by | Mar 7, 2023 | Abuse, Difficult people, Emotional Health, Leadership, Mental Health, Ministry Leader, Pastor

We’re currently in a series of pods on mental and emotional health. We’ve talked about becoming our own best friend; telling our anger where to go. Today we’ll focus on the subject of protecting ourselves from people whose mission in life is to hurt us.


You can listen to the episode here. Here is the video version.


Show notes are below:


In 2 Timothy 4:14-15 the Apostle Paul wrote to his young apprentice, Timothy, “Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.”


Here’s something I didn’t learn in college while preparing for ministry: Difficult people go to church. The second thing I didn’t learn? Difficult people who go to church can cause a great deal of harm.


Three safeguards to protect yourself from abusive people


  1. Be convinced that standing up for yourself is the right thing to do
    1. This is the cornerstone of protecting yourself from abuse.
    2. If you don’t believe it is the right thing to do, you’re going to struggle.


  1. Understand the difference between persecution and abuse
    1. Matthew 5:11: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.”
    2. Protecting ourselves from abuse requires us to discern between being persecuted for our faith vs. simply being in the path of mean-spirited bullies.


  1. Understand what “loving your enemy” really means
    1. Matthew 5:44: “You have heard that it was said, love your neighbor, but hate your enemies. But I tell you: Love your enemies.”
    2. When someone abuses you, he or she is sinning. Is it loving to let them continue to sin against you? Is that in their long-term best interests?
    3. It’s not loving to let someone abuse you!



Getting and staying healthy emotionally requires us not only to become our own best friend and tell our anger where to go. If we want to get healthy/stay healthy, we must learn to protect ourselves from people whose mission in life is to hurt us.