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Archive for the ‘Racism’ Category


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To thine own self be true—Shakespeare

 

Father,

Unlike most, I know I have it all together.

I am a person of substance and value.

People listen when I speak,

As words of wisdom roll mellifluously

From the essence of my being.

My life is an example for others to follow.

At least, this was who I considered myself to be.

Then, You came and shook my foundation,

Which was not built upon anything worthwhile.

Knowing my vulnerabilities and insecurities,

You rocked my world like no other.

In an instant—in a flash, I was undone.

I was not who I thought I was.

I was not what I claimed to be.

 

When You revealed me to myself,

I stood naked—laid bare before Your eyes,

Unable to hide my shortcomings from Your scrutiny,

From the truth of who I really was.

Broken, embarrassed, and unnerved,

I recoiled, consumed with shame and humiliation.

In my despair, those who claimed their loyalty

Abandoned me, while enemies delighted at my misfortune.

In an instant, Your blessings—the outward manifestation

Of all I thought to be of value—seemed to vanish.

No longer confident, I am fearful of the future.

Like no other, you have shaken me,

Revealing me to myself, and I am undone.

 

Father, when will this nightmare end?

When will it be enough?

When will Your heavy hand of discipline subside,

Restoring me to a life of peace, joy, and purpose?

Will Your pruning ever abate, or will it last a lifetime?

Only You know; only You have the answer.

Be merciful to me, for I have learned my lesson.

O, how I regret my arrogant, self-serving ways

That I was too foolish to see or to acknowledge.

I beseech You—Hasten the day of my restoration,

Lest my sorrows overwhelm me,

Amen.

 

 

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials; knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

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Leaving the Outcome to God

The results are in God’s hands—AA Slogan

Father,

Understanding Your leading is not always difficult.

You are crystal clear about so many things—

About honesty, fidelity, and caring for others.

With these, it impossible to misunderstand Your will,

But most of life isn’t this simple—

Nor is Your will that easy to discern.

It is not always crystal clear—

Not black and white—the way I wish it would like be.

Instead, it’s various hues of gray, making choices perplexing.

It seems like I am never clear about Your direction,

And yet You expect me to follow You blindly,

Putting my trust in You without reservation.

As I try to discern Your leading, I have been forced

To step out in faith and be bold many times,

Without any idea of what was ahead for me,

Or of what the results of my actions would be.

Nothing ever seems to end the way I think it should

Or the way I thought it would, forcing me to wonder

If I have understood You accurately. I wonder

If have I done nothing more than project my desires,

Calling them Your leading, when they really were not.

As I walk by faith, I rarely receive the answers I expect,

Which You could disclose to me but never seem to do.

I look at my situation, demanding to know the outcome,

While You already knowing what that will be.

Your ways are beyond my ability to discern.

 

As others view my life, scornfully mocking,

Delighting at what looks like my certain failure,

I can count on Your assurance that You know

What You have planned for my life.

No matter how contemptuously others may view my plight,

From the depth of my soul, Your voice constantly assures me

That You are in charge. You are God Almighty, and I am not.

As I acquiesce to You, my soul is quieted, and I become still.

When I obediently release the outcome to You,

I accept that I may look foolish to many, especially on the outside;

But on the inside—where it really counts—

I’m becoming incredibly strong in ways destined to have value.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Jack Watts

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God Deals with Obstinacy

 

Let go and let God—AA Slogan

 

 

Father,

I’m praying because I know I should,

Not because it is heartfelt.

I can do things for myself.

I always have—always will.

I don’t need Your help—not really.

“Bring it on,” is my motto.

In my heart, this is how I feel—

At least, most often than not.

I’m not trying to hurt anybody,

But I don’t really trust people either—

Not even You, Lord, not even You.

As I grit my teeth obstinately,

Insolently I think, I can handle anything.

 

Then, You allow adversity to have full reign,

Shaking me to the core of my existence.

Defiantly, I fight You each step of the way,

Refusing to learn the lesson I’m being taught.

My proud, headstrong attitude defines who I am.

Undaunted by my inflexibility,

You increase the pressure upon me,

And I wince and whine at the discomfort,

But I will not yield—not yet.

I still have so much fight left in me.

I cannot submit; I will not submit.

Then, You double the pressure, redoubling it once again.

Finally, when I can stand no more,

I break—just a little and, in my bewildered distress,

I cry out imploringly, “Lord? What have I done?”

