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20 Signs You Were Raised by a Narcissist

Do you have dysfunctional family dynamics or know someone who does? If you were raised by a parent with narcissistic personality disorder you will relate to these statements. Many of the sayings apply to being raised by someone with any type of personality disorder, but all of the below testimonials will validate children, young or grown, of a parent, or parents, with narcissistic personality disorder.

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Narcissist:

Someone so toxic they are willing to jeopardize

anybody’s reputation or future, including their own children,

to help themself get out of a sticky situation, conversation, sin, or

crime.  In their personality disordered mind it’s no big deal.

NPD 64NPD 62Toxic40NPD 58NPD 56NPD 44NPD 37NPD 27NPD 21NPD 16NPD 6toxic people boundariesToxic48Toxic47

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Narc parent

Toxic Tuesday: Flashing Billboards On My Forehead

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“I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”

Philip Yancey

Conflicts: Dysfunctional. Abusive. Boundaryless. They can happen to anyone including Jesus followers who daily spend purposeful time with God through reading the scriptures, in-depth Bible study and consistent prayer. You may be a godly person and a good neighbor, boss, employee, co-worker, parent, spouse, child, sibling, relative or friend finding yourself in an unwanted and uncalled for difficult relationship or circumstance.

NPD 3

I have had relationships in which I interceded for the other person through prayer by asking Jesus to heal them of their dysfunction, mental illness or sin. Most scriptural records of Jesus healing a person were instant, complete and permanent. Even though the person I prayed for had not asked for the help or healing and I could not physically take them to Jesus; I could spiritually bring them before Jesus.

I previously witnessed Jesus provide in ways that seemed impossible to me relationally, emotionally, spiritually, physically and even legally. He is so like that. When I have been at my wit’s end believing there was no possible way, no hope, no healing, no relief, no safety to overcome an obstacle; Jesus did the impossible. My mind had not previously conceived what He chose to do on my behalf. It was so out of the box that only He could have done it. There lies the beauty; Jesus has no box and I cannot put Him in one. Whoop — whoop!

That being exclaimed, I must also add that I have known Jesus long enough to realize not all prayers are fulfilled the way I wish, in my timing, or sometimes they may not be answered in my lifetime and I know I’ll have to wait until heaven to see how it is eventually answered. My heart may sometimes doubt Jesus heard my prayer but my mind always knows better. He hears, remembers and acts. Always.

If you use Pinterest, the online bulletin/pin board, you have likely read quotes about trusting your heart: “There is no instinct like that of the heart.”

“Trust your heart. What is true feels good. What is false causes doubt.” – Monica De Liz.

“Always listen to your heart.”

“When you can’t believe your eyes you can always trust your heart.”

“Trust your heart and you will be with the one you love” -Aunt Wu.

Here is what trumps all these quotes: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV). Our hearts need to be established in Christ first and then scripture tells us not to trust in our heart, but with all of our heart, trust in God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5 (NIV).

I knew Jesus was capable of healing the person I was praying for. Scripture told me of His great power and; moreover, scripture states the power is for us. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,” Ephesians 1:18-20 (NIV). I have longed for this kind of power to be exerted into the heart, soul, mind and strength of someone I knew on multiple occasions. The bottom line was they had to want it and believe Him for it. When they did not —I was not quick to give up on them. I’m stubborn like that.

Often when I sense God has released me from relationally reaching out to someone and has shown me the exit door from a dysfunctional, abusive or boundaryless relationship; I usually look for a detour and go back for the person. I find myself wondering, “Have I done everything I can?” I do not want to question if there was possibly something else that would have worked. I continue to pray and ask if there is please, another way. I must know I did everything I could and when I look back; have no regrets. If I am going to error I can live with erring in faith but I could not live with erring in what was convenient. I am capable of missing the proverbial boat when it comes to discerning the voice or the will of God and I want to make certain I clearly understand His heart and will for the present concern.

On the other hand, I have a history of allowing anger (toxicity) to be taken out on me so when it comes up in a relationship it feels natural but I know God is calling me to recognize and respond to it in a biblical way. This is anything but easy for me.

