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Defragging from a toxic environment

This past weekend I was at my daughter’s home in downtown Atlanta. I was talking to her and a roommate about their toxic work environment. “A lot of the people there do drugs and are pretty cynical. It’s a rough crowd,” my daughter said. “So how do you protect yourself?” I asked. “I…
By Seth Barnes
This past weekend I was at my daughter’s home in downtown Atlanta. I was talking to her and a roommate about their toxic work environment.
“A lot of the people there do drugs and are pretty cynical. It’s a rough crowd,” my daughter said.
“So how do you protect yourself?” I asked.
“I’ve learned to protect my spirit. It’s like I’m a flower and when they say hurtful things, I’ve learned to bunch up and let it not stick to me.”
 
“What about your friends there; how do they respond?”
 
“Some of them have gotten pretty hardened by the experience. They’ve lost their tender spirit. They’ve become rough just to win the approval of others.”
 
I mulled this over and compared their situation to a guy I knew who had a prison ministry. When he and his team would leave the prison, he’d line his people up and pray over them one at a time. He could sense if evil had slimed them and he felt it was his job to bless them and clean them up spiritually.
 
When we go into a toxic environment, whether that be a workplace or maybe our own dysfunctional home, our spirits can be bruised in ways that we shrug off. If that happens enough, we can become spiritually calloused or fragmented. We wall off parts of ourselves to keep them safe. But do that enough and the walls become part of your personality.
 
“Do you guys pray over one another when you get home?” I asked.
 
“No. That’s a good idea, we should do that,” her friend responded.
 
“I don’t know how you stay spiritually tender if you don’t. You guys need to defrag one another on a regular basis.”
 
Of course it’s easier said than done. In my own “Christian” workplace yesterday I was feeling beat up and exhausted. I had grown cynical and was in need of a good defragging. I fell into bed at day’s end and I was thankful when Karen prayed for my bruised spirit before we drifted off to sleep.
 
How’s the spiritual environment in your workplace? If you’re feeling bruised, consider finding someone to pray over you. And if you can’t find someone to de-slime you, consider whether or not what it’s costing you is worth it.

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