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Archive for April, 2013


 

Refer to Step 4: I recognize that God is not the abuser; people who misuse their authority are the abusers.

 

Ambition fortifies the will of man to become ruler over other men: it operates with deception, cajolery, and violence; it is the action of impurity upon impurity.

—T. S. Eliot

In modern day Christendom, the idea of being called to the ministry has undergone a change—at least for many. Because of this change, which at first is subtle in a person, the seeds of religious abusiveness become fertile. In the early church and in the Scriptures, being called to the ministry meant that a person was called to serve others, regardless of how those served might respond. Because the person called was serving the Lord, while serving others, fulfillment came by being faithful to God and to no one else.

By the nature of the office, a minister is the servant of others; or, at least, that’s what the person is supposed to be. In this generation, however, this is no longer the norm. It has flip-flopped. Now, it is the minister who is served and not the other way around.

Because of the minister’s skill and calling, they have been elevated to a class above those to whom they have been called to serve. This reversal of positions has become so entrenched ministers have become celebrities, adored by their followers like rock stars or sports figures. This transformation has become so accepted that few realize how far it has drifted from the original model.

Part of the problem is that the terminology hasn’t changed. Ministers still obsequiously refer to themselves as servants but, in their hearts, many are anything but servants, especially those who become abusive. They are the lords; and when someone gets in their way, the offending person is castigated and discarded, being maligned by “God’s servant” in the process.

This kind of treatment has become so routine that millions have been abused by those who have been called to serve them. It’s one of the major reasons why there are so many have abandoned going to church.

And when it came about that Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.” (Acts 1025-26)

Jack Watts

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Father,

There was a path that seemed so promising—

A road that looked like it was Your way, but it was not.

There were far too many compromises involved

For it to be something You would honor.

In the deepest recesses of my heart,

I knew it—in spite of all my protestations.

I was keenly aware it was my will and not Yours.

Nevertheless, I followed the wrong path,

Paying a terrible price for having done so.

Later, when I had no other recourse available,

I came to You—sorrowful, humbled, and crushed—

With hat in hand, ready and willing to be changed.

This time, instead of medicating my pain with vice,

I endured the obligatory heartache for a period,

Which I was certain was far too long,

But You knew it was exactly what I required.

You promised that if I would humble myself

You would exalt me at the proper time.

I didn’t believe this was true, not literally—

Nor that You would do it, not really.

But You have, and I can clearly see

Your hand in the restoration of my life.

Now, I stand strong, far wiser, and more resilient,

With a calm, sane, and joyful countenance.

Humbling myself because I had no alternative,

I never considered that in Your wisdom,

You had orchestrated my circumstances

In a way that I would eventually seek You out.

This wasn’t the road I would have chosen for myself,

But it’s the road You have chosen for me.

I wish I could say that I have learned all my lessons,

But I know who I am. I know that in my own heart—

I am prone to wander—prone to leave the God I love.

Father, take my heart and prevent it from

Following another fruitless path, leading nowhere.

Jack Watts   Real Prayers for Real People with Real Problems 

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Father,

In the midst of my despair,

When at night I longed for the day,

And in the daytime desired it to be evening,

When sorrows made it difficult to breathe,

You were always there beside me,

Even when I was certain that You were not.

As fear relentlessly rattled my being,

You continued transforming who I would become.

Ever mindful of my frailties and weaknesses,

You purged and pruned and cleansed.

Then, one day, as I waited for the gloom

To overwhelm me once again,

Which had become my daily routine,

It was gone, vanishing like it had never been there,

Leaving me stronger, more resilient, and far wiser.

Journal: Have you ever had an experience like this? Write about it.

If you ask the spiritual leader about his or her display of materialism, they will probably say, “It’s proof of God’s blessing.” Then, they will be quick to add, “You can also receive abundance like this, if you will give, expecting great things in return.” If you use your head and think for yourself, you’ll recognize that this is proof that the leader is adept at manipulating people to make sacrificial gifts to the ministry. Those who give, however, are not innocent in this scenario. They are giving with the expectation of abundance to follow, which means it’s not true giving at all but a quid pro quo barter with God.

