As we strive to walk with Christ, it is extremely important that we make sure the people we choose to associate with, and spend most of our time with, build us up. I have always strived to hangout with positive people and people that sharpen me. Here are a few kinds of people you have to watch out for that can bring you down.
Chronic Critics: These individuals poke at you as if you’re a pin cushion. They tend to have a judgmental spirit of other people in their life. Their gossip affects your opinion of others and they are constantly complaining. God provided a way out of slavery for the Israelites, and over 14 times we see in Exodus & Numbers this comment, “I wish we would have never left Egypt.” Over time the chronically negative can pull down even the most positive soul.
Controller: The controlling person comes across as overbearing and dominating. They force their way and opinions on you regardless of your will. Be careful, what starts as a restaurant choice or movie can soon become helping you choose a college, a neighborhood, a spouse or even a career. If you choose the controller to be a part of your network of friends, you can easily lose your personal identity.
Tempter: This individual tries to get you to do things you normally wouldn’t do. It might come from someone in your office or at school who is trying to push you too far, even though you have stated your boundaries.
If you are becoming aware of toxic relationships that may be poisoning your life, don’t panic. It is vital to set healthy boundaries. There is a reason why those that own cattle set up a fence around their livestock. We, too, need to take measures to set up fences around us that will protect us from bad influences.
If you have set up boundaries with a toxic person and the gossip, sexual advances, or a judgmental spirit continues, maybe it is time to sever the relationship. God wants us to be holy in all we do even if it involves sacrifice. (Roman 12:1-2, 1 Peter 1:15)
– Jody Shelton, High School and Collage Age Pastor