I recently read an article entitled 5 Toxic Marriage Habits by Jen Thorn. As I read through her article, I couldn’t help but realize that her observations about marriage problems are almost 100% relevant to relationships within the Church. The following three habits are taken directly from Thorn’s article. As you read, consider your relationship with your brothers and sisters in Christ here at Ashville Road. Three toxic habits to avoid are:
Nagging. Why nag? It never really works. It annoys the other person without bearing much fruit and causes frustration in the one who nags. Yet we do it anyway. The Bible has a hard word to say to those who nag: “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife” (Proverbs 21:19). Better to be cut off from all human contact than to live with a person who is constantly nagging? Nagging is in opposition to encouragement. We are called to encourage, not discourage.
Complaining. A complaining spirit is the fruit of pride. We think we are entitled to something more, and therefore we feel justified when we speak out against what we dislike. Complaining often amounts to little more than the venting of our own selfish and ungodly feelings. Complaining may let you blow off some steam, but it can easily burn those around you. Instead of always finding reasons to complain, we should be finding reasons to do the opposite. “Do everything without complaining and arguing” (Phil. 2:14).
Selfishness. Selfishness has absolutely no place within the Christian life. Jesus must be our example here. HE placed himself last! HE loved when it was inconvenient and He served when He was tired. When we are selfish we are thinking much too highly of ourselves and much too lowly of everyone else; but isn’t this the opposite of what God calls us to do? “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Phil 2:3-4).