What to you do when toxic people use faith against you?
Have you ever had an argument with someone and suddenly you’re having scripture thrown at you?
For many people, this manipulative tactic catches them off guard, because you’re thinking “What does that have to do with anything?”
Your brain struggles to find the perfect retort because part of what they are saying is true, but it’s not the whole truth.
That’s how Satan works as well. He attacks you with lies that carry some truth.
He often uses scripture to trip you up.
He did it to Eve in the Garden when he said “Did God really say you can’t eat from any tree in the garden?’ (Genesis 3:1). He created a cause for doubt.
He also did it to Jesus in the wilderness when he said “If you are the Son of God, jump off. For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” (Matt 4:6)
So if he did it to them, you’d better believe he’ll do it to you and me.
Satan would nothing more than to get you to doubt your salvation, doubt your future and doubt you’re a good Christian.
He also knows that the best way to attack you is to use those closest to you.
He loves to operate through the toxic people because they are easy pawns and he knows that you value the relationship.
So what better way to guarantee that you doubt yourself by using the people to use scripture against you.
Let talk today about 4 Scriptures that toxic people LOVE to use against you and what to do about it.
#1. Honor your mother. (Exodus 20:12.)
Exodus 20:12 is the most commonly abused scripture from every manipulative, controlling parent out there.
It typically gets confused with Eph 6:1 where it says “children obey your parents” and is used to try to get the adult child back under the parent’s control.
The truth is that honoring and obeying are different. and when a parent does not allow an adult child to answer to God for themselves, it often creates a self focused and dysfunctional relationship.
Honoring means that you think and speak well of your mother and father and care for them when they can’t care for themselves , not that you conform to all of their needs and expectations. This my friend, would negate the unique purpose God has for your life.
#2. Doesn’t God say to forgive? (Ephesians 4:32).
More often than not, when the toxic person wrongs you, they aren’t just expecting forgiveness, they’re also expecting a free pass.
Yes, Christians are called to forgive. Forgiveness releases you from the toxic grip that keeps you bound to that person.
But what the toxic person is looking for is for everything to go back to ‘normal’. the problem is is that an offense has taken place and reconciliation requires repentance (not some half hearted, forced apology) but a true recognition of the wrong doing and a desire to turn from it.
So yes, they’re right, you are called to forgive and you likely have, but only a toxic person would expect their actions won’t have consequences.
#3. I thought you were a Christian.
This is a broad statement that isn’t necessarily grounded in any scripture.
But the reason this statement is often used is to manipulate you into doing what is “right”.
Whether you’re in a heated discussion and they expect you to give in or they are requesting something of you that you aren’t willing to give, they will often use this line to guilt you into submission.
#4. Submit to your husband (Ephesians 5: 22)
This is a wonderful command of God that is often used and abused.
Yes, wives are to submit to their husbands, but for the toxic spouse they neglect Ephesians 5:21: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. or Ephesians 5:25 husbands love your wives as christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Spouses that feel the need to use this scripture as a weapon are similar to the toxic parent.
They are in essence saying ‘shut up’, ‘say nothing’ and don’t you dare argue with me.
These toxic people often confuse submission with subservience.
There’s one motivation behind ALL of these accusations disguised as scripture and that is Manipulation
When toxic people use these scriptures and statements, they’re only motive is to get you to do what they want (obey, submit, tolerate, stop complaining, conform)
Regardless of the title that one holds in your life, it is not a healthy relationship dynamic when someone uses God’s Word as a weapon for their personal gain.
So, what’s the antidote to all of these manipulations disguised as scripture?
Know your scripture. How can you come against a lie when you don’t know the truth?
Stand your ground. giving in to manipulative behaviors only enables more manipulative behavior.
Be prepared. Unfortunately you may have to redefine the relationship. Proverbs 4:23 reminds us to guard our heart.
What if you are part of the toxic dynamic?
Then I want to encourage you allow God to use these people to speak truth to you (even if it is wrapped in manipulation).
If you have not been honoring your mother,
if you hold on to past offenses,
if you are living as a carnal christian,
if you’re struggling with rebellion,
I want to encourage you to submit to God and allow him to do his transforming work in you.