6 Things That Damage Our Relationship With God

6 Things That Damage Our Relationship With God May 31, 2019

There are a lot of things that might destroy our relationships with others, but what 6 things can damage our relationship with God?

Words

How can words damager our relationship with God? Our words can hurt others, and it’s not true that “words can never hurt me.” That’s probably uttered by someone who’s been hurt, but harsh or judgmental words spoken to others, and in particular to brothers and sisters in Christ, is something Jesus takes personally. Remember when Jesus met Saul (later, known as the Apostle Saul) on the Damascus Road? Paul had been persecuting believers, some to the point of death, so Jesus asks him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me” (Acts 9:4)? Wait! Isn’t Jesus in heaven? Then how can Saul have been persecuting Him? Because anyone who persecutes believers, is persecuting Jesus since He is the Head of the church and we are the Body of Christ.

Unconfessed Sin

For a long time, King David suppressed his sin…the sin of conspiracy to commit murder, and adultery; both sins that were punishable by death in Israel, but even though David took a long time in confessing these sins, and it took Nathan the Prophet to finally penetrate his conscience, David was miserable. In perhaps one of the greatest prayers of repentance, David wrote, “I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3), showing that his unconfessed sin was a burden that wouldn’t go away, saying that “when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long” (Psalm 32:3). He told God, it was like, all “day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer” (Psalm 32:4). Unconfessed sin has similar effects our human relationships, so how much more does it affect our relationship with God?

No Communication

When we are mad at someone, we sometimes refuse to speak to them, and giving them the silent treatment makes it harder to reconcile the differences. When communications are severed between parties, there’s slim chance for reconciliation, so when we cut ourselves off from God, we won’t be able to hear His voice as easily. I don’t mean His audible voice, but how He speaks through the Spirit of God. A man wrote his girlfriend for 3 straight years since he lived a long distance from her. He wrote her almost every day…so what happened? She married the postal carrier! Bad story, but the point is, if we don’t seek to communicate with God in daily prayer, we’re cutting ourselves off the most critical communication we have. And it seems the longer you go without praying (same thing with Bible reading and study), the harder it is to get back to it. Before you know it, it’s been 3 months since you prayed. I have found that the times when I least feel like praying, are the very times when I need it the most.

Worry

Imagine your child coming to you, day after day, asking to see the kitchen cupboards, look into the refrigerator, and ask how much is in the bank. If a child kept coming back to ask, “Mom, is there enough food for me to eat tomorrow,” mom would finally say, “Enough. Yes, we have enough food for tomorrow and the next day and the next week!” Of course, children don’t do that (usually) because they trust that their parents will provide for them. They feel a sense of security. Now think how God feels when we don’t trust Him with today, not to mention tomorrow? To me, worry is the opposite of trust. If I worry about someone driving too fast, it’s because they could get someone hurt (including me!), but if they’re driving the speed limit, I don’t have to worry, at least as much. Jesus said that we should “not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear’” (Matt 6:31). Paul echo’s that statement by writing, we should “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6). Worry says, “I don’t trust You God,” but trust says, “I’m not worried because You are God.”

Robbing Glory

God is never happy when we take credit for something He has done. Paul would asked, “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it” (1 Cor 4:7)? John the Baptist correctly stated that “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven” (John 3:27), so we must acknowledge Him in all things, and give thanks to Him for the many blessings. The psalmist got it right when he wrote, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory” (Psalm 115:1a). We must acknowledge God and how much He has blessed us by making it known to others. If you (and I) can learn to always “acknowledge him,” “he will make straight your paths” (Prov 3:6).

The World

There is an unholy trinity out there that seeks to destroy us. The Apostle John says that “all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world” (1 John 2:16). Those three are what brought down Adam and Eve in the Garden, and we battle the same three things every day, so we are told, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). If we claim to know God but live like the world, we ought to examine ourselves to see if we’re really in the faith (2 Cor 13:5; 2 Pet 1:10-11). Living like the world is certainly going to damage our relationship with God.

Conclusion

There are dozens of other things that can damage our relationship with God. Maybe you can think of one, but I know by experience that I’ve hurt God by my ungodly behavior, many times. Thankfully, He is a God Who forgives, and there is no sin that the blood of the Lamb of God cannot cover. Have you trusted in Him today? If not, you don’t have a relationship with God, but that relationship begins with Jesus Christ. And today is the best of days to come to Him (2 Cor 6:2).

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is an ordained elder of the Brethren Church and a Pastor and Prison Minister in the State of Kansas, but also a writer at Christian Quotes and What Christians Want to Know which address questions about the Bible. He also plants ministries like nursing home ministries, Outreach for the poor, and other evangelistic activities, and check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • pud

    So infantile and delusional.

    There is no such thing as a “relationship” with a non existent entity. Relationships can ONLY exist between real living entities. Your imaginary “relationship” is akin to a small child hosting tea parties for her invisible friends or carrying on conversations with non existent playmates (prayer etc)

    All powerful perfect deities do not “need” or “want” and could not be offended by anything since they have perfect knowledge and omniscience. It would be as if you, janitor jack, took offense at your puppy peeing on the rug even as you knew that’s what puppies do.

    You think like a child…without reason, logic or clarity.

  • Susan Jane Elohim

    God’s love never fails. Cf. Psalm 118 and Psalm 136.

    • Jack Wellman

      Spot on my friend. Thank you so much for the appropriate chapters in the Book of Psalms.