NPD 2

Sometimes I imagine I have a flashing sign on my forehead that reads, “Easy to Manipulate: Free Test Try” or perchance “Boundaryless: Trespass without caution.” God keeps the lessons in these areas coming at a steady pace and He is determined to teach me how to soar by handling the issue without becoming nervous, shaky, lightheaded, heart pounding out of my chest or; as in my most recent lesson, feeling like Icy Hot was rubbed on my chest. I never experienced this sensation during a difficult confrontation and fortunately was able to laugh at myself when the conversation had finished. Icy Hot — seriously — I never knew!

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Thankfully, God is a patient teacher who does not give me a failing grade. He just keeps teaching me new applications and giving me new situations in which to work them out. God has also given me a godly and humorous private tutor who happens to be an Ace when it comes to practical application. God is very serious about me learning this lesson and passing on to you what I learn. I must add that these lessons are not easy and are sometimes painful. To quote Beth Moore from a lesson in Daniel: Lives of Integrity, “You want to learn this lesson in the classroom and not on a field trip.” I imagine I have more field trips logged than the average student.

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See previous Toxic Tuesday posts on toxic relationships, or what the Bible refers to as relationships with fools. Until then; if you, like me, have a flashing billboard on your forehead — turn it off! And keep clear of Icy Hot.

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Toxic Tuesday: 8 Signs Of A Toxic Relationship

Toxic relationships abound in our ever increasing narcissistic society. How is a person to know if their boyfriend or girlfriend has emotionally abusive tendencies or worse; a personality disorder?

If you are married and find you are in this type of relationship you will most likely need professional and spiritual help for navigating your path and setting healthy boundaries.

You may read past Toxic Tueday posts to learn what God’s word has to say about toxic relationships.

Recommended books: Boundaries in Marriage http://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-Marriage-Henry-Cloud-ebook/dp/B000SELDB8/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1404135363&sr=8-4&keywords=boundaries+by+cloud+and+townsend

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond http://www.amazon.com/Verbally-Abusive-Relationship-Recognize-Respond/dp/1558505822/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404135441&sr=1-2&keywords=verbally+abusive+relationships+by+patricia+evans

8 Signs Of A Toxic Relationship

JamesMSama.com

This is a very difficult topic to discuss – because you’ve got to be sensitive to people’s feelings, but at the same time, give them a dose of reality.

It’s both disappointing and unfortunate to see how many abusive relationships are happening on a daily basis, and thought to be normal.

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It’s important to note that you don’t need physical violence in order to have an abusive relationship. And don’t forget, both men and women can be guilty of this.

If you are made to feel any of the following ways or recognize any of the following things, then you truly need to take a step back, put your emotions aside, and ask yourself what your partner is truly bringing to your life.

– You always feel guilty, but don’t know why.

Is your partner always making you feel as though you did something wrong, but you genuinely can’t understand…

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Toxic Tuesday: A Path Through the Forest

 

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Today’s post is an encouragement to those of you living in a toxic relationship.

It’s easy to allow the issues to take over your thought life so today I want to give you food for your thoughts; good, healthy, life giving food. I am not saying to ignore the difficult relationship but I am recommending that you put on a different pair of glasses from which to view the situation. Maybe even better than glasses is a different set of eyes with which to observe. Let’s consider it through the gaze of God’s eyes.

If God has placed you in this relationship, or you have placed yourself in it through a marriage covenant, ask God to show you His plan; tell Him you need Him. He might not show you the map or details but He will not leave you alone to sink in your difficulties. He is a God of relationship so to not answer would not be in His nature. God loves you.

God loves your difficult person too and it would be a safe bet to assume He wants to love this person through you. And guess what? If He has called you to love them, His word tells you that He has armed you for the purpose.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Love undeniably qualifies as a good work.

There are  exceptions, times, when this is not possible or times when safety is an issue. See previous  Toxic Tuesday posts: TO LIVE BUT NOT EXIST

Read: TOXIC INTERVENTION

Read: A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP AND A THERAPEUTIC SEPARATION

Read: THE THERAPEUTIC SEPARATION AND CHILD PROTECTION

Read: BIBLICAL PERMISSION TO LEAVE A TOXIC SPOUSE

Read: DEAD END

For today’s purpose I am working off the assumption God has called you to this relationship, place and time. It may be a holy calling on your life. It may be that God will use your pain for a Kingdom purpose if you invite Him to do so.

This may be the toughest responsibility God has ever placed upon you.

Compare your toxic person with the characteristics of a Badger, Porcupine, Raccoon, Skunk and Grizzly Bear. Is this person diffused with similar animal’s qualities, making a healthy interactive relationship difficult if not impossible?

