It’s Throwback Thursday! This EmpowerMoment was originally published on July 13, 2011. Enjoy this blast from the past!
Not the kind that wear capes, have sharp fangs and only come out at night but the ones that you talk to every day, have dinner with you and share some of your deepest thoughts.
One day as I was strolling through “La La” land thanking God for the restoration of a family relationship, I became prey for a vampire. I received a phone call from this same family member that started off really nice but before you know it I was in a full blown shouting match. I hung up without ending the conversation and felt dazed and confused about what had just happened. I had a good “ugly” cry about it before I realized that their issue was not “my” issue and that they had sank their fangs into me, relieved me of all of my good energy and went on about their merry way.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:11 NIV)
Vampires are mythical creatures that live by feeding on other living beings. After they feed on other living beings, they are refreshed and restored. I am sure if you scroll through the Rolodex of your mind, you know a few vampires too. Their approach may be different but the end result is always the same. Every time you talk to a certain person, you may never get into a disagreement but by the time the conversation ends, you feel drained. Sometimes it’s the mere “dumping” of their problems that you aren’t mentally capable of handling. You end up feeling empty and exhausted while they proceed feeling reenergized, refocused and refreshed. That vampire just received a “job well done.”
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV) Most vampires are able to get to you because you have the guard down around your heart. We must protect our heart at all times because our life flows from it. No one can get to our hearts like “good friends and family”…the people we love dearly. After that phone call, I began to take inventory of all of the vampires in my life. Some of them will always be in my life because they are family, so instead of running for the garlic, I am learning how to deal with them and you should too:
- Return Policy – Give people back their stuff! You need to return all issues that do not belong to you. No longer allow people to make their issue your issue. Hold people accountable and make them take ownership of their stuff.
- Set Boundaries – This can be hard to do but you have to set boundaries with people. Sometimes you have to change the way that you allow them to communicate with you as well as the frequency of communication.
- Don’t Dump On Me – Everyday can’t be trash day. There are times when our own lives are in a tailspin and we emotionally can’t take on anyone else’s garbage.
- Don’t Give Them Power – Stop engaging them. Just cut the conversation short. “You know what, right now I really don’t have the time to talk about this. I will talk to you later.” At this point trying to get them to understand your view isn’t important, just cut the power cord.
- Be Aware! – Ask God for discernment so that you can see people who were sent to you because you can help them vs. those who really don’t want help. They just want to drain you.
- Be Ready! – When vampires attack you, Be Ready! Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11 KJV)
Thank You for Your protection and Your love! Help me to recognize the vampires in my life and show me how to best deal with them. When I leave my guard down and come under attack, restore me immediately and remind me that these people only come to take me off of my heavenly purpose. Remove those people from my life whose sole mission is to feed off of me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Today, I EMPOWER you to take inventory of the vampires in your life and really think about how you are going to deal with each of them. Guard your heart and don’t allow them to drain you of your energy and your time.
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Who’s Changing Your Thermostat?
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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”