Harmful Relationships

And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. Matthew 2:12

If you think about it, it’s an amazing wrap-up to an amazing story. Scholars believe that Jesus probably could have been up to a year old when the wise men arrived because their journey was long and arduous. Their destination was clear: to see the Christ child. Herod feigned interest in the baby they were seeking only because he felt threatened by the birth of this boy. Evidently God wasn’t finished with these wise men. These men knew that disobeying Herod would mean instant death if they were caught and turned over to Herod, but they were obeying a higher power. Lots of people have dreams and even seemingly Godly dreams. What’s significant about the wise men is that they were all warned not to go back the way they came. We don’t know exactly what was said in the dream but the outcome was clear: don’t go back the same way you came.

During the end of this Christmas season, I’d like you to consider relationships that might be harmful to you. Clearly the minor relationship that the wise men had with Herod was disastrous and unfruitful. You may not be warned in a dream about the relationship, but you know deep down if it’s destructive or not. And with God’s help, you know exactly what you need to do. Chances are good that if you’re not in such a relationship, you know someone who is. Commit to praying regularly for that person. Often you cannot openly express your concerns to that person for fear of rejection or further hurt, but God can change the heart and the mind.

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