The Friendly Foe: Identifying Toxic Friendships

Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 13:1-20, Esther 5:1- 14 and Esther 6:1-13 Proverbs 13:20

A lot of us have fallen victim of toxic relationships that were once rosy sugar-coated ties. We have once sympathised with those who had harmful intentions towards us. In our ignorance we have fallen prey to their deceit.

The friendly Foe: How Identify Toxic Friendships
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Prayer: Oh Lord, deliver me with your might hand from every toxic friendship in the name of Jesus

Today’s reading exposes Amnon’s dangerous obsession with his own step sister, Tamar. An obsession that is coated with a twisted “love”. As the story unfolds, Amnon and his friend, Jonadab conspire against Tamar. Jonadab helps Amnon devise a plan that would bring a blood bath to the house of David. We know through the scriptures that these events are a consequence of David’s sin 2 Samuel 9-14

Prayer: Lord, make my life unavailable to toxic friends in Jesus name.

Lesson 1: Every decision and action (both good and evil) of your life start in your heart.  Amnon’s heart began to conceive wickedness. The condition of his heart opened the doors to evil counsel. Perhaps Amnon forgot one of the six abominations unto the God is a heart that devises wicked imaginations Proverbs 6:18

Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life Proverbs 4:23  

Follow the trail down to 2 Samuel 19. This serves as a caution to us.

Journal Reflection

Are there friends that need to be shown the way out of your life?

Examine the quality of counsels given to you by the people in your life.

Are they worth keeping?

Are they Godly counsels?

Do your friends bring value or take away virtues from your life?

Just before you respond to these questions let’s go over to the case of the young influential man called Haman. He was obsessed with his position in the Kingdom. Moved with pride, wickedness and arrogance he orchestrated for the Jews to be executed because of one man, Mordecai. But our attention is brought to the kind of friends he kept including his own wife.

Did you see the advice given to him in Esther 5:14?

Zeresh his wife and all his friends encouraged him to build gallows where he will hang an innocent man.

Sad for him in Esther 6:13 they tell him you have began to fall, you can’t prevail against him and you will surely fall before him…

At this time, it was too late for Haman to retract his steps. His evil friends and counselors who once cheered him on have led him to his destruction. They flattered him to his death Read Proverbs 29:5

Sadly, this man had no one to contradict his plans. None of his friends rebuked him. None spoke the truth to him.

Liars are they called, friends who would never speak the truth about issues.

Evil they are who watch you trod the path of destruction and never rebuke you.

Now go back to your journal and respond to the questions above.

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It is high time we disengage from such people who withhold the truth our heart needs to hear at all times regardless of how painful the sting of the truth will be.

Lesson 2: Counsels are words spoken to you to resolve an issue or to help you get things done. One wrong advice can cost the loss of lives, properties and destruction of others as we learn in today’s study.

Lesson  3: The presence of toxic friends will always have dire consequences.

Journal Reflections

Could Jonadab have saved the situation?

Did the study characters Amnon and Haman ever think of the implication of their actions?

Could Tamar have done anything differently in her situation?

I appreciate all the emails I received in response to these studies. I am happy these Bible Studies are blessing lives and reaching people.

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What more should you expect?

How to Identify and break the yoke of toxic friendships, How to handle difficult friendships, War room prayers, friendship with Jesus and how to nbe friends indeed etc… God willing we have one more week to go until we call it a wrap. and get ready for the next study…

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