You know the difference between poison and venom… if you bite it and you die – it’s poison, if it bites you and you die – it’s venomous. The same can be true of certain people.
Some people can be poisonous; you make the foolish decision to interact with them, to play along with their foolishness. The adulterous woman from Proverbs 5 is poison. It’s a death trap. “For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death (v3-5)“. This is what some people are like. They draw others into their twisted view of the world. People die by their own decision to drink it all in.
Other people can be venomous. They are always on the attack. Always on the offensive. Always ready for a fight. They speak lies and claim evils have been done. They leave destruction in their wake. And you can get taken down if you happen to be in their line of sight. These are the advisors to Darius in Daniel 6, “Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.””
You can avoid neither, but it helps to know which one you’re dealing with.