Detoxify Pt. 2

September 1st, 2023
C. Hayden
Last month we talked about having a toxic atmosphere in an organization and how it is fueled by
toxic behaviors. This month, we want to talk about why people are often toxic and what we can
and should do about it as believer’s in Christ. Why are people toxic? Dr. Gregory Jantz, from the
Renewing Life Center, says that it is usually one or a combination of five different factors
They enjoy it – Some people just like poking at people and stirring up conflict. It is
funny to them to be contrary and they relish in making others uncomfortable. While
they can be funny at first, their behavior gets old and they become toxic. Does not
matter the issue, they occupy the other side of it.
They learned it from their family or others in their life growing up – We often pick up on
behavioral cues from our family, friends or others when growing up. We adopt
behavior from those we were around in our youth whether for good or for bad.
They benefit in some way – Some use toxicity as a tool to get what they want. The
squeaky wheel gets all the grease so to speak. Often, their behavior elicits a
response that gives them an advantage. Often toxic behavior backfires and
gives the person the opposite result.
They never emerged from their emotional adolescence – Their emotional immaturity
comes out in ways that is like what a child would do. They crave attention so, like a
child, act out to get it.
They are compensating from underlying mental and/or emotional issues – Some, if not
many of us, have an emotional or mental issue that manifests itself in ways that may
be offensive to others.
So what is our responsibility when encountering toxic behavior? First, we need to follow the
scriptures as described in Galatians 5:22-23.
Rather than opposing the toxic person with wrath, try loving them and striving to be long-
suffering with joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, kindness. We need to remember that sometimes,
we can be difficult. As God has given us grace, we need to give grace (2 Cor. 9:6-8). Second, set
healthy boundaries. While we need to love all people, we should not allow others to continually
abuse us. Let them know that toxic elements need to stop. What type of boundary depends on
the situation, but give them no place to stifle your joy. Finally, seek guidance from God and a
Godly friend. Make sure you are seeing the situation right. If you are seeing a real problem,
difficult decisions may need to be made. Whether to limit your contact or have no contact at all
may be necessary. Remember Psalm 1:1-3 and Rom 13:10, “Blessed is the one who does not
walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit with mockers, but whose
delight is in the law of the Lord…” “Love does no harm to your neighbor. Love fulfills the law.”
May God bless you even more!!
Pastor Chris

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