Pastor Grant Diamond

Escaping Toxic (Part One)

I think any relationship is in constant danger of becoming toxic. Any relationship is in constant danger of becoming toxic. Why? Because the human heart is toxic. And when you get two humans together in a relationship, you remember what happens? We touched on it last week. When you get two humans together in a relationship Hollywood says that you’re going to get rid of my problems. My problems will go away because I’m with you. That’s the Hollywood story, right? How’s that working for you? Listen when you get married it doesn’t take away your problems, it multiplies them. Real talk. I love my wife but I have more problems than when I got married, not less. Because now there’s not just one human heart to deal with now there are two. You know what the Bible says about your heart? It says your heart is deceitful and wicked, above all else. It says your heart is not to be trusted. So a relationship is just two deceitful and wicked hearts coming together. Super romantic, right?

Why do I say all of that? Why lead with that depressing, depressing fact. Because you need to understand what you’re getting into when you get into a relationship. You’re getting into something where the potential for toxic is high. Any relationship is in constant danger of becoming toxic. Now that may sound discouraging but don’t miss what I’m saying. I’m not saying any relationship will become and stay toxic. No way. That’s hopeless. That’s not our game here at Rise. We’re a hopeful place.

How can we be hopeful when everything I just said about your heart is true? Because it’s not all the Bible says about your heart. The Bible doesn’t just say that your heart is wicked and deceitful, it also says that Jesus can give you a new heart.That’s the hope. Your heart doesn’t have to stay the way it starts. Jesus can do some open heart surgery and make that thing brand new. So that’s what I want to help us with today. I want to help us understand what some of the signs are of a toxic relationship so you can either get out, or get to work and make it better.

One of the reasons we have to do this is because toxic relationships have kind of become the new normal in our culture. It’s amazing when you listen to the radio and the songs we have about relationships, when you watch TV or movies and the pictures we have of relationships, those mediums aren’t full of happy, healthy relationships. They’re full of toxic ones. Here let me show you what I mean. This is just a small selection, just to paint the picture for you. Here’s the hook from Love the Way You Lie. You guys remember this one? Eminem and Rihanna. Hit number one in 2010, stayed there seven weeks. Here’s the hook.

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright, because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright, because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

Sounds healthy, right?

You guys like Friends? Kayli’s watching it right now. Not my thing but she’s loving it. Here’s a good one for you. I looked this up on a whim after she mentioned to me how it’s really just a dating show. Friends was huge right? Huge cultural moment. What’s the show have to teach us about relationships? Here’s a statistic. In friends over the course of 236 episodes the characters had 85 sexual partners.

Sounds healthy, right?

One more song. I could do this all day we’ve got to keep moving. But Love the Way You Lie was a little dated, here’s a more recent one. Side to Side by Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. Another huge hit. This one peaked at number four at the end of 2016. Stayed on the charts for forever it felt like. Here’s verse one Arianna describing her relationship.

I’m talkin’ to ya
See you standing over there with your body
Feeling like I wanna rock with your body
And we don’t gotta think ’bout nothin’ (‘Bout nothin’)

I’m comin’ at ya
‘Cause I know you got a bad reputation
Doesn’t matter, ’cause you give me temptation
And we don’t gotta think ’bout nothin’ (‘Bout nothin’)

Sounds healthy, right?

Listen we’ve got to have this conversation today because the reality is some of you have never been in a healthy relationship. Some of you don’t even know what one of those looks like. You’ve just gotten used to toxic because toxic is all you’ve ever known. But toxic isn’t normal. Toxic isn’t what God has for you. Others of you, you have been in healthy relationships but you’re in one right now that maybe even started out healthy but it’s become toxic. And you’ve been trapped there for a little while. Why? Because every relationship is in constant danger of becoming a toxic one. So I’m going to help you with this today, I’m going to help you escape toxic if you’re in it or keep toxic out if you’re not in it right now.

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