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We’ve all seen it from time to time. Traveling in our vehicles, we glance up in the distant sky and spot a kettle of vultures, circling. We immediately know that there must be something dead nearby, a foul carcass of some kind that attracted these birds that prey on the dead.

Don’t you wish this alert system also worked in our personal lives? Can you imagine the pitfalls we could avoid in life if we had a similar warning sign, circling the rotting circumstances ahead signaling dead situations, people, places or things? We would immediately know not to invest in a relationship with that person, or take that particular job, or agree to join that ministry if we were aware of the vultures attached to it feeding off of its remains. Oh, the heartache and disappointment that could be avoided if only this was indeed reality.

But this truly can be our reality.

The wisdom that Jesus expressed in Matthew 7:15-20 lets us know that toxic people, places and things can be recognized by their “fruit,” thus creating an opportunity for detour. Verse 16  specifically states, “You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” If a person has a track record of causing death in everything that they do, then we should be cautious not to enter into relationship with them. If a person is full of negativity, we should use that as a sign to avoid that person.

The same holds true for toxic places and things. Be keen to your surroundings. Vultures are not drawn to life. This is one of the first clues that you are in the wrong place. We must utilize the spiritual discernment the Holy Spirit equips us with before entering new situations.

Let people’s actions prove what they speak. Let the Holy Spirit and common sense guide your decision-making.

Let history serve as our vultures.

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