  • Badger: They are persistent when they are after something. Once provoked they become ill-natured and intimidating.
  • Porcupine: The quills keep you from getting close enough to know them and if you do get close, even though you have good intentions, they shoot a barbed quill into you. Body heat (love) makes the barbs expand and they become even more deeply embedded in your heart and mind. If an animal is hit in a vital place it may die; much like a piece of your heart dies every time your Porcupine shoots another barb at you.
  • Raccoon: Sneaky and constantly looking for a way into the chicken coop. They innately know the law of averages will swing to their advantage a future night leaving a weak point of entry. If it doesn’t, they lift a piece of metal on the back side of the coop night by night and eat a hole through the wood. The coon replaces the metal panel over the wood at the end of the night; keeping the farmer blind to their thieving ways. Raccoons will do their best to keep you blind to their sin life or possibly to the betrayal of the marriage covenant.
  • Skunk: The odor of their attack will never be forgotten and you do not have to be told twice to stay away.
  • Grizzly Bear: They are on the prowl to feed their ravenous appetite yet their hunger is never satisfied. Do not feed the bears is another way to say do not become Narcissistic supply.  See previous Toxic Tuesday: Boundaries post on Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Supply. https://chocolateorelse.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/boundaries/

Yet God called us to agape; a Greek word for sacrificial love pertaining to: Unconditional love that is always giving and impossible to take or be a taker. It devotes total commitment to seek your highest best no matter how anyone may respond.

God’s love is demonstrative and since Christ taught us to love as He loves we can be assured that our love is to also be demonstrative.

Romans 5:8 

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:19 

We love because he first loved us.  

John 14:21 suggests we may see, experience and enjoy evidences of God’s love when we obey and love God.

John 14:21

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.

I John 3:18-20

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.

1 John 3:18-20

The Message (MSG) My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. Agape is demonstrative; love without action does not feel good.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Next: Tying your happiness to this toxic relationship is an emotional sinking ship but tying your identity to God, claiming His love and being resolved to spend time with Him is an anchor that will hold you in place no matter the next despairing storm coming your way.

Put away the, “I’ll be happy when…” thoughts and instead fill your mind with God’s truth.

I recently made a list of verses to help you remember that God wants you to have peace, know you are loved and know that your life has purpose. I got a bit carried away and now I have six pages of scriptures to pray over peace, love and purpose. Here is a sampling:

Peace

Psalm 29:11 The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 Love

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

1 John 3:1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

Purpose

Psalm 138:8   The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Jeremiah 1:5  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Mark 12:30-31  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Psaml 57:2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

Deep within you what is the nagging question, the fear, the belief that is not from God’s heart that fills your inmost being’s empty spaces? Do you have a fear or a lie  zapping your heart, soul, mind and strength?

Satan starts these lies and feeds these fears knowing the more the fears/lies grow the less room there is for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Satan does not want you to know who you are or what you are capable of doing. Satan does not want you to live in power, love, clarity of mind and service. Satan does not want you to feel the wholeness God offers you.

Satan’s plan for your life is one more reason a daily quiet time with the Lord is so important. Be deliberate about it even when you do not feel like it. When the messiness of life keeps you from seeing anything from God, hearing anything from God or feeling anything from God GO—TO—HIS—WORD; the Bible. Read the truth until you feel it, remember it—know it! Confess the fear, the lie, to God and ask Him to shine His light of truth in your heart; invite God to heal you and fill the empty space with good gifts , with truth, from Him.

2 Timothy 1:7 

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

 Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love

Psalm 139:23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

Romans 3:23 …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

The more we love God and allow Him to love us, the more His love, power and wisdom will flow through us.

Be resolved: Love is nonnegotiable.; it’s always there no matter how they treat you. Journal and dialogue with God about it.

One reason I enjoy journaling is so I can follow my transformation. When I journal God is my audience; no one else. This is about your journey; not theirs. What you learn and what you do has huge ripple effects. Ask God who He wants you to be. Ask God to show you what He is doing so you can join Him in His work. Who do you want to be? What kind of legacy do you want to be known for?

God is interested in relationships; His relationship with you and your relationships with others.

