Toxic people. Frustrating, aren’t they? Annoying. Infuriating. Downright exasperating, at times.
As a Christian, what’s my role in that situation? I’ll warn you now. Just because I’m writing a blog post on this topic, does not mean I’ll provide a helpful answer for you. In fact, I can almost guarantee that won’t happen here.
But, if you have your coffee and a comfy seat, spend some time with me and my ramblings, if you wish.
Toxic people are ones that destroy others. They are the opposite of anything considerate or thoughtful of others. They think only of themselves, what suits them, what’s convenient for them. Toxic people live up to their title because they are masters at taking….everything they can….from those around them. They are thieves. They take from you. Your time. Your sanity. Your energy – both emotional and physical. In some extreme cases, perhaps even your money or personal belongings. They try (and often succeed at) taking our joy away as well. They also are great at causing anxiety in others.
They will blackmail you. Threaten you. They will make and break promises to you. They take anything positive in life and snuff it out. All joy. All excitement. All hope.
That is….until you’ve finally had enough. When you have tried, and I mean, really tried to show Christ’s love to them, to offer and cater to their requests, to even extend forgiveness, and you’re still labelled the “bad guy” in the situation, that’s your massive red flag / flashing red light. Call it what you want, but that’s your warning that you are NOT in the wrong here and it is time to step away….FAR, FAR away.
If you can’t do that physically, do it emotionally and mentally. Be done. Do not enable that behavior any longer. Do not continue to give in to outrageous demands or requests made of you. No. You set a boundary. And you STICK. TO. IT. That is the ONLY way to gain some peace back in your life with people like that. And guess what? That’s actually OK!!! It’s actually GOOD!!!
It IS possible to still extend love to someone without letting them treat you like a door mat. Trust me. I know just a bit about that. But, I won’t get into my story now. Just take my word for it. It’s possible. I would encourage you: if you are having doubts or regret or struggling with blame or guilt, honestly ask yourself these questions:
- Have I extended grace?
- Have I prayed for that person?
- Do I wish the best for them?
- Have I done the best I can?
- Have I apologized for any part I may have played in the situation?
- Have I cleared my conscience before God on this matter?
If you’ve answered “yes” to those questions, then you, my friend can walk away…in freedom, with a clear conscience.
That’s what I’m doing tonight. Before God, my conscience is clear. I have done what I can, the best I can do in my situation. And now, I’m enjoying a glass of wine and letting go and choosing to forget any hurt or wrong done to me. I refuse to let Satan toy with my emotions and my mind and agree with any of his “Yes, but you….” statements. And it’s freeing.
My only other suggestion is to, once you’ve reached the glass of wine and trying to forget step of this process, you also pray for that toxic person. Pray for their souls. And let God do the rest. That is the only, and perhaps uncoincidentally, the very best thing we can do for them.
“But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!”
~ Matthew 5:44