C. Hayden
Our immediate culture, environment, and those around us have a significant influence on how we feel, the way we engage one another, and our state of joy or lack thereof. When those we work with, worship with, live with, and/or play with exude behaviors that are often toxic, those same behaviors can drain the life out of a person, causing them to want to be anywhere else other then the place they are. When we see people move away from us, regardless of the setting, it could be a sign that toxic poison exists. I’m not talking about physical chemical poison. I am referring to the emotional poison that exists when the atmosphere of an environment becomes void
of the fruit of the Spirit and polluted with selfishness, hate, unnecessary anger, manipulation, controlling, gaslighting, intimidation, untruths/lies, self-absorption, constant drama queen or crisis king, deception, snarky- ness, untoward humor, gossip/backbiting, complaining,
argumentativeness, jealousy, envy, and the like. These behaviors create an atmosphere that is toxic to those around them. And we all have fallen into the trap of behaving in a manner like this.
But when it becomes commonplace or the usual modas operandi of a person or organizations culture, it is TOXIC! It is poisonous! And no one wants to be anywhere close to poisonous toxicity.
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.”
Now let’s do an exercise. Let us read through that list of the Spirit’s fruit 3 or 4 times. Do you here the words that God is speaking to you. If you have it memorized, close your eyes and repeat the words. Do these scriptures describe the environment you are currently in? Does the culture and
atmosphere where you live exude the fruit of the Spirit? Do you give off a vibe that causes others to feel and sense these qualities? Or would your environment or example be described by many as toxic?
Ephesians 4:29-32 says, “(29) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good
for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. (30) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit…(31) Let all
bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. (32) And be kind to one
another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as Christ forgave you.”
Now if you are a generally toxic person, you may not realize you are being toxic or may not care. But God sees are communication, and it matters to Him. Toxicity in an organization will absolutely kill it. Whether in a Church or in a person’s home, we should always be displaying the fruit of the Spirit, not the poison that originates with the devil and is so destructive in the
world. Toxic behavior repels people. The fruit of the Spirit, will draw them.
May God bless you even more!!
Pastor Chris

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