  5. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    God made us to be social beings with close relationships.

    This sounds as if God's ideal is for all of us to live as hermits with no interaction with other people.

    How can you have "unselfish, sacrificial love" if you shy away from companionship?
     
  6. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla His little lady

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    No one springs from the womb walking in agape except Jesus. Neither you or I or anyone else can make that claim.

    I never mentioned believers in my post at all. And I didn’t restrict its application to them. Your tangent isn’t based on anything I’ve said.

    And I wouldn’t call your tone or expressions agape either.
     
  7. quintessentialramble

    quintessentialramble Member

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    Love isn't always about being nice--see the money changer's table. Does a parent love a child when they don't discipline him? Disagreement does not equal unloving.
    Is it possible for us to always 100% unselfish? no. What I was merely pointing out that you stated your friendship comes from your desire.
    Jesus said deny yourself and follow him. Will we always get this right? No, but our motives should be rooted in honoring Jesus.

    "To expect change or conformity is unrealistic." While they don't have to be perfect, there should be evidence of fruit in their lives. A believer who says they won't change is no believer, for they do not know what repentance is. A believer is NOT someone who asks Jesus into their heart--a believer or brother who is someone who does the will of God? What is the will of God? Your sanctification? What is sanctification? A changed heart leading to repentance. The Bible says do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Anyone who disregards this basic Scripture has proven they only see Jesus as a ticket, and not as LORD. Not everyone who says, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my father in heaven.

    the reason I mentioned believers specifically, was because I do not believe we are required to befriend those who reject Jesus, but in this case I would agree we are to show love but not be bound by their sinful lifestyle.
     
  8. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla His little lady

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    Some people don’t agree with the notion of close relationships if everyone isn’t included. You don’t get choose your companions.

    The idea often stems from other issues unrelated faith which hinder the individual from making friends or fitting into groups. There’s an element of expectation and demand for accommodation. I’ve heard it elsewhere on CF.
     
  9. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    That is where discipleship comes in - a mature believer being able to address and get to the bottom of those issues.

    CS Lewis once said "The bible knows nothing of solitary religion."

    The 2 great commands are to Love God with everything, and love your neighbor as yourself.

    You cannot truly fulfill what the bible tells us to do if you are NOT loving your neighbor as yourself.
     
  10. quintessentialramble

    quintessentialramble Member

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    And the same people that use the word toxic also say you can't love your neighbor until you learn to love yourself. also not biblical.

    I'm not saying we need to live solitary lives--I'm simply saying we need to learn that forgiveness and reconciliation go hand in hand...you can't have one without the other...it does not work. God does not reconcile, or forgive, those who do not repent. That is what the Bible teaches. This doesn't mean perfection, but there must be in the heart of every believer, a recognition of sin, a confession of sin, and a desire to turn away from sin.
    I do agree there should be church discipline when we are talking about extreme sins, like sexual immorality, or when one refuses to apologize/ask for forgiveness when their sin is clear and brought up. But more often than not, this has nothing to do with what people are referring to when they say toxic, nor have they taken the biblical steps outlined that would lead to restoration.
     
  11. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla His little lady

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    At your best, you will love imperfectly. Even now, you don’t grasp what I’m saying.

    I’m speaking from the perspective of we not I. We should be a blessing to another. And if I’m unable to meet that I don’t pretend or try to change them.

    They may require assistance I’m unable to provide. What I lack another may have. And I want them to grow. I don’t want anyone to remain in a rut.

    To expect the other person to change or conform for me is unrealistic.

    That wasn’t addressed to believers. I was referencing friends.
     
  12. jayem

    jayem Naturalist

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    I use the term. But I try not to apply it to a specific person. More often, I want it to describe an idea, belief, mode of thinking, or behavior exhibited by a group. It's more effective when it designates a collective harm.
     
  13. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla His little lady

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    I agree. Nevertheless, we have a growing demographic facing challenges that weren’t on our plate in the past. They’re isolated, alone, and many have psychological and social issues. Many don’t know how to respond.
     
  14. quintessentialramble

    quintessentialramble Member

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    "That wasn't addressed to believers, I was referencing friends."
    Are most of your friends believers?

    "To expect the other person to change for me is unrealistic"
    God ultimately changes a person's heart. however, the Bible teaches us that when we see a brother caught in sin, we are to restore them gently. Unless we have done what the Bible teaches regarding correction; we have not right to label them toxic, as this would spell out clearly our own failure to communicate a problem, and in turn, should label ourselves as toxic. I believe this would also fall under lack of faith to believe God could change a person's heart.
     
  15. LaBèlla

    LaBèlla His little lady

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    Some are and some aren’t.

    You should adjust your OP to indicate you’re addressing Christian friendships to eliminate confusion.
     
  16. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    That is not what I am talking about. Discipleship is a one-on-one mentoring of new believers by someone more mature that can see and correct the issues you are talking about.
     
  17. quintessentialramble

    quintessentialramble Member

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    In the original post it's referencing both; because ultimately the recognition that one is sinful is the first step that would hopefully lead to repentance; I think the discussion just wound up leading to be more about Christian friendships in the long run.
     
  18. quintessentialramble

    quintessentialramble Member

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    I think that post was in regards to one of labelles posts, not yours.
     
  19. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Ordering self love is not in scripture since it is assumed:

    Ephesians 5:29
    for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,

    A former pastor once said "You are to love your neighbor as yourself. And He you.
    But what if your neighbor is suicidal? Do you really want him to love you the way he loves himself?"
     
  20. quintessentialramble

    quintessentialramble Member

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    Right, which then leads me to wonder why people command self love, if it's assumed we love ourselves. if it's assumed, there's no need to command it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
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