5 Types of People To Avoid - David Lawrence

The 5 Types of People to Avoid

It doesn’t matter the nationality, race, age, background, economic status, or profession – I believe every person is longing for a deeper connection and is searching for a clear direction. God designed us to have deep and healthy relationships with others. He also designed us to have clarity of vision and direction for our lives.

Whenever Liz and I have the privilege to counsel and pray with people – most times than not the things that we pray about are just the symptoms in their life that correlate to a lack of one of these areas: A lack of deep and healthy relationships or a lack of clarity of vision or direction.

When people surround themselves with the wrong kinds of relationships who have no clear vision or direction for their life, they ultimately make unwise choices.

I am convinced that the health of your vision is directly connected to the health of your relationships!

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, people cast off restraint…”

This verse implies that people who have no vision have no life focus or discipline. However, living a life of restraint is living a disciplined or focused life. I have found that people who are undisciplined usually make unwise life decisions. People who are focused and disciplined typically make good life choices.

Proverbs 13:20 says, “When you walk with the wise, you become wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”

If we are going to do what God has called us to do and live a life that’s on a mission, with clear vision and direction, then we must take inventory and look at the health of our relationships. We can’t continue hanging around what the Bible calls a “companion of fools” and believe that we will be able to fulfill our life purpose and calling.

Dr. Myles Munroe made a statement years ago that people quote all the time all over the world:

“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.”

Here are 5 Types of People (or fools) we all need to avoid:

1. The Rut

What it looks like – The rut is the person who doesn’t have a passion or hunger for personal growth. The reason why they have no hunger to grow is that they’re not teachable. When there is a lack of teachability, there is also a lack of humility. The rut thinks they know it all. They will always blame circumstances, situations, or other people for where they are at. But they will never take responsibility for where they are at or where they are going. Pride is the root cause of stagnant personal growth. When we stop growing, we stop learning and eventually stop getting better.

What you can do – If you have a friend whose life seems stuck – love them where they are at, but challenge them to change their thinking about their circumstances and connect them with resources and tools to help them grow. Sometimes, some people just need a friendly kick in the pants to knock them out of their funk. But sometimes some people need a major shift and breakthrough in how they think and how they see themselves. You may be the very friend to help them make that shift. But it’s their choice to choose life (growth) or to choose death (stagnation). But keep this in mind, people who grow and people who stagnate naturally don’t run in the same circles. Surround yourselves with friends who are growing and moving forward, so you are empowered to encourage, strengthen, speak life, and speak purpose into those who need a shift in their thinking and their identity.


2. The Energy Vampire

What it looks like – The energy vampire is the person who every time you get around them they suck the life and energy out from under you. You know who they are. You dread knowing when you get around them – whether it’s at work, family reunion, or a social party. The conversations usually revolve around their problems and complaints. They provide the “emotional dump” on you so they can have a release and feel better. The problem is that energy makes a withdrawal from your energy reserve, and you have nothing left to give afterward. Here’s the problem, when you spend too much time with people that suck the life from you, the consequence is that you will not have enough energy to give to others and to the people you love.

What you can do – Surround yourself with people who lift your spirit and who bring life into your world. You know who they are too! They’re life-givers. The reason why they can give life and energy away is that they have surrounded themselves with other life-givers. Life is too short to consistently be around energy vampires. God has called you for such a time as this. It takes energy to walk out that calling. It also takes energy to stay in the fight to see your dreams become reality. Surround yourself with people who call out the best in you and who speak life into your world.


3. The Drama Queen/King

What it looks like – This person’s storyline never seems to move past the conflict stage. It seems like they are always having a conflict somewhere. There is always someone making them unhappy and someone to blame. And, if they’re not in the current conflict, by golly they will go out and find one! This person chooses drama as an attitude and attracts it wherever they go. They fret over the petty things and have a way of turning everything into a major life crisis. Not only are they the rut and the energy vampire at the same time, but they actually like it. For drama queens/kings they only see themselves as the only major character in their life story and it’s hard for them to see anyone else unless it involves conflict.