As if completely innocent, I ask, “Why is this happening?”

Revealing Your purpose, You allow me to recognize

Just how much my world required shaking.

Finally, coming to the end of my intransigence,

I acknowledge what I should have earlier,

“Your will is what I desire. Do with me as You please,

You are Almighty God, and I am not,

Amen.”

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, or angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor thins to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)

Jack Watts

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Insisting on My Way

Let go and let God—AA Slogan

 

Father,

I want to control the outcome

Of events that impact my life.

You know that the desire of my heart

Is for You to orchestrate circumstances

That would allow me to have my own way.

I pretend to more noble than this,

But I really am not.

When things don’t go the way I want—

The way I want them to be—

Which seems to occur far too often,

I become sulky, peevish, and petulant.

I resent that You don’t conform Your will to mine,

Even though my desires might not be the best thing.

When I behave like a child, I think like one as well,

But I don’t realize how juvenile my thinking has become.

It never occurs to me until my fretful emotions

Have run the gambit and I am spent—

Emotionally exhausted from dictating my will to You.

When I become worn out from stress—like always—

I become humble, contrite and sorrowful,

Realizing that You are God, and I am not.

Forgive me for my waywardness, and restore

A sense of humility to me.

Teach me to focus on my role,

Which is to do the next right thing,

Regardless of what that might be,

Rather than the things I cannot control—

Which are clearly in Your domain.

I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself; nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O Lord, but with justice; not with Thy anger, lest Thou bring me to nothing. (Jeremiah 10:23-24)

Jack Watts

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When a person has been verbally or emotionally abused, feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem are inevitable. There doesn’t seem to be any way around it—at least, for a while. It’s very sad, but it appears that character destruction is often what abusers intend. It’s hard to believe that there can be people who are so mean-spirited, but there are.

To recover from such malicious treatment, the abused person needs to make a conscious, concerted effort to reject the castigating message, which has undermined his or her self-esteem. It isn’t true—even if the person has done some less than honorable things.

If this is what has happened to you, then you need to know God continues to have a plan for your life. God still loves you, and everything can work together for good, if you will allow it. To do this, you need to renew your mind and tell yourself constantly and repeatedly that you have value to God, to yourself, and to everyone you know.

This isn’t simply the power of positive thinking or looking at the glass as half full; it’s the truth. God does still love you, and He does have plans for you. Tell yourself this, repeatedly. Realizing that God’s love is constant, more than any thing, will help you become everything you are capable of being in life.

If you want to renew your mind and be the person God intended you to be, join me in this prayer:

Father,

The wounds from my abuse run deep,

Creating shame, anger, and

An Overwhelming sense of worthlessness

That enervates every area of my life.

With my mouth, I deny that

This is how I see myself,

But in the recesses of my mind,

I wonder if my abusers were correct about me.

Maybe my life has little value, after all,

Precisely like I have been told.

When it happened, I was as angry

With You as I was with them.

Being in a position of spiritual authority,

I assumed that they spoke for You,

Which they clearly indicated was true.

Feeling such pain and humiliation form my rebuke,

It never occurred to me

That Your Son was also abused—

Just like I have been—

By those who were hateful and self-serving.

You allowed Christ’s abuse—just like you allowed mine.

But what His abusers meant for evil,

You meant for good, redeeming Mankind.

Without His suffering, all would be lost.

Please redeem my life in the same way,

And use it for something of value—

Whatever that might be.

Turn my weakness into strength,

And my broken spirit into something

That is strong, substantive, and purposeful.

Amen.

http://sonomachristianhome.com/2014/12/god-still-loves-you-helping-wounded-christians-heal/

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Rattled but Not Crushed

 

 

Refer to Step 4: I choose to believe what God says about Himself: that He is good and can be trusted. I recognize that God is not the abuser; rather, people who misuse their authority are the abusers.

 

It will not do, my friend, to grant an easy indulgence to natural appetite and desire, for they ever seek to be our masters.

—T.S. Arthur

 

When things go wrong in your life and you’re convinced God has abandoned you, it will shake your faith, regardless of how strong it might be. At the same time, the disquietude that comes from this doesn’t have to be destructive. In fact, it can be very constructive, depending on what you do with it.

When I was a young man, I prayed, “Thank you, Lord, for always being there for me and for not allowing anything difficult to happen in my life. I have You to thank for that, and I do thank You.”

