Episode 143: Lead Pastor Scott Distler: Toxic Relationships and Gaslighting in Ministry

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 143: Lead Pastor Scott Distler: Toxic Relationships and Gaslighting in Ministry
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It’s one thing to be a pastor. It’s a whole ‘nother level when you are faced with a Nehemiah situation of toxicity, gaslighting, and jealousy in the church. A lot of times, we think that the situation happened to us out of the blue. However, as the old saying goes, hindsight is 20/20.

We saw signs leading up to this big blowup coming all along. We just didn’t really didn’t stop to think about it, or see if any course of action could have been taken in order to prevent it.

And sometimes, there really isn’t anything we could have done.

Why?

We cannot control other people. It’s just that simple. It’s impossible to love and control a person at the same time. Love is not love without there being complete freedom involved.

Rest assured:  there is hope, love, light, and freedom that’s waiting for you on the other side of the cave.

How to reach Pastor Scott Dristler:

Email: scottd@miefree.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skdistler

Church Website: www.miefree.org

Book Website: http://covenantbooks.com/books/?book=the-cave 

How do the problems manifest themselves in “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior” Phase Part 4

Unfortunately, “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior” phase is like a kid in a candy store for the toxic person in the toxic relationship cycle. For the toxic person, it is fun because they live and thrive off drama.

If there is no drama, they will create it. Undealt with Brokenness in a toxic person’s life causes chaos and confusion everywhere they go.

Whereas most people try to keep peace in their lives, for the toxic person, it is the opposite.

As soon as you mention their unhealthy patterns of behavior, they will pull out their dysfunctional coping mechanisms.

The first such behavior is gaslighting.

The word looks and sounds strange. And so does the effects of what the word entails.

Imagine having a strong gas smell in your house.

You mention to your partner, ” I smell gas.”

And then their response is “I don’t smell anything.”

The smell gets stronger and stronger.

And you scream out, ” I SMELL GAS!”

And then your spouse says, “Oh, that’s the cookies that are baking in the oven.”

After so many rounds of this, you are feeling nauseated from the fumes, and you start saying to yourself, “Those are the cookies in the oven.”

Then you hear an explosion.

Gaslighting is how it sounds. When you are talking to someone about how their behavior is impacting you, they turn it around on you, making you look and feel crazy, physically and spiritually nauseated and confused.

Your spouse, or whoever it is that is doing the gaslighting says things like:

“You’re over-reacting.”

“You’re so sensitive.”

“You’re so dramatic.”

“You are so insecure and jealous.”

After hearing this so much, you believe it, and they manufacture in you the emotional drama that they were hoping for.

Once the gaslighting starts, it alters who you are as a person. You began to walk around in a state of cognitive dissonance, knowing the truth, but in a spiritual state of denial.

Why?

Acknowledging what is going on means doing something about it. You are not ready for that. Your brokenness of unworthiness is depending on you getting your self-worth from them at all cost.

However, they cannot give what they don’t have. They are individuals filled with insecurities and unworthiness themselves. And their whole life, they have thrived off exploiting other people in the very area that they struggle with as well.

What appears to you as confidence exuding from them, is a very insecure, unworthy individual who has no sense of self. This “confident look” is what they have when they have been filled with “supply” rather than the Holy Spirit.

What happens to you when you are in this state for so long?

You get seriously sick.

You can’t inhale fumes and not be affected. Gaslighting emits fumes and so much more than you expected. In my next post, we will discuss what happens when your partner starts playing games with you.

Until next time,

Katina Horton