Luke 10:27 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Lord I find You in the seeking 
Lord I find You in the doubt 
And to know You is to love You 
And to know so little else 
I need You 
Oh how I need You (3) 

Lord I find You in the seeking 
Lord I find You in the doubt 
And to know You is to love you 
And to know so little else 
I need You 
Oh how I need You (x3) 

Lord I find You in the morning 
Lord I seek You everyday 
Let my life be for Your glory 
Woven in your threads of grace 
I need You 
Oh how I need You (x3) 

Light glorious light 
I will go where You shine 
Break the dawn , crack the skies 
Make the wave right before me 
In Your light I will find 
All I need, all I need is You 

Light glorious light 
I will go where You shine 
Break the dawn , crack the skies 
Make the wave right before me 
In Your light I will find 
All I need, all I need is You 

Oh how I need You (x8)

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Toxic Tuesday: It is Real You are Write

Toxic Tuesday: It is Real You are Write

 TOXIC TUESDAY warning

Be encouraged. You are real, what is happening to you is real and you need to write it down.

This life is full of different people with different personalities. No two are exactly alike which makes having multiple friends so much fun; most of the time, but can also make living with a family member difficult; sometimes. We need to believe the habits and personality of the other person; good, bad, ugly, funny, disgusting, wonderfully sweet or completely dysfunctional are here to stay. Live with it! Mostly. There is no perfection this side of heaven and if we are going to get bent out of shape over every little disagreement, idiosyncrasy or sin we will soon find ourselves friendless or family less. Relationship broke, bankrupt, to the point we won’t be able to talk to the friend in the mirror because they sin too. What a lonely miserable existence.

Our goal should not be attempting to modify someone else’s behavior to fit our needs, our likes, or our preconceived judgments of them. Another mistake we can make is setting out to NOT be like her, or him, or that person or so-and-so. Doing this can leave us so caught up in comparisons we forget there is no worthy or beneficial comparison except for Jesus Christ. Have you spent years trying to NOT be like a certain person; a parent, a sibling, a child, your spouse, a friend, a co-worker or a relative? Has it worked? If you just realized this is exactly what you have been doing; feel the freedom of never having to do it again! Set your mind on Christ.

Philippians 2:5 (NIV) In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

 Philippians 4:7 (NIV) And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 11:1-2 (NIV) A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. (This verse is a prophesy of the promised Messiah—Jesus Christ.)
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—

The only person that we have any power to change is us and this can prove difficult for most of us because if we are honest; we tend to be comfortable with who we are, how we behave and how we respond to others. This is why staying in God’s word—the scriptures and praying are essential to believers. We must allow God access to our heart, soul, mind and strength; inviting Him to show us how to think and act like His one and only son, Jesus Christ. You can be sure His heart and will is for you to be more like Jesus. God will not say, “No.” This will be a big, “Yes!”

Now that we have settled how to behave in healthy, normal, everyday relationships by keeping Jesus our focus; I will turn our attention to toxic relationships; where we also must keep Jesus our focus. If you are in a toxic relationship you can easily draw the line between normal and toxic. You know to what I am referring. This is where we insert a different standard. A biblical standard.

I blogged about the power in numbers and the importance of church community as a lead up to intervention for last week’s Toxic Tuesday. We find precedence throughout scripture for confrontation as a means to help, discipline and show good will. God uses people to do this. He has used me to do this and believe me; I would have much rather He sent an angel to the job. Instead of an angel God sent two helpers, a mentor and a friend, to lovingly show the power and accountability in numbers.

The books of the prophets in the Old Testament give numerous examples of confrontation and discipline. My personal favorite is when Nathan rebukes King David. If you do not know the story of 2 Samuel 12 you need to read it. It is full of lust, deceit, impregnating another man’s wife, war, murder, betrayal (Chapter 16) and retribution that led to the death of King David’s son. America has nothing on God for He wrote the first Soap Opera, “All My Children” and the daytime drama should have to pay royalties to God for using the title. The Bible is anything but boring. The reason this rebuke is my favorite lies in King David’s reply, “I have sinned against the LORD.” He confessed, manned up, took the discipline and did not question the Lord. David knew his poor/sinful choices had consequences. He knew he did not want to remain the type of person he had become. How do I know this? Read Psalm 51. David wrote this when the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

The Bible offers more examples of intervention. God used Jethro to advise Moses in Exodus 19. God provided Moses to lead the people of Israel which led to confrontation with the people of Israel in Exodus 32; and in Exodus 33 Moses intercedes to the Lord for Israel. God placed priests and teachers in the community to teach, guide and provide discipline as a means to bring change to His people.