I was thirty-three when I said this prayer, and I meant every word of it. It was true. From nearly that moment forward, however, things began to change. Nothing seemed to go right—except for one thing. My relationship with Christ grew through my adversities—not in spite of them. It wasn’t a steady line, and I routinely fought Him by indulging in anger and self-pity, neither of which helped me mature or resolve anything. As one difficulty after another threatened to overwhelm me, my faith and commitment to Christ increased rather than diminished—not because that was what I had planned or wanted, but because I had no alternative.

He was all I had. After years of wandering in a fruitless desert, I finally understood the line from my favorite Christian song, which says, “Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise.” When I was young, that’s all I wanted—riches and praise. Now, such desires seem shallow and vapid. When I was young, I wanted what the Lord could do for me more than for who He was. My thoughts and desires were completely self-serving, and sometimes still are.

For the most part, that has changed, however, and all it required was three decades of pruning. My adversity may have rattled me, but it has also made me stronger—much stronger. I may not be rich, but I definitely have greater value than ever before.

Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:4-5)

Jack Watts

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I’m close to half way with Unholy Seduction. Here’s an excerpt:

My enlightenment came with a heavy price, as each of his words sank deep within my heart, disillusioning me in the process. By the time our conversation ended twenty minutes later, my spirit was broken. I had left Believer’s Crusade emotionally—never to return. It was no longer even a consideration. My life’s purpose had been dismantled in one, thirty-minute phone call.

Being young, I had no idea how difficult it would be to find a renewed sense of purpose. Such thoughts were too lofty for me and never entered my mind.

Devastated and appalled, in one day, I went from being a Crusader to being an anti-Crusader, with equal fervor. Embittered by what I had learned, like my mentor, I began throwing stones at Crusade, as well as organized religion in general. I called dozens of friends nationwide in the days that followed. When I informed each about what had happened, they abandoned Crusade as well.

The ministry, which had enjoyed yearly growth since its inception, experienced a significant dip that year. Nevertheless, Crusade never acknowledged its duplicity. Instead, it doubled down on its deception. Nearly a half a century later, there are millions who continue to believe in the Miracle of Escondido—a miracle that never occurred.

For a while, a long while, bitterness consumed me. I had trusted Crusade and Hixson’s leadership completely, so the wounds produced by Jonathan’s revelation nestled deep within my soul, taking firm grip. I was angry. My sense of fairness had been offended—big time.

I also lost a great deal of respect for Jonathan, who only divulged the truth when it served his purpose to do so. I felt like he had betrayed me as well—at least somewhat. The discovery, coupled with having to be disingenuous with people like Governor Maddox, just to survive, made me question everything I was doing. By not repudiating the Governor’s distorted worldview, choosing instead to take his money, I had also been deceptive.

Having to admit this to myself was a difficult, but it was the truth. I came to the conclusion that I could never live like this again, which meant I would have to alter my career path dramatically.

Almighty God never honors duplicity. How could He? My life’s purpose had been shaken, and everything concerning it came crashing to the ground, shattering my carefully constructed reality. What I didn’t understand at the time was how difficult it would be to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

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Abandoning Self-Vindication

 

 

Refer to Step 9:I humbly ask God to change anything He wishes, and I ask Him to heal my pain. Because God forgives us as we forgive others, I forgive my abusers.

 

 

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.

—Josh Billings

 

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.

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. But that’s not how the Lord operated, is it? He was so focused upon doing the will of the Father; He never defended Himself when falsely accused. He never lifted a finger, and He certainly could have. Could you do something that selfless? Would it even occur to you this might be what the Lord wants from you?

In recovery, choosing to forgive is as difficult as it gets, and it’s hard to think about the future when everything inside of you wants to fight back. Vindication can be obtained, but it’s best left in the Lord’s hands. Let Him be your advocate.

Reflect back and think about what would have happened in your own situation if you had not focused on vindication. I know this is difficult, but just imagine—what if! What did acting on your anger accomplish—other than making you feel good for a very short period of time? Long-term, it probably did more harm than good. If you reflect upon the alternative, outcome it may help you in the future.

 

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. (I Peter 2:21-23)

Jack Watts

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Condemnation—Beating the Sheep

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

 

 

The only true law is that which leads to freedom . . . There is no other.

—Richard Bach

In the Scriptures, it’s clear there is “no condemnation” for those who have a relationship with Christ. It’s removed, as far as the east is from the west and is no longer an issue between God and Man. It has been resolved, freeing Mankind from the wages of self-defeating behavior. There is no principle in Scripture that is clearer than the fact that there is “no condemnation” for believers.