What you can do – The only thing I can say about drama queens and kings is to block and delete their number and while you are at it, unfriend/unfollow them on social media. Your life will never be drama free, but you can definitely block those who love to attract it.


4. The Negative Nancy/Ned

What it looks like – The people who we call negative Nancy or Ned are the folks who don’t have a revelation of the power that’s inside of their words. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life or death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” I like to put it this way,” the words you speak will be the fruit you eat.” The truth is that your world is framed by your words. The atmosphere in your home is shaped by the kind of words that are spoken in your house. How do people talk inside your house? What kind of music do you play? Do you always have the news on? You may work with a boss, a coworker, or have a family member who constantly speaks negative words about situations, circumstances, or about other people. And, there may be a situation going on that is negative. But don’t allow the negative words or the negative report to be the final statement.

What you can do – Choose life, then speak life into that situation. When negative Nancy or Ned begins to talk. Begin to overtake the atmosphere by speaking life and shutting that negativity down! People who are positive and speak life know how to lift the atmosphere around them. Surround yourself with people ( or better yet) be the kind of person, who knows how to charge the atmosphere with words that are filled with life, faith, hope, and love!


5. The Flake

What it looks like – There are many people who value your time and who are excited about making plans with you. Why chase people who don’t follow through? Sometimes people are going through life stuff which makes them unavailable –  and that’s totally understandable. But there are those who simply flake and have the inability to manage their time well and therefore something always comes up. Well, that gets old, fast! The friend who says they have no time to see you, not true. They simply don’t want to prioritize their time on you.

What you can do – Don’t let people take you away (or waste your time) from those you are meant to do life with. People who consistently flake on their friends are probably flaking in other areas of their life too. The last thing you want to do is keep chasing a flake. Your time and your friendship is too valuable. There is an old saying, “go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated.” As we continue to grow and build healthy relationships, I’m reminded of a quote from Pastor Kevin Gerald, Champions Centre in Seattle, WA, “Not all relationships are meant to be forever. Some are for a reason. Some are for a season. And, some are for a lifetime.” 


The Missions is Disciples Not Fans

The Mission is Disciples, Not Fans

One of the things that I love about what I get to do in my life is serve, connect, and work alongside people of all different backgrounds, religious beliefs, race, ethnicity, and nationality. I’m on a senior management team at one of the largest youth serving non-profit organizations in my community. I’m also a pastor and itinerant minister. By the end of this year, we will have reached 26 nations around the world ministering and advancing the Gospel message. I love working in the marketplace and growing the bottom line. I also love preaching the gospel, sending mission groups around the world, and building the local church by advancing God’s Kingdom locally and in other nations. I love working with people in the marketplace who do not know Jesus. I also love working with pastors to help build their vision to serve their local community. I guess what you could call me is a Marketplace Pastor. Because of how God has positioned my work to overlap the marketplace and ministry – I have discovered two things about people who I interact with in the marketplace:

  1. People are truly hungry and seeking more out of life
  2. People are religiously confused about who Jesus is

Believe it or not, there are so many people who are hungry for something deeper and who want more out of life. With everything that has happened in our nation over the last decade and even this last year, people are truly open to the Gospel like never before. America is the greatest mission field for harvest. My greatest pulpit is not at any particular church, but it’s my success within the marketplace, which becomes a platform to influence others.  The 2nd point is the most interesting. Because religion works overtime to confuse and misrepresent the purity and simplicity of the Gospel message. There are so many people who are sincerely confused and/or misinformed about the person of Jesus and what it truly means to be a follower of Jesus. If I had to drill it down, people are missing who Jesus is because of four reasons, and when I say people, I’m speaking of people who are far from God or (unchurched) and people who would call themselves Christians (churched):

1. Poor Christian representation – people who have been hurt by other Christians and churches
2. Poor Christian media representation – people who have been turned off by weird Christian TV preachers
3. Other Religious/Cultish views and opinions brought by inaccurate interpretations of the Bible. – People who are very intelligent sometimes miss the simplicity of the Gospel and begin to be influenced by something that is a false religion or false teaching
4. A lack of empowerment on how to grow and disciple people in their faith – What I see right now for the 21st Century American Church is a strong ability of knowing how to build and grow crowds, but a lack of ability on how to build and grow people in their faith and in their purpose. (Another blog on this later.)

