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How Does the Bible Caution Us about Toxic People?

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“Don’t get me wrong. ‘Bad company spoils good character'” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

The word “toxic” evokes the image of something poisonous that poses a danger to those who come near it. The term is often used in relation to chemicals and waste. But sometimes people are described this way.

Like signs warning us to stay away from harmful substances, the Bible warns us about the dangers of spending time with someone who could spread false and destructive beliefs. Part of the problem is the actual behavior they display. But perhaps of greater concern is how easily their attitudes pollute those around them.

What are Toxic People?

Being toxic isn’t even a bad thing or a nuisance. In fact, one definition of the term reads ‘extremely harmful or offensive in a pervasive or insidious manner’. This shows the seriousness of having toxic people in our lives. Not only do they affect our moods through their actions and statements, but their negative spirit can also bring down our hearts.

The Old Testament proverb says that if you get too close to someone with a toxic personality, you will have problems, so be careful.

“Troublemakers and villains who roam with a corrupt mouth, wink viciously with their eyes, signal with their feet, move with their fingers, and plot evil with deceit in their hearts – he always causes conflict. Therefore disaster.” will overtake him in an instant. He will be suddenly destroyed — without remedy.”(Proverbs 6:12-15).

“Walk with the wise and be wise, for the companions of fools will be harmed.”Proverbs 13:20).

“Don’t be friends with impatient people, don’t associate with people who get angry easily. Otherwise, you might find yourself trapped by learning their ways.”Proverbs 22:24-25).

What the Bible Says About Toxic People

The Bible repeatedly teaches that a person’s true beliefs will eventually manifest outwardly. Jesus himself spoke of the relationship between toxic thoughts and toxic actions.

“He went on to say: ‘What comes out of men defiles them. For from within a person’s heart come evil thoughts such as sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, covetousness, malice, deceit, obscenity, envy, slander, arrogance, foolishness. All these evils come from within and defile a person.”Mark 7:20-23).

Toxic people often live like that for so long that they are unaware of their heart condition. may become.

“People who think they are religious but do not keep their tongues tight are deceiving themselves and their religion is worthless.”Jacob 1:26).

When confronted about it, the person may be unaware of their own thinking or behavioral problems. .

“I will guide you and show you the way you should go. I will advise you with my eyes full of love. Don’t be like a horse or a mule without understanding.”Psalm 32:8-9).

Toxic People Verses and Examples in the Bible

God’s Word gives examples of people who not only ignored God’s ways, but also openly tried to turn others against God. Some were willing to repent and reunite with the Lord, while others stubbornly kept their ways and suffered the consequences.

king saul

“He was prophesying at home, and David was playing his lyre as usual. Saul had a spear in his hand, and he thought, ‘I’m going to stab David into the wall,’ and threw it at him. . But David missed him twice.”1 Samuel 18:10-11).

“Now Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David, and when I told him about it, he was delighted. ‘I will give her to him,’ he thought, ‘that she might become his snare, and the hand of the Philistines might turn against him.'”1 Samuel 18:20-21).


“‘Woe to you teachers of the law, you Pharisees, you hypocrites! You have shut the gates of heaven before men. plug”(Matthew 23:13).

“Then the Pharisee went out and made plans to lock him up in his words.”Matthew 22:15).

part of the end times

“But look at this, there will be terrible times in the last days. , filthy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, unrestrained, cruel, unloving of good, traitor, reckless, conceited, who loves pleasure more than he loves God. , has a pious appearance, but denies its power.2 Timothy 3:1-5).

As Christians, how should we respond to toxic people in our lives?

God is passionate about preserving the chastity of His people, but He hopes that eventually all will come to repentance. So the Lord is calling us to reach out and show love to everyone we meet, but warns us not to pollute ourselves in the process. But it’s a difficult balance to strike.

Part of that balance has to do with staying strong in our own faith. Daily study of God’s word and fellowship with other believers are just two activities that keep us aligned with God. is another way of admiring him.

Some verses teach us to keep seeking the good of people regardless of how others may treat us.

“…bless those who curse you, and pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:28).

“Do not repay evil with evil, do not insult with insult, but repay evil with blessing, for you have been called to inherit the blessing.”1 Peter 3:9).

Another way to maintain the right balance in this realm is to keep your personal boundaries healthy and safe. Being overtired or giving in to temptation can put your faith in jeopardy. So, while working for others, we must also respect our own needs.

“Therefore, dear friend, you have been forewarned, and beware lest you fall from your position of security by being deceived by the wrongs of the outlaws.”2 Peter 3:17).

And finally, we must respect the choices others make for themselves and recognize that God determines their destinies.

“Or do you not know that evildoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, men who have sex with men, No thief, no greedy person, no drunkard, no slanderer, no deceiver will inherit the kingdom of God. And that was some of you.But you have been washed and sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Is God’s grace enough for those who are harmful to our lives?

When people try to be honest, conscious and humble, God’s grace is more than enough to work to change their lives. He longs to be asked into someone’s heart so he can help them become more like Christ.

“God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”John 3:16).

God often works through his people as well.

“You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. And find out what pleases the Lord. Don’t have anything to do with fruitless acts of darkness, rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:8-11).

“If your brothers and sisters sin against you, rebuke them; if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times a day and come back to you seven times and say, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them. “Luke 17:3-4).

While we may yearn to help the most toxic people, we must protect our own well-being. When deciding whether to actively reach out to them or continue to pray silently , we must ask God for help in keeping our faith clean and strong in the process.

of Psalm 101David declares a pledge we can say for ourselves:

“I do not approve of vulgarity. No. I will silence anyone who secretly slanders my neighbor.I will not tolerate anyone with haughty eyes and a haughty heart.I will look to the faithful people of this land, I will live with me, and those who walk blamelessly will serve me. No deceiver will dwell in my house, and no one who speaks a lie will stand before me.”Psalm 101:3-7).

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/kieferpix

Heather Adams 1200x1200Heather Adams Connecticut-based author, speaker, and singer. Heather’s passion is to equip and encourage believers to seek more of God’s truth and experience more of God’s joy every day. her book, Bowing: The Heart of a True Worshiper A practical 30-day devotional on worship based on the writings of King David. Heather’s blog, Worship Walk Ministryoffered weekly Bible Passages and insights for reflection. New England-born Heather has settled into her home in the South, trying local foods and observing alligators who live nearby!You can connect with her at her website: heatheradamsworshipwalk.com

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