Journal: Examine your own conscience about this. When you give, is it really giving, or is it giving to get something in return? Write out your answer.

To experience the highest level of recovery, not only do your actions have to display honesty but your thoughts and desires must also be based upon integrity. There’s simply no other way. Without being honest at this level—where your conscience is completely clear—you will never be the person you are capable of being. It’s just not possible.

Journal: What about your thoughts? React to the statement above, either positively or negatively, writing out your reply.

In recovery from religious abuse, helping others along the path to spiritual freedom is also an integral part of recovery, but it’s a little different than in a substance abuse program. To be the greatest help to someone who has been spiritually abused, you must learn to identify God’s interest in them rather than your own.

Journal: Do you know how to identify God’s interests in another? Write out your answer.

After living in recovery for a while, however, things may get a little stale, and you may slip back into some old patterns of behavior, which probably will not serve you well. When this happens—and it will—you need to exercise your will and get back to work on yourself. Remember this: Recovery is not a destination but a continuous work in progress. In one sense, you never arrive—you’re not supposed to.

Question: What do you think about this? Have you ever considered recovery to be a process and not a final destination? Do you realize that developing a new way of life is the answer and not the method?

Jack Watts

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Refer to Step 11: I make a commitment to nurture my relationship with the Lord, asking Him to reveal His will to me and to provide me with the power to carry it out.

  

To find what you seek in the road of life, the best proverb of all is that which says: “Leave no stone unturned.”

—Edward Bulwer Lytton

When you are in the pit, feeling worthless, unloved, rejected, and discarded, working the 11 Steps to recovery from religious abuse can be one of the most worthwhile, meaningful times of your life—even though the effort will certainly be very stressful. Once you’ve worked the steps, however, and have learned to reconnect with God in a meaningful way, life can become rich and rewarding once again. In fact, it should.

After living in recovery for a while, however, things may get a little stale, and you may slip back into some old patterns of behavior, which probably will not serve you well. When this happens—and it will—you need to exercise your will and return to working on yourself. Remember this: recovery is not a destination but a continuous work in progress. In one sense, you never arrive—you’re not supposed to. Enjoying the journey becomes the destination, and it can become very fulfilling.

What you are supposed to do is to spend time in your relationship with God, always seeking His will for your life and asking Him for the power to carry it out. When you do this, it will work every time. It’s like exercising. Sometimes, you just don’t want to do it and have to force yourself to get started. Once you do, however, you’re almost always thrilled you did.

It’s also like Manna in the desert, which was there everyday—but only for that day. You can’t stock up on it; it rots. This means you have to work your program every day until it becomes as natural to you as brushing your teeth. Nothing short of this will work the way you hope it will. So, when you don’t want to make the effort, using your willpower, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and do it.

For every one who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Hebrews 5:13-14)

Jack Watts

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Refer to Step 10: I choose to believe God still has a purpose for my life—a purpose for good and not evil.

There is a time to let things happen, and a time to make things happen.

—Unknown

One of the really great recovery slogans in Alcoholics Anonymous is this: It really isn’t yours until you give it away.

What this means is that—to solidify all that you have accomplished in sobriety—to own it as the essence of who you really are, you must help someone in the same way that you have been helped. This makes helping others an essential aspect of your recovery. In AA and other substance abuse programs, helping others, by becoming a sponsor, is one of the key components of the program. They say, “The time to call your sponsor is before you pick up a drink—not after.”

In recovery from religious abuse, helping others along the path to spiritual freedom is also an integral part of recovery, but it’s a little different than in a substance abuse program. To be the greatest help to someone who has been spiritually abused, you must learn to identify God’s interest in them rather than your own.

This requires you to really get to know the person, pray for them regularly, and listen for God’s leading in their lives. In AA, the most important thing a sponsor can do is to teach those they are sponsoring how to live life on life’s terms, without medicating with alcohol. It’s noble and worthy, but it’s also simple when compared to helping someone redevelop his or her relationship with God, once it has been damaged by religious abuse.

