On social media, I have seen posts on staying away from toxic people. The other day, a woman was advising other women to have high standards for themselves in terms of men that they are looking to date. I don't think I agree with any of it. I want to look at it almost as if it were a Covid situation... If you have a vulnerable immune system, take care of yourself. Focus on what you need to focus on. Use precautions and stay away from people. Wear a mask. Clean up your home from potential germs that can contaminate you. Healthy vaccinated people can have more mobility. What if you have a vulnerable spiritual life? What if you need to take care of your emotional state? Maybe you are an immature Christian or not strong in the faith? Let's take a deeper look.
I believe that God has made up to worship Him. We, as humans, have the opportunity to pursue a special relationship with God. We are made to worship, and we will worship something. I have seen people worship their children. I have seen people worship wine. I have seen people worship themselves. I have seen people worship their spouses. They are expecting the thing that they worship to fulfill them. God says:
"Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love." Jonah 2: 8
And don't read Isaiah 44:9-20!!!
"All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together. The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. ..."
People upset me. I think I can be honest here. They cut me off on the highway. They seek for themselves first. They yell their pain from their bruised and fragile egos. They feel so much. I feel a lot too. I know enough not to go to anybody else but God with my wheelbarrow of concerns, every second of every day. I'm one of those needy Christians.
I mean... even today I was mad coming in. I don't know what to do with my anger!!! I want to yell and snap at people. I took a moment and prayed to God. Somehow, like the way that God does, I was able to calm down a little. Why was I mad? I'm not so much mad but crabby. I ate poorly yesterday. I didn't feed my body with good things that it needs. So... I'm probably dehydrated from the Doritos I ate (Doritos are the devil). And then I was exposed to someone's negative thinking. People develop their own defense mechanisms. I bring it all to God and allow the Holy Spirit to infiltrate in the dark recesses of my mind and the dark spiritual places I am exposed to. Praise God!
I may have a vulnerable immune system but I think I can practice Romans 12 on people. That's the prescription, Friends. I'm working on it. It's not easy. Do not repay evil with evil but repay evil with good. I know!!! "Man, Elle!! That's a lot to take on. How are you going to do it?" I'm not planning on doing anything. I'm planning on letting God work through me. I'm working on taking myself out of this equation so that only God shows. That will be the hard part.
"So... what about raising your standards for men? What would you tell your daughter?" I think I want to tell Janet the same thing that Jesus tells us, "Seek first the kingdom of God." I will tell her what my favorite Psalm (Psalm 37 if you were wondering) speaks right to me: Trust in God and everything else will follow. If she does this, then God will lead her to the life that is meant for her. I would tell my son the same thing. And when things go south, when both of my children are faced with the valley of the shadow of death, then they will fear no evil for God goes with them (Psalm 23). Because the relationship that needs to be strong is not with any humans. Humans will be human. The relationship that will save them is their relationship with God. Yes, my daughter should marry a God-fearing man who is filled with the spirit of God, if God leads her to this. I pray the same thing for my son. May God lead my children to be strong Christians who are spiritually strong. I know people who have married Christian men and women and it didn't work out the way that they wanted. I want my kids to understand that their happiness is not found in another person, their happiness is found in God. Why? Because when I was faced with the valley of shadow of death, it was God who was with me and shone His light on me to lead me out of that valley. If He could do this for me, He will do it for them. He will do it for you.
I will lower my standards for friends in my life. I will speak to them about the goodness of God to those who do not believe. I will pray for them. When I need to rest, I will rest but trust in God. God is bigger than our anything we have going on. Trust in God, Friends. Praise the Lord!!!