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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spiritual Vampires

The Lord recently showed me something – or someone -- spiritual vampires. Yes, vampires! I’m not sure if I can take credit for coining this phrase, but it refers to those men and women who enter your life “talking the talk” and end up sucking the ever-lovin’ life out of you! Creative people, like writers, seem particularly vulnerable, but anyone can get bitten.

Do you know a spiritual vampire? Perhaps you do.

These spiritual vampires might seem in need of your help at first and, as a Christian, you set out to do your duty. Then, slowly, spiritual vampires take over your life in one way or another. Others might wonder about the frequency of their phone calls, texts or visits. If a family member says, “So-and-so is weird” ask him or her why. Define “weird.”  For myself, in trying hard not to pass judgments, I occasionally lose my God-given discernment. So, my advice is to pay attention to subtle observations. If you don’t, your thoughts and very life can become consumed by a spiritual vampire.

Spiritual vampires can also disguise themselves as people in powerful positions, like therapists, priests, pastors or even popular and trusted brothers or sisters in Christ. They might appear to be serving the Lord, but if they counsel you, their drama suddenly becomes yours too (instead of them helping you deal with the issues in your life). Their personal ambition becomes the church’s mission – and it’s not the will of God. Their “special gift” suddenly causes you to feel oppressed and intimidated.

These are the warning signs. A spiritual vampire may have a word for you, but sift it through Scripture (God’s Word) before you accept it. You see, not only can spiritual vampires appear as though they are needy, but they may also appear as ones who not only know God but are as God. Um…isn’t that what got Lucifer and his host kicked out of heaven? (Ezekiel 28)

A true test to see if someone is a spiritual vampire is while he or she is speaking with authority, listen to how many times the words “I” and “me” are used. This excludes a friend who is attempting to confide in you about her troubles. This is different. Spiritual vampires will say things like “God told me thus-and-such about you.” (The truth is God doesn’t gossip, okay? God will tell you directly about you!) A spiritual vampire will say something like, “I know I’m right because I have the gift of discernment.” (So how can you argue? In their minds, they are never wrong!)

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not insinuating that we shouldn’t help others in need or that we shouldn’t serve our local churches and respect our pastors and fellow believers. I’m not saying other believers don’t have special God-given gifts either. But the truth is we ALL have God-given gifts.  My only warning in this post is that the voice of the spiritual vampire can become louder than God’s “still small voice.”

Wherever spiritual vampires are you’ll find pride is there too. Pride is different from confidence. We can be confident in God and in ourselves because of God; but spiritual vampires feel they are more special than everyone else. We don’t want to doubt folks, but don’t idolize them either. Spiritual vampires want to be idolized. Their hearts are “lifted up” because of their gifts just like Lucifer’s heart was lifted up because of his beauty (Ezekiel 28).

Another warning sign: Spiritual vampires will never apologize – because they never think they make mistakes!

If you know a spiritual vampire run. Run far and run fast! The Lord will surely bring the individual down – just like He did Lucifer. Pride always goes before a fall.
However, the Lord showed me that I don’t have to get hurt anymore. I just have to get out of the way!

And here’s the best news of all: Spiritual vampires can be transformed. But it takes the Sword of the Spirit getting driven deep into their hearts and that’s something which can only be accomplished through prayer.

9 comments:

Dawn Turner said...

So very true, Andrea! And the warning to run far and run fast is absolutely on target. I've dealt with several "spiritual vampires." They not only can and will destroy you as an individual, they are also destructive to the church, meanwhile they will often claim that everything they do/say (no matter how hatefully they do it) for your "good" or the good of the church. When a person causes division, strife and makes people feel bad about themselves by tearing them down, the best choice is to get them out of your life as much as you can. And pray that God either changes their heart or removes them from your church before they destroy it!

Nike Chillemi said...

There are spiritual vampires, and not all talk the talk. They're not all Christian. Of course then how spiritual are they. But many Christians have new age folks in their families or jobs who suck the energy out of you.

There can also be psychic vampires who are toxic people who suck the life out of you.

If they're taking up a lot of time, if they're causing drama, if they're cutting you off from people who have loved you for years...they might be a spiritual or psychic vampire.

You've written an EXCELLENT article!!!

Cathy said...

Wow, Andrea this really hits home. I've been so concerned about the direction our nation is going. We each need a double gift of discernment and wisdom. We need to be constantly seeking God's will. We need to keep our hearts and minds on Him. Only then will we know His will. Thank you for posting on this sensitive issue.

Judith Rolfs said...

Excellent counseling advice. God's gifted you as a writer and a counselor Andrea!

www.judithrolfs.com

Sherri Wilson Johnson said...

Amen! This was great!

Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar said...

Thank you all for your comments and support!

Sharon said...

Andrea - Lots of truth in this post. I have learned the hard way. Glad my husband has the gift of discernment and is willing to spend time in prayer with me during those time when confronting a spiritual vampire, excellent description.
Sharon

Linda Kozar said...

Andrea--I just read your post about spiritual vampires and oh, me oh my, I realized how many times I've been "bitten." I've had my run-ins with people who suck the life out of you when you could be spending time ministering to others. The devil uses people like this time and again because the tactic is successful. If there isn't a spiritual vampire in your life right now, there will be down the road. The advantage is in recognizing and discerning who they are through prayer, God's Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Thanks for sharing this.

Linda Kozar said...

Andrea--I just read your post about spiritual vampires and oh, me oh my, I realized how many times I've been "bitten." I've had my run-ins with people who suck the life out of you when you could be spending time ministering to others. The devil uses people like this time and again because the tactic is successful. If there isn't a spiritual vampire in your life right now, there will be down the road. The advantage is in recognizing and discerning who they are through prayer, God's Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Thanks for sharing this.