Today’s post is for those of you who are in the middle of a toxic relationship with a bully who takes delight in wielding power over you, treating you like you are a child in need of correction, using harsh tones and statements, attempting to force you to their standards (not God’s), making false statements against you to your face or harassing you any chance they can find. They cannot stop; like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. It is who they are and not just what they do.
Proverbs 25:28 (NIV)
Like a city whose walls are broken through
is a person who lacks self-control.
Today I want to focus on how you can avoid being caught up in the heat of the moment.
Many times I have lost control over an injustice, conflict or ill spoken word by yelling, over reacting, using sarcasm or saying something I immediately regretted. When I do this I am giving the other person power over me; not as in, I lose my self-power but that I lose my self-control; therefore, losing my focus on God’s power, help and intervention in my life.
Often the toxic person’s goal is to throw you off track, keep you off-centered, confuse, upset or belittle you. Do not allow this!
Do not think of your conflict as you against them.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
The best way for me to focus is to stay calm and remember scriptures. Sometimes I say and pray scriptures out loud, other times I say them silently. (Depending on the situation and not as an attempt to control the other person.)
I ask God how he wants to love this person through me; if He wants to use me to help the hurting or out of control person He, God, has placed in my life.
- We are both made from dust (Psalm 103:14)
- We are both under the same condemnation (Romans 3:23; 6:23)
- We both are recipients of the same love (John 3:16)
- The same sacrifice was offered for both of us (I John2:1-2)
- The good news of the gospel if offered to both of us (Mt. 28:18-20)
- God has purpose for both of our lives (Colossians 2:2-3)
- The same terms are offered for both of us (Acts 2:38)
- We will both face judgment (Romans 14:12; II Corinthians 5:10)
I choose self-control. I choose to think logically. Sometimes I cannot not do this on command but find I have to step back and think about it. This is acceptable and can be beneficial for you and for the other person. Say, “I need to think about what you just said, or did, and I’ll get back to you.” If they are pressing you for an answer say, “I need to think about it. I’ll let you know.” If they are insisting you agree with them or see the situation their way, yet you know it is not a black and white issue (one way is right and one way is wrong) but rather has many options or ways of being solved simply say, “That is your opinion.” If they continue to bring up a subject for which you agreed to disagree say, “I am not discussing this with you.” You are not being rude or un-Christ like. You are setting a boundary and how they react to your boundary is not your responsibility as long as you do it in a spirit of love. If they make accusations against you say, “I do not receive those words.”
If you are dealing with a toxic person, a fool of biblical proportions, or a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder then you especially need to stay calm. These personalities feed off your emotions. They NEED you to react to them. They often will try to feed off positive emotions but if your positive emotions do not feed their ego enough, they will turn to plying negative emotions out of you. DO NOT REACT. Respond calmly.
I Peter 5:8 (NIV)
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Your toxic person may be begging you to lose control but remember you are a princess, the daughter of the Most High King. Your Heavenly Father sees what you are enduring. Run to Him, take His hand, and tell Him your hurts, frustrations, fears and needs. In your weakness I pray you find rest in His strength; in His grace.
I hope and pray you have a dear friend who can listen and minister to your hurting heart. If not, pray about that too, asking God to provide someone who can mourn with you, learn with you, laugh with you and pray with you.
I am grateful God has placed wonderful friends in my life through the years. They are keepers for sure. I can only hope to bless them back as much as they have blessed me.
This is a scripture one of my dear friends prayed over me when I was going through a time of attack. Pray it out loud over your own life. Draw strength from God’s word and invite His power to save you and heal you. His word is always timely, applicable, healing and powerful; it’s who He is!
Psalm 35 (NIV)
1 Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me.
2 Take up shield and armor;
arise and come to my aid.
3 Brandish spear and javelin[a]
against those who pursue me.
Say to me,
“I am your salvation.”
4 May those who seek my life
be disgraced and put to shame;
may those who plot my ruin
be turned back in dismay.
5 May they be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of the Lord driving them away;
6 may their path be dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
7 Since they hid their net for me without cause
and without cause dug a pit for me,
8 may ruin overtake them by surprise—
may the net they hid entangle them,
may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.
9 Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord
and delight in his salvation.
10 My whole being will exclaim,
“Who is like you, Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them.”
11 Ruthless witnesses come forward;
they question me on things I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good
and leave me like one bereaved.
13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
and humbled myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
14 I went about mourning
as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
as though weeping for my mother.
15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;
assailants gathered against me without my knowledge.
They slandered me without ceasing.
16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked;[b]
they gnashed their teeth at me.
17 How long, Lord, will you look on?
Rescue me from their ravages,
my precious life from these lions.
18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
among the throngs I will praise you.
19 Do not let those gloat over me
who are my enemies without cause;
do not let those who hate me without reason
maliciously wink the eye.
20 They do not speak peaceably,
but devise false accusations
against those who live quietly in the land.
21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha!
With our own eyes we have seen it.”
22 Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent.
Do not be far from me, Lord.
23 Awake, and rise to my defense!
Contend for me, my God and Lord.
24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God;
do not let them gloat over me.
25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!”
or say, “We have swallowed him up.”
26 May all who gloat over my distress
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me
be clothed with shame and disgrace.
27 May those who delight in my vindication
shout for joy and gladness;
may they always say, “The Lord be exalted,
who delights in the well-being of his servant.”
28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
your praises all day long.
May this help you thrive through your next attack of the toddler trapped in an adult body. Better yet, I hope there are no more attacks!