My last article, “How To Handle Toxic People,” drew more responses than any of my pervious articles! Evidently, it touched a nerve and God used it to meet a real need. Thank you for all the words of appreciation! Some of you raised a question that I feel the answer may benefit others as well – “Daily we go through minor toxic encounters that leave us feeling upset to one degree or another. Does that mean that for each of those incidents we have to go through the same process of praying for 20 days until we are free of the toxin?” Of course not. Toxic people and minor toxic encounters are two different things. The first are individuals who perpetually cause us to feel miserable and the second are chance happenings that inject just enough toxin in us to ruin our spirit. Although the latter are not as harmful as the former, don’t assume that they are completely harmless. If left untreated, those emotional fender-benders can cause us to ruin others’ spirits as well. Let me explain below.
The Old Testament had laid out the law – “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” but Jesus told His listeners to “turn the other check.” What does that mean? Does it mean we need to sit back and watch the innocent getting massacred? Does it mean that evil people can run amuck? Does it mean that being a Christian means being a coward? No. Jesus is dealing with how we respond when someone offends us.