"Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb."--I Samuel 25:3(KJV)
What is a Toxic Soul? Are you familiar with the story of Nabal? The Bible describes him as harsh, evil, and churlish--rude, ill-mannered, and impolite. He had a toxic soul--always snarling, bitter, and difficult to be around. His servants proclaimed that he was so foul, that no one could talk to him (I Samuel 25:17). Even as David and his men kept Nabal's servants safe during sheep shearing season, he was unappreciative. He was so hostile and mean that it was as if no one or no thing could penetrate his calloused heart. The Bible identifies him as a fool and a "son of Belial":
"..for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him..."--I Samuel 25:17(KJV)
"...this worthless man, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal (fool) is his name and foolishness (stupidity) is with him..."--I Samuel 25:24(AMP)
Have you ever encountered someone with the characteristics like Nabal? Perhaps you may see traits of Nabal in you. Have you ever wondered how someone gets to the place of Nabal? Is it possible to overcome such soul toxicity? Yes. Does it require consistent, diligent hard work and prayer? Yes.
The beauty of being a child of God is that we receive a gift of faith. Therefore because of faith, we are never without hope.
I had the opportunity to speak with someone who experienced a horrific childhood/young adulthood--laden with abuse, molestation, rejection, abandonment, and subsequent substance abuse. This person discussed personal challenges with anger. This person, as a result of all that had been experienced, developed a toxic soul. Yet, this person is on his/her way to liberty. Why? Because the root of the toxicity had been identified, exposed, and uprooted. This never happened in the case of Nabal. Arrogance, folly, and pride prevented him from considering the toxic roots lodged within his soul. He died from, and ultimately with a toxic heart (I Samuel 25:37-38)
Overcoming a Toxic Soul
1. It may be difficult to admit or confess personal toxicity, yet this is the first step towards healing, deliverance, as well as spiritual health and wholeness. (Psalm 32:5, I John 1:9)
2. Identify the root of toxicity, as the individual I spoke with did. In Nabal's case, he may have come from toxic family, in which there was historical bitterness and offense towards the Israelites (Judges 10
3. Once the root is identified, identify the toxic fruit it has produced--envy, rage, offense, bitterness, cynicism, pessimism, etc.
4. Pray. Ask the Lord to uproot and remove the toxicity from your heart. Ask Him to fill you with His supernatural joy, peace, and love. (Psalm 34:6)
5. Meditate on the Word of God; it will begin to inwardly transform your thinking, actions, behavior, and conversation. Change begins within and is becomes outwardly apparent. (Joshua 1:8,Psalm 1:2, I Timothy 4:15)
6. Seek wise counsel for support, accountability, and encouragement. (Proverbs 11:14)
7. Be mindful of those with whom you surround yourself. As you interact with others, practice biblical principles--using wisdom, being slow to speak, giving a soft answer. (Proverbs 13:20 and 15:1, Isaiah 50:4, James 1:19)
Prayer Father, in the name of Jesus, I confess that I have a toxic heart. I have harbored ill-feelings and malice. The toxic roots in my life have produced a harvest of toxic fruit. Forgive me. This is not your way. You desire that I bear good fruit--the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I ask that you uproot the toxicity. I pray that you will fill me with your Spirit. Help me to walk in your way. I thank you for grace and strength to do so. Amen.