Summary: A few thoughts on toxic people
I’ve been thinking about a post I see a lot on Facebook about ‘toxic’ people. Something about it just didn’t set well with me. So I have given it some thought and prayer and here is what I came up with.
First, I don’t want to be a ‘snowflake’. A snowflake has its own meaning today and I may be using it in the wrong context but what I mean is that a snowflake is fragile. Under the first degree of heat it begins to melt; it begins to be destroyed. I don’t want that. I want to be strong. I want to endure. I want to be around toxic people and be strong enough to not to be poisoned by them.
The Bible says, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (I Peter 4:12)
James, the brother of Jesus, who set Himself willingly among toxic people, said, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
Secondly, we are surrounded by toxic people and we, ourselves, are toxic to some degree – and that is good. Let me explain. Jesus prayed, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them…” (John 17:15)
If God wanted to keep us from toxicity He would have taken us from the world. He wants us in the world but not OF the world. The Bible says, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
Instead of the poison and toxicity of the world affecting us and destroying us – Jesus wants us in the toxicity but not contaminated by it. He said, “Be the salt of the world.” Salt is a toxin is it not? It purifies and cauterizes and brings healing. C.S. Lewis once said that the Christian is like an infection – a good infection. We are to infect the world with Christ and bring healing to the toxicity of sin. We are to overcome the toxic with goodness. We are to overcome evil with goodness. (Romans 12:21)
The conclusion I came to is rather than avoiding toxic people – we ought to embrace them – and infect them with our goodness. We are the light shining in darkness. We are the salt – preserving the world. We are to be toxic to hate, hurt and sin. That is why we are here. May God make you so strong you can be in it – but not of it. May God make you more toxic to the hate around you and help you overcome it with love. Make God make you toxic to sin and evil.