Christ left us a special gift; the church—our community of helpers.

Matthew 18:15-20 (MSG)  “If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. If he won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won’t listen, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love.

“Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”

If you are safe in doing so, you can talk to your toxic person but chances are you have done this. Most likely you have done this multiple times. Seeking counseling; let me rephrase this, getting your toxic person to agree to counseling and actually following through with attendance can prove impossible in many cases. Most often they have no other point of reference other than themselves. Sincere empathy does not exist for them. This is where intervention comes in to the mix. You need not spend your life angry or frustrated as you nag, plead or beg for understanding. I do not want you to sink to despair when boundaries are not respected and change does not come. Remember the important rule for dealing with toxic people/fools. Practice self-control over your words, reactions and emotions. Stay calm.

Is there anyone who knows about your difficult relationship? I have found the only thing worse than living in a lonely, one-sided toxic relationship is living it in secret. It took me years to reveal my toxic relationship to anyone. It was a mistake and I wish I had sought help earlier. Everything is worse when you are alone. You need a friend and/or a confidant. A listening ear. Someone to pray for you. A family member will work if that is all you have; a parent, sibling or cousin. Just remember it will become emotionally heavier for them in a different way than it will for a friend. Your pastor or someone on staff at your church might be a safe starting place. They may know, and recommend you to, someone who has walked the same road as you. This would be a gift from God.

Pray about this. If you need to seek such a person please do so this week.

Last week I said would share an example this week of a time when I had to do an intervention; however, I am finding that I am as long winded when I blog as when I speak so I will continue this next Tuesday.

The intervention idea was presented to me as a way to bring a person to repentance, save a relationship and provide emotional healing.  It was the idea of a well-respected Christian leader and he and his wife had been dear friends and mentors to me and to my toxic person. The advice came from a godly Christian doctor/psychologist. I was encouraged to write out my concerns (revolving around multiple sin and mental health issues), which I wrote in chronological order, along with my expectations, goals and my requirement that the person seek godly professional help; immediately. I should also add that I had a different Christian doctor blast me for writing such a letter. For me it was the best way to make a difficult situation real. If you are in relationship with a fool who would like you to believe YOU are the ONLY problem with the relationship; I know you understand needing it to be real. It is very healing to write it on paper or computer. It makes it real.

If you are in an unsafe relationship consider drafting your letter in an email and sending it to yourself. You can create a second email address if necessary. There is no need to save it to your computer or keep it in a notebook. If you have concern about typing it on your own computer; you can make a trip to the public library and use its computer.

I continue to pray for you.

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Toxic Tuesday: Do Not Underestimate the Power in Numbers

Toxic Tuesday: Do Not Underestimate the Power in Numbers

TOXIC TUESDAY warning

Community: You need it.

Hopefully you have a church home you pour your life into and of which you enjoy the benefits of learning, praising, praying, serving, friendship, encouragement and help when needed.

Hebrews 10:22-25 The Message (MSG) “So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.”

I am not going to use this time and space to argue why some people do or do not go to church. I will simply remind you there is no perfection on this side of heaven. If you are looking for the perfect church practicing perfect theology, full of perfect people with a perfect pastor you will never find it. You can however find a healthy church that will help you grow closer to God in heart, soul, mind and strength while encouraging you to love and serve others. It is about daily relationship with God and His one and only son, Jesus.

Luke 10:27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

If you are living, working or interacting with a toxic person, having a safe place (church family) is critical to your well being. Having a daily relationship with God through prayer and Bible study is essential to you emotionally and spiritually. Do you merely want to survive or do you want to thrive? I thought so! Thrive baby! You need God, you need friends and you need the church.

When God wants to work in your difficult relationship or circumstance He will most likely do it through the community around you; the church and/or godly friends and perhaps even a godly counselor.

Next week I will discuss using your community for intervention in a difficult relationship. There are several biblical examples from which to draw practical application. I will share an example of a time when I had to do just that. My desired outcome for the person, and I believe God’s desire, was repentance, obedience to God because His ways are best and full of blessing, and a restored right relationship to friends and family.

In the meantime; guard your testimony, pray up, and practice self-control through kindness and love when responding to a toxic person. (Read past Toxic Tuesday posts for more help on interacting with toxic people.)

I am praying for you.