If you can learn how to serve another in this way, you will have done a service that will have eternal ramifications. There’s nothing like it in importance. If you want to invest your life in a worthy way, help someone who has been the victim of religious abuse reconnect with God in a meaningful way. It’s hard work, but if you have success with it, nothing in life will be more rewarding.

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13)

Jack Watts

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Refer to Step 7: I commit to being as thorough and honest as I am able.

 

This above all—to thine ownself be true;

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

—William Shakespeare

Maintaining rigorous honesty is absolutely essential for your recovery to have long-term value. Without such a commitment, it will be short-lived, valueless, and none of the changes you have sought will be permanent.

Being honest, however, can occasionally be tricky. For example, you can be honest on the outside, ascribing noble reasons for your goals, while maintaining less-than-noble aspirations on the inside. Being crafty is never being honest. Any attempt at self-deception will prove to be self-destructive—no matter how hard you try to spin the truth in your mind, making deception seem okay.

To experience the highest level of recovery, not only do your actions have to display honesty but your thoughts and desires must also be based upon integrity. There’s simply no other way. Without being honest at this level—where your conscience is completely clear—you will never be the person you are capable of being. It’s just not possible.

That’s why taking personal inventory routinely is an essential component of recovery. Remember, the human heart is capable of incredible deception. To others, you may appear to be completely straightforward but on the inside—where it really counts—you may be manipulating the situation to attain self-serving goals.

When an issue comes up that causes you consternation, bring it to God immediately and ask Him what is the right thing to do. If you are being open and honest, the answer will come sooner or later. When it does, act upon it immediately. If you don’t, you will be in for a world of heartache. If you can say to yourself, “I’m doing the right thing, for the right reason, at the right time,” you will be certain you are walking in the light and that your recovery is progressing nicely.

O Lord, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. (Psalm 15:1-2)

Jack Watts   The Search for Reality

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Refer to Step 4: I recognize that God is not the abuser; rather, people who misuse their authority are the abusers.

 

The love for material things grows like a fungus in the soul and destroys the loveliness of the human heart utterly.

—Caryll Houselander

Ask yourself this: when you see a ministry or church that focuses on stewardship, have you ever seen the leader show any indications of impoverishment? Is there any sign of legitimate need, or does the leader look like a million dollars? Be certain to take a long, hard, and appraising look. Does the leader have a new car? A Rolex? A diamond pinky ring? A magnificent home? Custom made clothes? Does his or her life ooze with “the finer things of life?”

If the answer to any of these questions—or all of them—is yes, then those who follow leaders like these are being religiously abused, whether they recognize it or not. Does this situation seem similar? If so, you’re not alone. It’s common, especially among those who preach the Prosperity Gospel.

It’s a house of cards that’s destructive to every one who has any part of it. If you ask the spiritual leader about his or her display of materialism, they will probably say, “It’s proof of God’s blessing.” Then, they will be quick to add, “You can also receive abundance like this, if you will give, expecting great things in return.”

If you use your head and think for yourself, you’ll recognize this is proof the leader is adept at manipulating people to make sacrificial gifts to the ministry. Those who give, however, are not innocent in this scenario. They are giving with the expectation of abundance to follow, which means it’s not true giving but a quid pro quo barter with God.

Examine your own conscience about this. When you give, is it really giving, or is it giving to get something in return? If it’s the latter, it’s materialism motivated by greed, and that’s never Christ-like. It doesn’t count for anything other than your ability to be manipulated by an abusive religious leader.

And He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

Jack Watts

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Father,

The darkness has lifted—

Darkness permitted by You

To refine my character,

Purging many of my foolish ways,

Allowing me to become more like

The man I’m supposed to be—

The man I’ve always wanted to be,

But have never been—

Not on the inside where it counts.

In the midst of my despair,

When at night I longed for the day,

And in the day desired the comfort of evening,

When sorrows made it difficult to breathe,

You were always there beside me,

Even when I was certain that You were not.

As fear relentlessly rattled my being,

You continued to transform who I would become.

Ever mindful of my frailties and weaknesses,

You purged and pruned and cleansed.

