Toxic behavior leads to “toxic waste” in the home, in the church, and in the workplace. Toxic behavior spreads like a virus. Proverbs 6 describes toxic personalities. Solomon writes about the ant in Proverbs 6:6-8 and contrasts the righteous acts of the ant with the unrighteous acts of a sluggard (vv. 9-11). Following this, Solomon shows the acts of an evil person. These acts, as described in vv. 12-19, are toxic behaviors. God hates toxic behaviors. Solomon lists seven behaviors that are an abomination to God: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart the devises wicked imaginations, feet that run to mischief, a false witness, and a person that sows discord.
There are many more behaviors that are toxic (poison), such as envy or jealousy. If you are envious of another, your focus is wrong. Another toxic behavior is seen in gluttony, excesses in eating and drinking. Some folks are gluttons for work. One of the signs of workplace gluttony is seen in trying to do everything by yourself. One of the sins in gluttony is that often people belittle others to make themselves look good. Another toxic behavior is greed, a selfish desire for more. Greed encompasses more than just money; greed includes wanting more power, a higher position, wanting to have first place, and wanting more loyalty from others. Another toxic behavior is lust. Lust is more than a sexual desire that is out of control. It is seen in a craving to succeed, to climb the ladder of success. It is seen in lasciviousness (appetites out of control). It is seen in inordinate pleasures, always looking for satisfaction, but never finding it. Another toxic behavior is seen in pride: wanting esteem, status, thinking that you are best. This toxic behavior sees no problem in taking credit for someone else’s work. It is believing that you are always right. No one is always right; everyone makes a mistake once in a while. Another toxic behavior is anger. Malice is anger that is secret, hidden. This sin doesn’t stay hidden. It will surface sooner or later.
The word “toxic” refers to poisons. We are living in times of great pressure, hard times for many. Hurting people are everywhere. Help them; don’t add your toxic behavior to other people’s hurts and sorrows.
Pastor George Belobaba
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