Responding to Critical and Toxic People - Pastor Marvin
February 3, 2014
Have you heard the old saying, “that person is so ornery, until they could make a preacher cuss?” Well, they are out there and I’m sure you have met some of them. How do you respond to these critical and toxic people that are always making it difficult for you? I am going to try to kill a few sacred cows. A sacred cow is an idea that people hold as the truth because it sounds right or comes from the dear old saint in the family. Some of these cows need killing. You know you are killing sacred cows while you are preaching when the guilty parties have to go to the restroom until you finish that particular point. The only way for you to thrive is to loose yourself from all that causes you to just survive.
A toxic person is one who is full of poison and their very presence causes deadly venom to enter into every one around them bringing confusion and friction and you can just about cut the tension in the air. I have felt the very atmosphere change when a toxic person entered the room.
You ask, “How do you deal with them?” My question is, “Why would you want to deal with them?” Why do you have to? There are enough good people around without critical spirits that you can enjoy. You don’t have to deal with them. One person asked me, “Don’t you want to be my friend?” My reply was, “I have enough friends, I really don’t need another one.
You are not made with enough energy or abilities to try and satisfy angry, toxic people and live up to their constantly changing expectations. If you are a confusion magnet and draw this type of people into your life, you are just too good of a person and need to get a backbone. We are at a place in history that we don’t have time to pet and pamper the enemies of our peace or always be explaining and refraining, thinking we owe them something. We have got to set a standard, walk that standard, and let that standard hold us up day by day. I know I have been way too good many times hoping that people would let God touch them, to my own hurt. They would end up being like the demoniac that was in the Synagogue when Jesus showed up. He cried out, when confronted with truth, “Leave me alone.” When you hear this, it is time to do what those devils tell you. Leave them alone.
Let’s look at the real issue here. We are struggling with an internal problem. We want to take a stand and address the problem, but a part of us is saying, “If I am doing what God wants me to do, then I would be more forgiving and less judgmental.” It’s those very beliefs that have got you in the great turmoil that you are in. Yes, you must be a loving person, but at the same time, you do not want to put up with the pain or abuse that you are encountering. Can you be spiritual, loving, and forgiving and yet not be a doormat? Is it okay? God has never wanted you to be oppressed by another person, in fact, He always sides with the one who is oppressed.
God wants us to forgive hurtful people as many times as is necessary (Matthew 18:21-22). But forgiveness and love have nothing to do with whether you are to deal with and stop the hurtful things that people are doing to you. You can forgive what has already happened and still say “no” to further pain. You need to take this next statement and memorize it. The amount of help you receive from God is often dependent on how strong a stance you take against the things that destroy your life and peace.