In the early 1990’s, the movie “Backdraft” portrayed the very real dangers that fire fighters face when fighting building fires. A fire will consume all of the oxygen in a room, and if more oxygen suddenly floods the area, perhaps from a window opening, the oxygen causes the fire to explode. Essentially, the new oxygen fuels the fire and creates a danger to which many have lost their lives.
How many times have we been in a room where it felt like one person sucked all the air out of the room? The longer the person lingered, the more deadly the environment became. This is the human equivalent of a backdraft. Gossip, backbiting, lying, immoral chatter, aggrandizing our own actions and being prideful, causing contention, and exploiting others are just a few of the ways a backdraft can be created in social settings, in families, and yes, even in the church. Sinful behaviors are all consuming, and they do harm to anyone who comes in contact with them. So damaging are these behaviors that God says He hates them. Psalm 34:13 admonishes us to keep our tongues from evil and our lips from speaking bad things.
In the New Testament, Titus 3:9-11 gives us advice about how to deal with these circumstances. It says to avoid foolish questions, contention, and strife, calling these interactions, “foolishness”. Further, it says after you’ve had the same issue twice with the same individual, to know that they are twisted and sinful, and to avoid them. We don’t want to be the cause of “human backdraft” nor be the casualty of it. Starve the evil by walking away and refusing to participate.