Saying No to Toxic People

It seems like everywhere we turn, we encounter toxic people. What are toxic people? Note what this article has to say about it: “According to Gale, it’s common for people with toxic behavior to: create drama in their lives or be surrounded by it; try to manipulate or control others; be needy (“it is all about them all the time”); use others to meet their needs (such as “narcissistic parents”); be extremely critical of themselves and others; be jealous and envious of others, bemoaning their bad fortune and others’ good fortune; abuse substances or harm themselves in other ways, and be unwilling (or unable) to seek help from loved ones, a therapist or a recovery program.”

I saw a trend in my own life when I wanted to fix people. The problem was that they didn’t want to be fixed. They knew their lives were dysfunctional, but they did not want to take the steps to get out of their mess. There comes a time when you have to say “NO!” to these toxic, narcissistic, self-absorbed people. Let them suck the life out of someone else.

For those spiritual folks, I know you feel like toxic people might be your calling. If you know God has strategically placed you in someone’s life and vice versa, set boundaries! Also, don’t enable them! Give them the tools they need to function by themselves. 

I can’t tell you how many people I deal with in ministry settings that want me to make everything better. I can’t! Jesus can, but you and I have our part too. God doesn’t bless laziness!

The truth is that some folks cannot emotionally handle toxic people. They are not strong enough. The Bible says in I Corinthians 15:33 that “evil company corrupts good habits”. In other words, toxic people will pull you down. 

Am I saying to avoid toxic people like the plague? No! But know yourself and your boundaries. If you are the superhero type, you may want to back off. Pray for them, but they must take the initiative to detox. Remember that Jesus is the Savior, not you!

Author: Matthew Winters (The Comeback Pastor)

Born and raised in Portsmouth, VA, I eventually landed in upstate SC because when God calls I move. I gave my life to Christ in 1987 and surrendered to the call to ministry in 1997. I am a three-time graduate from Liberty University and Theological Seminary: BS in Religion (2003), the MA in Religion (Leadership concentration - 2006), and the Master of Divinity (Pastoral Ministries - 2013). I have served as a worship leader and senior pastor in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia since 1996. After experiencing a divorce, God graciously gave me my wife, Jennifer, whom I married in September 2015. Between the two of us, we have 6 children. I am the Lead/Founding Pastor of Overcomers Church in Walhalla, SC, a church plant that is helping those who have been overcome by life to become Overcomers in Christ. Jennifer and I both love people and long to see them enter into a relationship with Christ and walk in the power of His Spirit. I pray that these thoughts I share will challenge and inspire you to greater heights and deeper depths for the glory of Christ.

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