Here are 3 signs that mean God is telling you to remove someone from your life.
1. If God Clearly Removed This Person from Your Life in the Past, But This Person Keeps Trying to Push Themselves Back in, This Is a Sign God Wants You to Stop This Vicious Cycle
One common experience that people have is that they pray and pray for clarity about a relationship they are confused about, and then God answers their prayer by clearly removing this person from their life. Perhaps God exposes some lies so you feel released to breakup. Perhaps this person just comes to you one day and says they no longer want to be with you. While you are hurt, you also feel relief because this was clearly an answer to your prayers. Or perhaps you finally just get the clarity to see that this person is verbally and emotionally abusive and you break up and move on.
However, what often happens next creates a vicious cycle that can causes years of wasted time. What occurs is that months go by, you are doing really well, but then this person contacts you and sounds different. You listen to their apology or you listen to the new tone in their voice, and you begin to wonder if things might really be different this time.
While it is possible that someone has turned to the Lord and matured, what usually happens is that things quickly pickup right where you left off. If you left this person because of their bad behavior, you end up realizing nothing has really changed and then you leave again. Or if they left you because they said they didn’t like you enough, they end up leaving you again because they realize their feelings are actually the same as last time.
Sadly, a few months pass and then this whole crazy cycle starts all over again. For some people, it takes 5 or 6 cycles to finally realize this has to end for good. But all this wasted time can be avoided. If God answered your prayer the first time and took this person out of your life, but then this person keeps coming back, God is probably asking you to keep the door closed.
So if you keep getting “setback” every time you dabble with this person, it’s time to take control and slam that door shut so you can truly move on with the Lord. Stop answering their calls. Stop responding to the texts. Stop checking their social media profile. Don’t let them keep you stuck.
You will never experience the blessings God has for you if you keep holding onto what he has already removed from your life.
2. If You Keep Hoping God Changes Them but Their Actions Clearly State They Don’t Want to Be Changed, It’s Time to Remove Them From Your Life
This one can be hard as Christians because clearly we should want the best for everyone. We don’t want to be judgmental and we want to be used by God to help other people. While this is very good and loving to feel this way, many Christians ignore the other Scriptures that instruct us not to associate with people who are resistant to the truth and are only dragging us down. For example:
Matthew 7:6, “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”
Matthew 10:14, “And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.”
James 4:4, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
So we have to heed God’s instructions on both sides. We must love the lost like God does. He sent his one and only son to save the world (John 3:16) and desires that his disciples go out and make more disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). But God does not want us to put other people above our walk with him.
Perhaps the most common example of a scenario like this is when two people are dating and one person is trying to follow God but the other person really isn’t. Eventually, if the person who wants to serve God stays in this relationship, they will get worn down and start to sin with their boyfriend or girlfriend.
Don’t stay in a relationship because you are hoping God will change this person. If this person is choosing to ignore God, God will allow them to make their own choice. Now you have to make your choice as well. Will you put this relationship above God or will you remove this person from your life like God is asking you to do?
When someone refuses to receive the truth, when they continue to live in sin, and when their behavior is actually beginning to pull you down too, this is a sign God is telling you it’s time to let this person go.
3. If This Person Is Constantly Battling Your Beliefs with False Doctrines and Lies, It’s Time to Remove Them from Your Life
There’s a time and place for two people to share their opposing beliefs. God does not call his people to be isolationists. Yes, we must not be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14), but God calls his people to be a light to the world (Matthew 5:14-16). This is why 2 Timothy 2:24-26 states:
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”
So we must not ignore the Bible verses like this one where we are called to engage people who have different beliefs than us. But notice that Paul told Timothy not to argue. When someone wants to argue or when someone refuses to accept the truth even though you’ve explained it as clearly and gently as possible, then it is time to remove this person from your life. Notice what Paul also said in Romans 16:17-18. It states:
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”
Your intentions may be good, but God does not call you to endlessly engage in theological debates with people who simply are rejecting God’s truth. If you are dating someone, for example, who seemed to be a Christian but then later on all they do is challenge your Christian beliefs with their own doubts, this is not the ingredients of a healthy dating relationship that leads to a healthy marriage.
So whether it be your friends, family, or anyone else, if this person is constantly challenging you and putting you down because of your Christian beliefs that they do not hold, eventually you have to put your own heart first (Proverbs 4:23) and remove this person from your life.