Then, one day, as I waited for the gloom

To overwhelm me once again,

Which had become my daily routine,

It was gone, vanishing like it had never existed,

Leaving me stronger, more resilient, and far wiser.

My purpose for life returned, along with my smile,

As I embraced the future with renewed enthusiasm—

No longer chained to my heartache,

No longer imprisoned by my distress.

Jack Watts   Real Prayers

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Father,

I feel like I need to cringe

And not hold my head up high.

I feel like I need to lurk in the darkness

Rather than boldly embrace the light.

I feel like You don’t love me,

And I wonder, How could You?

I know I don’t love myself

And I probably never will.

 

Question: Have you ever felt like this? Do you feel this way now? After being abused, many do.

Today’s Christians seek an advantage in everything they do, precisely like non-Christians. When Christians give, they expect something in return. In their minds, they say; “If I give this, what will You give me in return?” Or, “If I do what you ask, how will it enhance my position in the church and the community?”

Question: Is this statement true? Do you agree with the assessment or disagree with it?

If you want to have a solid relationship with God, you have to become an obedient child—not a spoiled brat. To do this, you must leave your complexities at the door, humble yourself, and believe God is everything He says that He is. It’s not easy. It’s much more natural to try and figure everything out for yourself, make your own decisions, and assume that God will “rubber stamp” your efforts.

Journal: Write about yourself. Have you been a good child or a spoiled one? Be honest and tell God where you are in your walk with Him.

Being short on strong, heartfelt faith, many either become legalists or sentimentalists. The former doggedly pursue Christianity, trying to enforce harsh rules upon themselves and others, which is decidedly unappealing to most. The latter relegate Christianity to a small area of their life, choosing to believe but not allowing their beliefs to impact their lives appreciably.

Question: Which have you been? Do you have legalistic tendencies or sentimental ones? Be honest and admit where you are.

 

In the aftermath of religious abuse—or any kind of abuse, an interesting phenomenon occurs, which might be described best as “Piling On.” It’s where others within a religious organization, perhaps all, join in with the abuser, pouring out rejection, castigation, and false witness—all of which are perceived as justified by the group dynamic.

Question: In your situation, was the piling on effect in operation? When it happened, were you surprised by it? Have you ever piled on yourself?

Jack Watts   Recommended Resources

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Refer to Step 11: I make a commitment to nurture my relationship with God, asking Him to reveal His will to me and to give me the power to carry it out.

 

Among the attributes of God, although they are all equal, mercy shines with even more brilliancy than justice.

—Miguel De Cervantes

In the aftermath of religious abuse—or any kind of abuse—an interesting phenomenon occurs. It might best be described best as “Piling On.” It’s where others within a the organization, perhaps all of them, join in with the abuser, pouring out rejection, castigation, and false witness—all of which are perceived as justified by the group dynamic.

This kind of corporate cruelty sends the abused person into a tailspin from which few return to a healthy walk with God. Most of those doing the piling on don’t think about their actions seriously enough to realize the full impact of their rejecting castigation, but the person to whom it’s directed feels it acutely. It wounds them deeply—at the core of his or her being—producing feelings of shame and worthlessness.

Tragically, church people do this so frequently that it’s one of the characteristics non-believers recognize most often about them. Referring to Christians as hypocrites, they point the same condemning finger that Christians point. Church people—never recognizing how un-Christ like their condemnation is—circle their wagons, mutually reinforcing one another as being “right.” In their minds, they have made a stand for Jesus. Having done the right thing, their attitude is, let the chips fall where they may.

When this happens, and it happens regularly, an opportunity for kindness, help, and reconciliation has been lost, reinforcing another legalistic outcome, which hurts all parties.

In recovery, one of the first lessons to learn is this: if you’re going to err, err on the side of being merciful rather than on the side of being right. God’s kingdom is full of Pharisee’s. What are needed are more people who recognize the problem and yet do not point a condemning finger. If this happens, real caring and healing can occur. Because recovering people have had similar experiences, it’s up to people like us—the walking wounded—to set the standard higher.

