Lesson Three: Watch for Deceit and Mind Games

If you are always second guessing yourself, feeling confused and can’t think clearly… you might be in a toxic relationship!

“… lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).

The word “devices” comes from the Greek word noéma, which means “mind games.” This is one of the primary signs that a relationship is devil-sent and ultimately toxic to you. 

“And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’” (Genesis 3:1).

Mind games.

Satan twists God’s word in an attempt to cause Eve to doubt God’s goodness. Whenever you encounter a person who twists the word of God to their advantage, and causes you to doubt, that’s a tell-tale sign they are toxic relationship sent by the devil to destroy your life.

How might they do this?

Well, the Bible says you shouldn’t judge… so you shouldn’t say that what I’m doing is wrong.

I love Jesus even though I don’t go to church.  You don’t have to go to church to have a relationship with Jesus.

I know I keep doing that… but if you were a real Christian, you would forgive me and give me another chance.

The Bible is true, but let’s be honest… it was written a long time ago and so there are things in there that are just outdated, old-fashioned, and no longer relevant.

Everybody has sex before marriage now… as long as you’re an adult.

Toxic people play mind games. They twist the Word of God in order to get you to doubt God’s goodness, and to compromise His standards in your life. In other words, they will imply that there is something wrong with what God said, or what someone who loves you said, or with how you were raised, that you know is right, or your work ethic, or any number of things.

Moreover, toxic people may blatantly lie in such a way, that you think they are telling the truth. They are cold, confident, and don’t even blink!

Eve says to the serpent:

“We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:2-4).

Look at the confidence of that lie: bold-face, over the top confidence, as if he really knows something! Confidence that gives her the impression that she’s just naïve, that targets her mind, and casts doubt and confusion. 

Finally, a toxic relationship will cause you to question the motives of God and those who love you.

“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).

Like the serpent whispering in Eve’s ear, a toxic person insinuates that God is holding out on you, trying to control you! It’s really not a boundary for your protection; it’s a boundary to control you. Who is God to tell you what to do and what not to do? You should make your own decisions! After all, you get to say what’s right and wrong for your life. No person, not even God, gets to define right and wrong for you.

A toxic person will target you with deception and mind games, causing you to question the motives of God and your loved ones. The sad reality for Adam and Eve was that they were already like God, because God had created them in His image and likeness!

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