Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:15-16).
Let’s face it, life is far and away too short to allow one’s self to fritter away time and energy on people who will slurp the very life blood out of us. Oh, not the actual physical drainage, rather out of the kindness of heart, we grant permission to be drained by “spiritual vampires.”
As children of God we know that we are to subscribe to the teaching of Paul as seen expressed in Ephesians 4:16. “Whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” The operative being seen in the building up, with the motivation being love. Encourage not discourage. Inflate rather than deflate. Regardless of such direct teaching, it is a known fact that there are those even within the body who sap the life blood out of others. High maintenance. The question arises then how can we build up such individuals without allowing them to use us up in the process? There is no pat answer to that question inasmuch as those who cause the drain and strain, do so from a varied number of perspectives.
There is the “sob sister.” She will come and complain for hours on end if permitted. When she has exhausted herself, she feels refreshed, but others are spent. What needs to be done is to set a limit as to the moment of time you will grant her (or him) to vent, then as quickly as possible begin discussing possible solutions, not problems!
The “drama queen” blows everything out of proportion. A small incidents ends up being a full blown global crisis!Again, while we are to bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:1-3), we don’t have to permit self into overreaching and over thinking (Col. 3;1-3, 12-15). Keep things in perspective and challenge the individual caught up in the drama to put into practice what is found in the above noted verses in Colossians.
Then there is the so-called “friend” — who knows what drives this person? It may be envy or insecurity, but there is a penchant to put you down at every opportunity. Nothing is ever right. There is another element in play here as well, that being the “fixer-upper.” Out of “friendship” this individual takes on the task of “fixing” what may be wrong in your life; whether or not there may even be a real need. Remember that you have been found worthy and acceptable in the sight of the God of Heaven. Take some time to read over 1 Corinthians 4:1-5.
It is imperative that we do not allow others to sap our spiritual energy. That is not to say we forestall any contact with them, for then we would have no way of possibly influencing them for their betterment. But we cannot permit them to have a negative impact on us. We have the mastery over how much we will allow others to affect us. So it may very well be wise to consider the amount of time we spent in their presence. “Let your foot rarely be in your neighbor’s house, lest he become weary of you and hate you.” (Proverbs 25:17) Interesting isn’t it?