  • Susan Jane Elohim

    From Luke 10, Berean Study Bible

    Woe to the Unrepentant
    (Matthew 11:20-24)
    13Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.

    15And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades!

    16Whoever listens to you listens to Me; whoever rejects you rejects Me; and whoever rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”

  • Deona Flores

    Thank-you Jack, Always great to here your thoughts. Even the most basic are encouraging; both personal and in discipleship. Hope you and your family are well. I’ve been greeting with health challenges since Jan. But I;ve pretty much healed up! Praise God for His faithfulness! In Christ, Deona

    • Jack Wellman

      Thank you Deona for your concerns about our family. God is good. We are doing better than we deserve. Thank you for your prayers. 20 men got baptized today in prison, and what a joy to do that for these new-creations in Christ.

      • Susan Jane Elohim

        Awesome. Which prison was it so I can name them in my prayers?

        Chuck Coleman’s Prison Fellowship is starting up academies for prisoners to help them adjust further so they don’t fall back into crime later. I don’t know if you need help from one of these academies or not but some state prisons are asking for their programs.

        Give the Glory to God for using you so magnificently in His service. Now all those prisoners homes will have more beneficial outcomes and blessings. Hallelujah! Thanks be to God.

      • Susan Jane Elohim

        We Speak To Nations, Israel Houghton
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ie-UP0N31h8

        Highly Exalted, Lakewood Live
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wL2JNedfgWc

  • Roger Morris

    What a sadly dysfunctional relationship where the weaker party has to constantly worry and stress about how they might be damaging the relationship or making the more powerful member of the relationship unhappy and disappointed. Reminds me of an abusive parental or spousal relationships based on obligation, control, guilt and power games. In a healthy relationship, the one with a power advantage constantly reaches out to the dependent to comfort, reassure and empower them, rather than continually dis-empowering them.

    • Emily Elizabeth Windsor-Cragg

      What’s sadliy dysfunctional is the denial that intuitive knowing and telepathy exsist; that Greater Minds and Greater Wisdom exist; and denying that Humanity is being put thrsough tests of character. Beiong oblivious is connected finally to being STUPEFIED by society’s dictums and fables.

  • tovlogos

    Amen, Jack — I was talking to someone about how much I have always loved David — he responded by
    highlighting David’s sins which he didn’t realize was sin-shaming; of course we never stop learning.
    Before I heard that opinion I always thought he was one of the most humble men I ever became aware of, notwithstanding Daniel.
    Humility is such a golden Key to the kingdom — but it is seriously rare to find genuine humility. With it we learn about the things
    of God so much more efficiently and purely. The big key to humility is for believers to “do what we read in the Word of God”.
    Doing what we read will lead us through the process of salvation/sanctification… We can’t “figure out” how to be humble —
    without grandiose expectations and simply follow… John 16:8 will take over. You, Jack are one of the most “genuinely” humble
    human beings I’ve ever met — God willing, I will never stop praying for you.

  • Emily Elizabeth Windsor-Cragg

    Seeking isolation fom guilt and repentance. Adopting vices and abandoning virtues. Operatring solely by money, not by sharing, endowing and gifting.

  • mechtheist

    “God is never happy when we take credit for something He has done.”
    He must be mortified at the ubiquitous claims of miracles and ‘thank gods’ for all the incidences that clearly are chance, or the result of the efforts of doctors and other medical professionals. But wait, all things come from god? Every disease, injury, every climate or earth quake calamity? Surely we should acknowledge him for these as well? Do we thank him when our arm is ripped off in an accident? Should the surviving victims of tsunami and earthquake thank god for the loss of their families? Or maybe ‘blame’ is a better word here? When the species is nearing extinction due to climate change, spurred on by many of the most evangelical and fundamentalists supporting the GOP and its suicidal policies, should we look to god and praise his wise use of his most ardent supporters? Or maybe god is destroying the species because those are his most ardent supporters?

  • Sean Dattoli

    Oh boy. I don’t know where to begin here. It was GOD who reached out to David amidst their “damaged” relationship.What David did was evil and horrendous. However, IT was God who pursued David. Its a bit hard to hide something from the deity pursuing his own as if God didn’t know or wasn’t aware of what David did. You might believe these are minor points but they’re essential. It is God, not us that wills and acts in our lives according to his purpose. There is no “confession to get forgiven” except the initial confession that we are sinners, lost and dead in need Christ. The idea that people move from saved to lost over and over and over as if one participates in their own justification is heresy. Either Christ did it all or he didn’t. There are 100’s of verses that talk about total forgiveness as a one-time event. No amount of proof-texting can undo the truth. 1 John 1:9 is one of the most misquoted verses in the NT. There are about as many verses that talk about being refined, lead etc. These spiritual truths not interchangeable with how one is granted right standing before God. To do so creates a strange Santa-vampire theology where your in, then your out and in again based on YOUR ability to recall certain sins or behave better than your peers (better not forget to mention one..”or else”). This fear-based manipulation doesn’t result in disciples…it results in folks motivated by fear, works, and systems rather than Christ in us.

    That said, confession is critical to God’s plan of healing and and spiritual growth rather than shame (which BTW serves another master). We either have a father or we don’t. As a father, God leads, disciplines, grows, comforts etc. while the enemy “accuses,” shames, guilts etc. Until we understand the difference, we can’t be free.