So speak and so act, as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:12-13)

Jack Watts   Real Prayers for Real People with Real Problems

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Refer to Step 9: I humbly ask God to change anything He wishes.

 

The brightest crowns that are worn in heaven have been tried, and smelted, polished, and glorified through the furnace of tribulation.

—E. H. Chapin

For faith to have any lasting impact on you or others, it must be robust—filled with confidence that God is in charge and knows exactly what He is doing. Does that sound like a tall order? If you’re being honest with yourself, you’ll probably admit that it does. Like most, you wish you were a stronger person; but in your heart, you probably know you are not.

If this is an accurate depiction of you, you’re not alone. America is full of Christians who lack the strength of their convictions. Being short of strong, heartfelt faith, they either become legalists or sentimentalists. The former doggedly pursue Christianity, trying to enforce harsh rules upon themselves and others, which is decidedly unappealing. The latter relegate Christianity to a small portion of their life, choosing to believe but not allowing their beliefs to impact their lives appreciably.

In America, there are more Christians sentimentalists than any other variety. They are certainly more fun to be around than legalists but, being shallow, they lack the resilience to have much value when the chips are down, and the chips are definitely down.

This is where the value of being in recovery comes in. By having to dig deeply within, recovering people develop a toughness that eventually becomes significant for others. Because their faith has been tested by fire, their resilience becomes established, allowing them to develop strong, positive internal character qualities. Sentimentalists, by way of contrast, do little more than hope for a “divine bailout” in the form of being Raptured, which justifies their weakness with a “Last-Days” mentality, which venerates apathetic “lukewarm-ness.”

If you have experienced religious abuse, regardless of the reasons, at least you can know that the pain you have suffered doesn’t need to be in vain. If you are still suffering from your abuse, rest assured your future will have value—perhaps great value. By fighting back, you are creating strong, resilient character qualities that will be vitally important in the years ahead.

Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. (Hebrews 10:35-36)

Jack Watts   The Search for Reality

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Refer to Step 5: I recognize that the only way back to a productive life is exactly the way I came. Therefore, I commit to repairing my relationship with God.

 

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

—C. S. Lewis

Everybody wants his or her prayers answered. That’s no surprise, but many people—perhaps most—really don’t want what God wants. He desire is to develop a deep relationship with each of His children, which most people rarely even consider. They just want what they want and for God to grant their wishes. It’s as simple as that, and when they don’t have their demands met, they become angry with Him for not coming through for them.

It’s like everything else in life. You have to do the work necessary for anything worthwhile before you achieve the success you desire. If you want to be a scholar, you have to read. If you want to be an athlete, you have to exercise consistently. If you want to have a solid relationship with God, you have to become an obedient child—not a spoiled brat.

To do this, you must leave your complexities at the door, humble yourself, and believe God is everything He says that He is. It’s not easy. It’s much more natural to try and figure everything out for yourself, make your own decisions, and assume that God will “rubber stamp” your efforts.

That’s what most people do, and they’re surprised when they have no peace, joy, or fulfillment in their lives. They just don’t get it. All they have to do is become like a little child, who has complete dependence and reliance upon a loving, benevolent father. It doesn’t get any simpler or more complex than this. If your prayers aren’t being answered, don’t become verbose with God. Become simple instead, but remember, He is God and you are not, and what He wants more than anything is for you to get to know Him.

And He called a child to Himself and stood him in their midst, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2-4)

Jack Watts   Real Prayers for Real People with Real Problems

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Refer to Step 3: I accept that the responsibility for getting back on track is mine and no one else’s.

 

It is one of the worst effects of prosperity to make a man a vortex instead of a fountain; so that, instead of throwing out, he learns only to draw in.

—Henry Ward Beecher

Unfortunately, this generation of Christians has proven to be one of the weakest of all time. While there are millions who call themselves God’s children, most lead lives similar to people who have no interest in God or Christianity. Most Americans are hardened materialists, and so are most Christians.

Today’s Christians seek an advantage in everything they do, precisely like non-Christians. When Christians give, they expect something in return. In their minds, they say; “If I give this, what will You give me in return?” Or, “If I do what you ask, how will it enhance my position in the church and in the community?”

