“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).

Kathryn Merteuil: Cruel Intentions (1999).

I know I can break bread with Judas, I know I can even love Judas, because I already have and already do, yet I plan to begin separating from the Judases in my life; all of them in love and in peace, of course.

I recently read an article Defend Your Name 8 Toxic Behaviors You Should Never Put Up With, which describes eight toxic behaviors. I recognize that I have permitted people who exhibit all eight, to remain in my life, for far too long; therefore, I see long, overdue changes ahead in 2020. To be honest, I have been praying about this matter long before I read the article, maybe for a year now, but the article does an excellent job of articulating much of what has been on my mind. I earnestly pray that God forgives any missteps I make, as I understand that decisions have consequences—good and bad, but I would be lying, if I said that I am not relieved. A Judas hides themself well and fools many; they stumble others into their toxicity.

At least, that’s my current plan for 2020, but keep reading.

From the article:

There are certain types of toxic behaviors we encounter in people that just suck us dry of our energy.

There comes a point when having them in your life doesn’t make sense for you, and it might be time to show them the door if you see any of these 8 toxic types of behavior.

1. Too much negativity.

Especially if you’re trying to improve your life, a person’s negativity can really bring you down.

Their negativity can appear in both action and words. It’s perfectly fine for your friends to push you and express concerns, but you’ll know the difference between that and flat out negativity.

2. Gossip.

Gossip will weaken any type of relationship, be it platonic or romantic. Gossip comes out in weak people with usually malicious intent. But pay attention to how your conversations feel.

You might be gossiping without realizing it.

3. Self-centered and selfish behavior.

It stinks to find yourself in the close company with people who want to further themselves at the expense of everyone in their lives. It may not always apply to you specifically.

You may hear about them throwing coworkers under the bus or taking advantage of their family members. But ask yourself: how long will it take before they get to you?

4. Lack of compassion.

You’re on a date and your date treats the waitress like crap

. You’re out walking and your friend ignores a loose dog trying to get home. It’s no fun to be around people who lack any kind of compassion. What would happen if you needed their compassion?

Would they give it to you? Or would you be out of luck?

5. Unnecessary stubbornness.

I think we can all be a little bit stubborn, but have you ever known someone who obnoxiously won’t budge from their position, even when you both realize they’re wrong?

That kind of toxic behavior really brings down the energy of the room. It takes a big person to admit you’re wrong about something, or that you should change your ways. I know I want big people in my life.

6. Superficiality.

This ties in with gossip a little bit.

Some people are so concerned with appearances of their relationship, their circle of friends, or themselves that they forget the importance of having genuinely good people in their lives.

If you find yourself in the company of a superficial person, you might need to ask yourself why you are.

7. Manipulation.

Manipulation comes in many forms, and each form is just as toxic as the last. Sometimes it’s emotional manipulation. Sometimes it’s blackmail.

No matter what it is, it’s toxic and I for one don’t want it anywhere near my life.

8. Acting like the victim all the time.

This one can be the worst of all. People who act like the victim all the time are their own kind of stubborn. They’re so incapable of admitting that they’ve done something wrong that they paint the whole world as against them.

Like I said before, it takes a big person to admit when you’ve messed up.

Now, back to reality! I will never truly love as Christ loves, unless I learn how to pull up a chair and break bread with Judas without so much contention. I haven’t forgotten what I wrote just two posts ago, “Although I don’t really have any resolutions for 2020, I am resolute! I am resolute that in 2020, God is going to show me how to love others as I have been called to love; as He loves them.” I have been praying for years specifically focused on asking Jesus to show me how to love as He loves; therefore, I realize that I may find my plan, for the coming year, drastically changed. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). God doesn’t want me to be needlessly combative, as I am called to love peace, make peace, and be at peace. When I find that I have wronged others, or when someone has wronged me, it is God’s will that His children work tirelessly for a peaceful resolution. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

Paul also wrote, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Although he was referring to the false teachers who had infiltrated the church at Corinth, I believe that Paul was also stressing a broader point here; that it’s tough to associate with people doing evil without being corrupted by them. The word evil may seem extreme, by our cultural standards today, but the enemy is subtle; more falls under the umbrella of evil than things like orgies, murder, and antichrists. Clearly, I have some inner conflict still to work out, and thankfully, God will graciously be there alongside every step of the way. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26). God is responsible for placing within me the desire to do His will in the first place, and then if that wasn’t already awesome enough, God enables me to carry out His good purpose (Philippians 2:12-13), and hopefully, along the way, He’ll help me overcome a few of my own toxic traits as well. So, my friends, it looks like my witness, in this matter, will continue to unfold. Stay tuned!

To read the full article, click/press the link: Defend Your Name 8 Toxic Behaviors You Should Never Put Up With.

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