At the same time, it’s the weapon of choice for most religious abusers. They wield condemnation like a sword, constantly pointing their finger at people, scolding them for the way they behave. Because the abuser is in a position of power, the condemnation resonates, finding fertile ground in the soil of the abused person’s heart.

Even though the Bible is clear that the issue of condemnation has been resolved, abused people accept such indictments as if it they were true. As a result, they recoil, internalizing their castigation—as if it came from God Himself, which it definitely did not.

God is not the author of abuse. Those who use their authority inappropriately are the abusers. Sadly, most abused people miss this simple truth, paying a heavy price as a result.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. You can either believe what your abuser says, or you can believe what the Scriptures teach. The former leads to enslavement; the latter to freedom and emotional health. If you have accepted your condemnation as true, which most abused people do, there is hope for you. Your freedom can come quickly. All you have to do is believe what God says about you and not what your abuser says. It’s as simple as that.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. (John 8:32)

—Jack Watts

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Sometimes, a Little Can Be a Lot

 

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.

 

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves—Amelia Earhart

 

Christianity is brimming with people who want to do great and noble things for God. If you ask them, they’ll tell you how much they are capable of accomplishing. Their aspirations are usually altruistic, noble, and grand. The problem is, more often than not, God doesn’t usually want what they do.

What He wants is for people to do simple, mundane things for others—nothing ostentatious or glamorous. The goal of Christians, who are grandiose, might be to “speak about God’s love to the multitudes,” but that same person might not be willing to run an errand for an indigent person.

That’s the problem. God has far too many men and women who are willing to be exalted, but few who are willing to be menial servants. Many are willing to do grand things, but few are willing to be simple, living their lives unaffectedly just doing the “next right thing” day by day.

In twenty-first century Christian culture, we have a worldly attitude toward service, routinely calculating:

  • What’s in it for me?
  • How will this further my ambitions?
  • How will this enhance my image with others?

After having been abuse, however, where the spiritual wind has been knocked out of us, our perspective undergoes a radical change. We begin to learn the simple truth that an act of kindness performed at the right time, for the right reason, may be more meaningful from God’s perspective than something calculated to bring us notoriety, fame, and fortune. We begin to recognize that God values small things—where nothing is expected in return—more than grand things well publicized. A small thing is a small thing, but faithfulness in doing a small thing is a big thing.

He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43-44)

Jack Watts

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When You Are Going through Trials

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

 

 

I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.

—Thomas Paine

The Scriptures teach us to “count it all joy” when we experience difficult “trials” in our lives. When you read this for the first time, however, it seems like it must be a typo. In your mind you say, Surely, God doesn’t expect me to count it all joy that I’ve lost my job, my house, my child, or my health, does He?

As difficult to accept as it seems, that’s exactly what He wants you to do—to count it all joy. Just because you can’t see a way out of your circumstance doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

Remember, God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and He already knows the outcome. From His perspective, it’s already a done deal, and all He is waiting for is for you to fall in line. The way to do this is by putting everything in His hands—especially the outcome, which you have no control over anyway.

Look to Him; thank Him for your circumstance; and fall in step. When you do, numerous character qualities will be enhanced in you. Everybody has trials. Everybody has disappointments. Everybody has failures. It’s what you do with it that counts.

If you chafe, becoming bitter and petulant, you will have failed to mature in an area where you need to become an adult. This means you will need to repeat the experience—like a student who is required to retake a failed course. The choice is yours: you can either demonstrate wisdom, by counting it all joy, or you can go through the experience again.

As for me, I’ve gone through many trials with mixed results. Like most, I’ve chafed more often than I should have, which has meant I’ve needed to repeat several painful experiences. Now, when they come my way, I accept the message of this chorus as true:

You give and take away

You give and take away

My heart will choose to say

Lord, blessed be Your name.

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Jack Watts

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God’s Will and Your Next Move

 

 

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

 

 

You’re afraid of making mistakes. Don’t be. Mistakes can be profited by.

—Ray Bradbury

In America, we have the notion that “flawless people” are the ones who should be in charge, which means that our elected officials and religious leaders are those who have no negative “check marks” next to their names. Somehow, being without blemish—at least outwardly—is a sign of being worthy to lead. Those who have experienced difficulties have a negative check mark against them, which makes them less desirable, whether as a political candidate or as a religious leader.