People might couch their calculations in noble, selfless terms, precisely like a Pharisee would have in Christ’s day, but at the core of their being, they are calculating a profit or something that will elevate their status. This is the generation of “What’s in it for me?”

If this is true for rank and file believers, it’s even truer for religious leaders. In nearly everything they do, there is a self-seeking component to it. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be, and none of it furthers God’s work on earth. Plus, it’s why there is so much religious abuse. When Christians—leaders and followers—are all self-seeking, nobody wins, especially the Lord. If Christianity is anything, it’s about serving others, expecting nothing in return.

Christian leaders talk about being the servants of all but, by their actions, they are anything but servants, as they enhance their status by using, abusing, and discarding those who get in their way to stardom.

For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:18-20)

Jack Watts   The Search for Reality

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Father,

My heart aches,

And I feel so unworthy

To come before You.

I feel worthless and,

By the contemptuous smirk of others,

I’m certain this is true.

I feel so ashamed of myself,

And nobody is there to say,

“It’s okay. God is there for you

No matter what.”

I feel like I need to cringe

And not hold my head up high.

I feel like I need to lurk in the darkness

Rather than boldly embrace the light.

I feel like You don’t love me,

And I wonder, How could You?

I know I don’t love myself,

And I probably never will.

And yet, in the depth of my shame,

You are there, always vigilant,

Always available, always telling me,

My child, I know what you’ve done.

I know how badly you feel.

I know you think your life has no value,

But that’s not how I see you—not at all.

In spite of everything, I love you

Just the way you are.

That’s why I sent My Son.

He bore your shame, washing it clean.

Now, you are whiter than snow.

Leave the past and your sense of shame behind.

Hold your head up high and walk

Into the future with Me guiding the way.

I still have a plan for you—a plan

Filled with hope and with promise.

Jack Watts   Real Prayers for Real People with Real Problems

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Father,

As I watch them and listen, I remember

When I was young, naïve, and shallow—

Unable to discern their deceptive ways.

Their hearts were devious, self-absorbed, and cunning,

Harboring deceit and treachery,

While maintaining a facade of godly humility.

In my innocence and naïveté, I knew no better,

Believing they had been sent by You

And that they had my best interest at heart.

Journal: How were you deceived? Try to write about the things that drew you to your abuser.

 

Invite God to join you exactly where you are. Even if it’s into the deepest, darkest emotional pit, He will join You and, once that happens He will never leave you. After you have opened yourself up like this, thank God for everything He will do to do to make you into the person He wants you to be.

Journal: Write about the emotional pit you were in. If you are still in it, write about that as well.

Because of their “profound experience” and their elevated leadership stature, in their eyes, anything they do is okay. After all, they’ve “been chosen” to lead. They forget their walk is moment-by-moment, with the Lord providing illumination for the next step forward and nothing else. They forget they need grace and mercy just like everyone else. Because they believe they are superior, they treat others with less importance. Although they would not admit it publically, to those chosen to lead, they believe that being a follower is a lesser calling.

Question: Was this how your abuser thought of himself or herself? Were you treated as someone with a lesser calling? How did this make you feel? How does it make you feel now?

Reasoning that the ministry goals supersede the need to be fundamentally fair with those who labor for them, they cheat people out of what they are owed and think they are being obedient to the Lord when they do it. Often, they applaud such decisions, counting the money saved by their penurious behavior as a sign of godly stewardship.

Journal: Write about an experience that comes to mind.

Part of spiritual abuse is being falsely accused. As you can imagine, it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. Everything in you screams out for vindication and revenge. You want to let the entire world know that you have done nothing wrong. In spite of your embarrassment, everything inside of you insists on setting the record straight—immediately, not later.

Question: The normal, healthy, appropriate thing to do is to fight back, and that’s exactly what you intend to do. Does this sound familiar? Is this how you feel? The idea of turning your other cheek isn’t something you would ever consider, right? You want retribution—not forgiveness. If this is true, admit the exact state of your heart to God.

Jack Watts   Recommended Resources

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