What Does the Bible Say About Avoiding People?

3 Clues God Is Telling You to Avoid Someone

what does the bible say about avoiding people

Romans 16:17-18

Is God trying to warn you about someone? Are you possibly missing the cautionary signs the Lord is sending you about someone who can bring massive damage into your life?

Here are 3 clues God might be sending you to help you to avoid someone he does not want you to be with.

  1. If God Shows You Someone Who Says Things that Sound Good But Are Actually Unbiblical, God Is Telling You to Avoid This Person

Some of the most dangerous and damaging people to be around are those who are great speakers. Words have power to influence people to do what you want, and when a bad person is a skillful speaker, this is when lots of people end up following this person and doing bad things too.  In Romans 16:17-18, Paul warns us:

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.”

If you are walking with the Lord, God will reveal the truth about someone when you truly compare what they are saying with what God has already said in his word. Just because someone is well spoken and says thing that sound good does not mean they are God’s servant.

This truth is never more important than when it comes to romantic relationships. Many times a damaging person is smart enough to know what things to say to a Christian single person they want to manipulate and use for selfish reasons. Just because a man or woman says biblical things does not mean they are living for Christ. What they do is far more important than what they say. For as 1 John 3:18 (NIV) says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

Always judge the words of others by what Scripture says. If someone tries to deceive you with cunning words that are contrary to the word of God, avoid them as the Lord instructs us to do.

  1. If God Shows You That Someone Is a Slanderer or a Gossiper, God Is Telling You to Avoid This Person

Slander is when you say something that is not true about someone else. Gossip is when you say things behind someone’s back that should not be talked about to the people you are revealing that information to. Throughout the word of God, these sins are taken very seriously.

Proverbs 20:19 says, “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.” Proverbs 18:8 also states, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.”

If God the Holy Spirit convicts you when you listen to the words of the gossiper or slandered, the way to repent is by avoiding this person. You can’t control what other people say. All you can do is choose not to listen. So if God shows you that someone is a gossiper or a slanderer, he is telling you to avoid this person.

  1. If God Reveals Someone’s Recent History of Hurting Others, God Is Probably Telling You to Avoid This Person

God is a God of forgiveness and reconciliation. Whenever we can forgive and reconcile, we should. However, God does not call us to ignore abuse or put ourselves in unwise situations to be taken advantage of by destructive people.

Sometimes a person will come into your life and they seem wonderful. Perhaps they are even being very kind and gracious to you. However, if God shows you with undisputable facts that this person just recently hurt someone else and has not repented of this sin, this is often a sign God is telling you to avoid this person.

As Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:14-15, “Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.”

Did Paul say that Alexander could never change and must never be given another chance? No, but Paul was assessing this man based upon his recent destructive behavior and therefore he told Timothy to avoid him.

Likewise, don’t hold people’s sins against them forever if they repent and seek to change by God’s grace. But if someone has not had time to change and they recently did hurtful things to other people, God wants you to protect your own heart (Proverbs 4:23) by avoiding this person.

Don’t Look for Perfect People, But Only Link Arms with Those Who Are Following the Lord

As a final note, as Christians, we want to be gracious and loving towards imperfect people because we all are in need of grace. We can serve anyone, no matter how sinful they are living. But the key is to only link arms with people who are also following the Lord.

Throughout the Scriptures we are warned that we must not become unequally yoked with people who do not love God (2 Corinthians 6:14). So when it comes to friendships and romantic relationships, we must be extremely cautious in our choices. When God is showing you negative characteristics of someone, don’t ignore these warning signs. God may be trying to tell you to avoid this person to protect you from great harm.