Gary Thomas wants to help Christians learn how to deal with toxic people. He admits he used to spend too much time, focus and energy responding to and trying to placate toxic people — whom he defines as those who relish negativity, control, and hatred.
Gary points to multiple examples in the Bible where Jesus was willing to walk away from those who tried to attack or discredit Him; he also allowed people to walk away from the Gospel. Gary urges Christians to realize we’ve been given a vital mission to seek first the Kingdom of God; thus we cannot afford to waste time on those who refuse to embrace God’s love.
Gary is very careful to distinguish between “toxic” and “difficult” people — Christians need to be available 24/7 to help the needy & spiritually unhealthy of this world. But if someone’s mission in life is to distract us or take down our witness, they are toxic and should be avoided.
Gary described the power of compassion, worship, and knowing our identity in Christ so that we’re not tempted to engage with or try to defend ourselves from toxic people. And he recommends we follow the instructions of 2 Timothy 2:2 — to find & mentor reliable people who can help further God’s Kingdom.
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