By Oke Chinye
Read: Genesis 19: 1-29
“So, Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “get up, get out of this place;” (Genesis 19:12).
very environment you find yourself in has its people, culture, systems, and practices. A toxic environment is one in which either the people or their culture systems or practices are out of sync with your core values. A toxic environment may be your home, place of work, community, your local church, or a relationship you are involved in. Being in a toxic environment can destroy your faith, wellbeing, personal growth, dreams, progress, or even life.
Sodom and Gomorrah are examples of very toxic environments. The practices of the people were dehumanizing. The men of the city, both young and old demanded to have carnal knowledge with the men who had come to see Lot. When Lot refused, they threatened to pull down his door, until they struck with blindness. Then Lot’s visitors instructed him to take his family and get out of the place, because they had been sent by God to destroy the place. Had Lot not heeded their instruction, he would have been destroyed alongside both cities.
Do a scan of every environment you spend time in. Are you surrounded by negative people who evoke negative emotions in you? Are you in a relationship where you are mentally and physically abused? Do you feel belittled, threatened, manipulated, caged in and unable to express yourself? If yes, then chances are, you are in a toxic environment and you need to quickly get out. If you are unable to leave, you should create a ‘psychological island’ for yourself within the environment. ‘Psychological islands’ are moments where you engage in activities that edify your mind and uplift your spirit. Activities such as meditating on God’s word, listening to inspirational music, praying in the Holy Spirit can create a sense of peace and serenity within you.
Sometimes, it may not be obvious that an environment is toxic. You just feel you are in the wrong place, or sense that God wants you to leave an environment. If this is the case, get up and get out, no matter how comfortable the place is at that moment. God is all knowing, the secret things belong to Him.
IN HIS PRESENCE is written by Pst (Mrs) Oke Chinye, Founder of The Rock Teaching Ministry (TRTM).
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