First, I would like to say thank you to Rapture Ready for this opportunity to write and hopefully help others. It is my Prayer that by relating my trauma, my struggles, and my Faith that blossomed through my suffering might give some consolation to those in this similar Last Days battle. For the Love of many has more than exponentially waxed cold. Like the scripture indicates above, we are to choose our affiliations and friendships wisely. I will begin to elaborate more on this topic as I write.
In one of my previous articles, I briefly shared my history of suffering from toxic people. Those who were supposed to love and care about me but instead did more of the opposite. After years of trauma, I have become a very guarded person who is not able to trust very many people. To reiterate, I grew up in an abusive home, seeing a lot of domestic violence, drug and alcohol use, and where I also suffered mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and sexual abuse. All that trauma that came from the hands of those who were supposed to love and care about me, but instead were consistently angry, mean, and toxic towards me, has truly affected my life in more ways than I can ever describe.
Since my Faith has blossomed and I have become a stronger Christian over the past several years, I have come to learn that one fruit of several of the Holy Spirit is Kindness. Kindness has become HUGE to me, so much so that it is how I gauge who I allow in or out of my life. Basically, if a person is NOT Kind in their ways or in how they treat people and/or even strangers, then it seems to me that person does not have the fruit of the Holy Spirit. JESUS said you will know them by their fruit.
“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:17-20).
Since the majority of my early life was riddled with such unkindness, I have inevitably become intolerant of any more forms of it in my life now. This has also been a struggle for me to correctly gauge how I should respond with my intolerance to rudeness and unkindness. Positively, my response is not immediate, but after several repeated instances of such rudeness or unkindness, I have the tendency to respond in ‘fight or flight’ mode. In recent years, I will do both fight (stand up for myself) and flight (take myself out of the situation and away from that kind of person). Nonetheless, I am still trying to navigate and gauge how to properly respond in each situation by asking for GOD’S Wisdom and Discernment with my trauma-induced intolerance.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
The study of this verse is mainly about guarding your heart from sin, but I also think it can encompass other ways you can guard your heart, including but not limited to protecting oneself from angry, mean, and toxic people. Mainly to protect yourself from such people who are also unremorseful and unrepentant in how they have hurt you. Who may have given an apology, but you can see that they did not truly change enough to stop hurting you. Such people do not have enough empathy to care about how you feel, much less to be concerned about how much they have affected you by their words and actions. Basically, think in terms of a ‘selfish person’ who has little to no capacity to think about loving or caring about anyone else but themselves.
These are the very people that the Bible tells us to avoid:
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:2-5).
The enemy works through those who unfortunately allow him access to their lives through willful sin against GOD. The devil then gains footing in their lives by taking them captive, then uses them as pawns to hurt and tear you down in any way he can. Therefore, if the enemy can steal your Peace, then your effectiveness for CHRIST greatly diminishes; and that is his whole goal for the Christian. When that happens, your immediate response should be to go to GOD in Prayer and ask that HE give you HIS Peace, which is a Peace that surpasses all understanding.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
It is my experience that GOD answers such Prayer. In my life HE has answered that request many times. Even in recent weeks HE has given me that kind of Peace. For example, in my current circumstances with our prodigals, I would not naturally have such Peace. Therefore, I know the quietness in my spirit lately is from ABBA’S graceful answer to that petition. Prayer is the key to overcoming what comes your way; it is very powerful; and again, it is the MOST you can do for your enemies and lost loved ones.
“Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
When you spend too much time around angry, mean, and toxic people, it not only grieves your spirit and brings you down; it also tends to rub off on you, which ruins your conduct and demeanor. Just like the young and impressionable youth who spend too much time around the wrong crowd start changing and emulating what they see and hear. Similarly, your countenance can start to improve just by spending more time around the right kind of people. Basically, it is all a matter of choice. Therefore, I choose to surround myself with people who are Kind.
Kind People Are My Kind of People.
This is why I pray our prodigals would understand in these Last Days the enormity and impact their choices have not only on their lives but also on others; that they would perceive how surrounding themselves with godless peers has influenced them to their detriment; and that they would somehow see having their discernment and spiritual eyes darkened is a dangerous spiritual disposition to be in. Also, that they would ascertain that no one is promised another day in this life. The fact is, if they were to die in this unrepentant state by not being reconciled to GOD through JESUS CHRIST, then my Prayer is that they would realize sooner than later their need for repentance, or Heaven will not be their final destination, and frighteningly, there are no glorious homecomings in Hell where the worm dies not.
So, the million-dollar question to ask: “Is this the direction I want my life to go?” Do you care enough about your soul to not only think about life in the short term (here and now) but, more importantly, about in the long term (eternal future)? Where do you consequently want to end up? Did you know that what we see in this physical realm is temporary and that what we cannot see in the spiritual realm is eternal? This life is but a drop in the bucket compared to the next life which is the whole ocean… Let that sink in.
“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Again, it is all a matter of choice. Every day you are faced with thousands of them, and each one adds up into leading you to where you are today. So, choices matter whether you realize it or not. My choice has been to distance myself from the angry, mean, and toxic people in my life, but I have also chosen to Love, Care, and Pray for them in my distance. Another choice I have made over the years is to instead surround myself with Christian brothers and sisters who are godly and kind. By choice, most people on my social media are Christians; our posts sharpen each other like iron sharpens iron, and my husband and I choose to mainly fellowship with like-minded believers from our Life Group at church.
Like I said, Kindness is HUGE for me. I do not have any more room in my life for the opposite.
“Let not mercy (kindness) and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart” (Proverbs 3:3).
Until next time… Maranatha!
JESUS = WAY, TRUTH, LIFE
*Ambassador For Christ in All I Do
*YouTube Channel: All For Christ (Sign Language/Voice Ministry)
*Occupation: Former Sign Language Interpreter//Highest Calling of Wife, Mother, & Keeper of the Home