This mission of the church is to make disciples in every nation (Matthew 28:18-19). We are not called to make fans of Jesus, but to make disciples of Jesus.

The greatest churches that will be rising up in this next decade will be those that know how to strategically reach new people, grow people, and send people. Right now in America, you are seeing churches that only do 1 of the 3 very well. The church is called to do all three, at the same time, in harmony – reach people, grow people, and send people. A church that doesn’t reach new people, is a club. A church that doesn’t grow their people, doesn’t influence their community. And a church that doesn’t send people, is typically led by an insecure leader.

Wherever God has placed you in this season whether in the marketplace or in full-time ministry – be a person who adds value to others by growing people in their faith and in their purpose. Discipleship always precedes influence. The reason why are mission is to disciple nations is because God wants His church to lead and influence every circle of industry and society.

Influence and lead where you are at and watch God expand your world.


The Difference Between Speakers and Communicators

No matter what career context you are in – church, philanthropy, business, politics – everyone at some point in their career will give public presentations to an audience. Since my context is more ministry with a background in business, I always love to watch up and coming communicators present content that impacts an audience.

I started public speaking when I was 13 years old. I’ve been doing it for 19 years in domestic and foreign countries. The more you do it, the more frequent you do it, the better you get. Nobody starts out being a great speaker. Even some of the greatest speakers we know today – John Maxwell, TD Jakes, Brian Houston, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Christine Cain, etc… all of them started just like you… growing, fine-tuning themselves, discovering their unique voice, and finding their comfort zone on stage. I had the honor to meet Pastor Joel Osteen and his team a couple of months ago at Lakewood Church in Houston, TX. One thing I learned from him is that he watches himself after and between every Sunday service before the service goes to broadcast. He does this so he can make changes in his presentation or to the service and adjust himself for the following Sunday. My takeaway from that was even Joel Osteen, who pastors America’s largest – one location church still works on being the best communicator he can be. Public speaking is an art and a craft that will always be an ongoing education for yourself. You will never arrive at it. We are all growing in it.

As for my journey, it took me years to find my voice and establish my own style of communicating. It’s tempting to copy someone else’s style, but it’s also dumb too. God has given you a unique message, a fresh sound, a distinctive voice, that only you can do. If two speakers sound the same, speak the same, do the same, then one of you is unnecessary. Be you and you will make an impact.

But, let’s talk about the impact for a second…

I have seen lots of people try to emerge as a speaker. Some of them are good, but to be honest some of them like just having a platform so they can get their 20-30 minutes of fame. There’s really nothing wrong with that per se, but with that approach and mindset comes with a very low ceiling of impact and influence. You can easily tell if a speaker really does care for people or if they just care about their own success. I’ve observed over the years that the truly successful leaders understand the difference between public speakers and communicators. These two people are different in how they prepare, how they think, how they deliver, how they engage, and how they connect with their audience.

To sum it up, communicators are less concerned with making a good impression, and more concerned about adding value, which enables them to be real. I like how my longtime friend, Dr. Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders and author of “Habitudes”:

Let’s break it down.

Public Speakers:

1. Public Speakers want to impress people.
2. Public speakers teach lessons.
3. Puts the message before the people.
4. Asks: What do I have?
5. Emphasizes techniques
6. Focus is the content of the words
7. Polished (image-conscious)
8. Goal: Complete the message.


1. Communicators hope to impact people.
2. Communicators teach people.
3. Puts the people before the message.
4. Asks: What do they need?
5. Emphasizes atmosphere.
6. Focus is a change in the listeners.
7. Personal (impact – conscious)
8. Goal: Complete the people.