Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't

Begin to be aware of your tendency to make the “haves” bad and the “have nots” good. Ask God to help you to be grateful for what you have, and to rejoice in the good things that others have.

Defensive devaluation is a protective device that makes love bad, trust unimportant and people "no darn good any way". People who have been deeply hurt in their relationships will often devalue love so it doesn't hurt so much. And they often become resigned to never loving again.

Envy says, “What is inside me is bad. What is outside me is good. I hate anyone who has something I desire.

Every relationship has problems, because every person has problems, and the place that our problems appear most glaringly is in our close relationships. The key is whether or not we can hear from others where we are wrong, and accept their feedback without getting defensive. Time and again, the Bible says that someone who listens to feedback from others is wise, but someone who does not is a fool.

God uses people not only to nurture us, but also to open our eyes to sins, selfishness, and denial in us. Love also means saying, “I hold this against you,” as Jesus did when he confronted the churches (Rev. 2:4, 14, 20). Being confronted on character issues isn’t pleasant. It hurts our self-image. It humbles us. But it doesn’t harm us. Loving confrontations protect us from our blindness and self-destructiveness.

Hidden sins and problems are destructive to us, and if we long to grow, we would want them exposed and healed.

How does our self-sufficiency ruin safety? Primarily by preventing us from experiencing our impoverishment. People who “have it together” are not hungry, or thirsty, for others. They do not feel a lack within when they’re alone or in distress. They do not connect with other people, because they do not experience any need for it.

If you are uneasy about a relationship, ask yourself, Does this relationship breed more togetherness or more isolation within me? If you feel alone in the relationship, that’s not a good sign. But remem-ber: the first person to look at is yourself.

If you’re attracted to critical people, you may find relief in their clarity of thought and purity of vision. But you’ll also find yourself guilt-ridden, compliant, and unable to make mistakes without tremendous anxiety. Irresponsibles

In a sense, matters of the heart are mostly subjective and unconscious, and that’s not bad. Soul connections should not always be made on a rational basis. What a boring life that would be! The unconscious part of ourselves has a wisdom of its own, and in some ways our heart knows what it wants and needs. That is valid. But God has made us with two sides of our being, the rational and the emotional; when they are in conflict, we are in trouble.

Love is abiding, timeless, and unchanging, just like its Author. Find people who love you, and love you well over time, like he does: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). 8.

Make friends with your needs. Welcome them. They are a gift from God, designed to draw you into relationship with him and with his safe people. Your needs are the cure to the sin of self-sufficiency.

Our sinful nature breeds envy, self-sufficiency, entitlement, and transgression. Envy, self-sufficiency, entitlement, and transgression breed isolation. Isolation breeds life problems (emotional, behavioral, rela-tional).

Part of being made in God’s image is having a need to be in relationship.

People often think the Devil tries to influence people to do “bad things.” While this is true, the demonic strategy is also much deeper. He tries to tempt us to get our needs met without relationship and without humility, the way he wanted to in the beginning.

People with a style of denial and blaming are definitely on the list of unsafe people to avoid. 10.

Repentant people will recognize a wrong and really want to change because they do not want to be that kind of person. They are motivated by love to not hurt anyone like that again. These are trustworthy people because they are on the road to holiness and change, and their behavior matters to them. People

Safe relationships are centered and grounded in forgiveness. When you have a friend with the ability to forgive you for hurting her or letting her down, something deeply spiritual occurs in the transaction between you two. You actually experience a glimpse of the deepest nature of God himself. People who forgive can—and should—also be people who confront. What is not confessed can’t be forgiven. God himself confronts our sins and shows us how we wound him: “I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from me, and by their eyes, which played the harlot after their idols” (Ezek. 6:9 NASB). When we are made aware of how we hurt a loved one, then we can be reconciled. Therefore, you shouldn’t discount someone who “has something against you,” labeling him as unsafe. He might actually be attempting to come closer in love, in the way that the Bible tells us we are to do.

The antidote to entitlement is forgiveness in two directions.

The Laodicean church pretended they had no needs and were confronted for it: “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17).

This is one of the marks of a truly safe person: they are confrontable.

To best deal with unsafe people, we first need to understand what causes us to be unsafe. For the problem is not just outside us; it is inside every one of us.

Unsafe people will never identify with others as fellow sinners and strugglers, because they see themselves as somehow “above all of that.

We are all deceivers to some degree. The difference between safe and unsafe “liars” is that safe people own their lies and see them as a problem to change as they become aware of their deception.

We grow in part by confessing our faults and weaknesses to each other (James 5:16; Eccl. 4:10). If we are always being strong and without needs, we are not growing, and we are setting ourselves up for a very dangerous fall.

We often hear of someone saying, ‘So you don’t trust me’ or ‘Are you questioning my integrity?’ or ‘You don’t believe me.’ They get defensive and angry because someone questions their actions, and they think they are above being questioned or having to prove their trustworthiness. But none of us is above questioning.

We were created for intimacy, to connect with someone with heart, soul, and mind. Intimacy occurs when we are open, vulnerable, and honest, for these qualities help us to be close to each other.

what makes Christianity unique. We have a perfect God dying for a sinful people. Even more incredible, this sinful people doesn’t have to be good to be loved. We can be bad and still be loved,

When we refuse to be kind to someone when it would be right to do it; when we lie to each other; when we lash out in violence, we transgress, disregarding the standards and statutes of God.

You aren't alive if you aren't in need.