When alcohol ceased to work, I increased the medication, drinking more with greater frequently. That’s how out of balance I was. Finally in 1993, I admitted I was an alcoholic. By that point, however, I had wasted an entire generation of my life—twenty years.
As I embraced sobriety, I began to reflect upon the past and discovered patterns for my acting-out behavior—patterns that were predictable based upon my response to abusiveness. As I began to discover who I really was, which was far different than the castigations of my accusers, I turned my face to God rather than away from Him. When I did, I began to heal, and the real Jack Watts began to emerge. It was slow at first but, once I made the transition, the changes became irreversible, as God began to strengthen me with power in the inner man.
Although the abuse could have destroyed me, the Lord wouldn’t allow it—He had other plans. What others meant for evil, God meant for good. Having gone through years of heartache weathered me, as I began to look beyond myself—beyond my self-centeredness. When I did, I saw people wherever I went with experiences similar to mine—people acting out to camouflage their wounds.
My conclusion was this: Abusiveness in Christendom is rampant. Even worse, those who had been abused have no voice, no champion, no one to speak for them. They may be the real silent majority, living half-lives, existing on the fringes of Christianity—ashamed and broken, starved for attention and acceptance. Pastors all over America routinely give sermons about leaving “the 99 sheep” which are safe to find “the one” which is lost, but those who have been abused are never considered lost—just forgotten. How tragic. How wasteful. How un-Christlike.
Churches have missed God’s heart about these multiplied millions—big time. Incarcerated prisoners receive far more attention than those who have left the church because of religious abuse. Discarded believers are everywhere, languishing in despair, unloved and discounted. That’s what Pushing Jesus is all about—those who have been deemed useless.