In God’s Kingdom, where all have sinned and fallen short of perfection, the exact opposite is true. It’s the people who have sinned much that have the capacity to love the most. They understand the value of being forgiven, of being restored, and of being used by God.

Once a person has been broken of his or her self-will and self-serving ways, that person has a far greater capacity to seek God’s will. Brokenness produces character qualities that God esteems in men and women, particularly as we face the daunting task of rescuing Christendom from narcissistic religious abusers. This is also true for anti-Christian political leaders who promote traditions diametrically opposed to the ways of our Founding Fathers. We need God’s help more than ever as we attempt to wrestle control of our nation from those whose self-will and worldview is consistently at cross-purposes with God’s will.

Now that you have gone through the difficulties associated with religious abuse, can you begin to see your value? Can you understand why it was important for the abuse to occur? Do you understand why you are far more important to God than you were before your difficult experiences?

Now that you’ve experienced substantial recovery, you are in a unique position to help the myriads of others who have had debilitating experiences equal to yours. Recognizing that, does the necessity of having gone “through the wringer” make sense to you now? If so, you are in a position to thank God for everything that has happened, and you can say, “Father, what do you want me to do next?”

I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40:1-3)

Jack Watts

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Character Development

Refer to Step 4: I believe that God understands my wounded-ness and He alone can heal me.

 

Adversity is the mint in which God stamps upon man his image and superscription.

—Henry Ward Beecher

When you see how carefree some people’s lives seem to be, do you ever wonder if God is holding you to a higher standard than He does others? Many people seem to have such a comfortable, easy life, while those of us in recovery—by way of contrast—seem to have a much more difficult time than they do.

If that’s true—and I believe it is—then what is the reason for it? What is the purpose? In my own life, I distinctly remember when I was thirty-three and prayed, “Father, thank You for sparing me from trouble. Everything has always gone so smoothly for me. Nothing bad or difficult has ever happened. My life has been free from pain and suffering. Thank You for that. I’m so grateful—so grateful.”

From my simplistic perspective, I believed what I prayed was true. God was taking care of me by sparing me from all the heartache suffered by others. Within a month from the time I uttered that prayer, things changed, and the subsequent thirty years have been filled with difficulties. Have I struggled and chafed under the strain of my circumstances? You bet—big time!

But I’ve also grown, and the growth was the purpose behind all the difficulties. God promises not to put more on us than we are able to endure which, at the time, never seems to be true. It always feels like the weight of our hardship will break us, but God knows us better than we know ourselves. He stretches us beyond our comfort zone, which is His intention. At the end of it, however, we develop deep character qualities, which we could not have obtained through any other means.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials; knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Jack Watts   Resources

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Refer to STEP 6: I abandon my desire to spread malice because of my pain and anger, and I chose to relinquish my right to be self-absorbed.

Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.

—Charlotte Bronte

Having established a relationship with God through faith, you already have everything you need to facilitate your recovery. It’s inside you. Because you are His child, possessing all the rights that entails, you can recover just as soon as you make the decision to do so.

This isn’t just the power of positive thinking or putting a constructive spin on your situation. It’s real, and you can count on it.

You may feel lost, detached, helpless, and defeated, but you are not. You may feel like you are in the world—without God, forlorn, and beyond help—but you are not. You may feel like nothing good will ever happen to you again, but it doesn’t have to be that way. All is not lost—not even close, regardless of how desperate your circumstances appear.

As is so often the case, your recovery depends on how you choose to proceed. If you nurse your wounds and continue to blame your abuser, you can certainly do that. It’s your right, and it’s the path most people choose to follow, especially immediately after their painful experience.

Being angry is normal but, by becoming stuck in your anger, you will only experience one thing—bitterness. When bitterness clutches your soul, it diminishes the quality of your life, ensuring you will never become the person God intended you to be. Bitterness can run so deep it becomes as addictive as a controlled substance—a habit nearly impossible to break. Once it takes grip, it becomes part of you, diminishing every positive character quality you’ve ever possessed. It can even alter how you look, producing a sour, defeated countenance, which is certainly not what anybody wants.

Nothing good comes from it—nothing. If you’ve become bitter, it’s imperative that you make a conscious choice to break its hold upon you. Until that happens, no substantive recovery will be possible.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. (Ephesians 4:30-31)

Jack Watts

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Refer to Step 9: I humbly ask God to change anything He wishes, and I ask Him to heal my pain. Because God forgives us as we forgive others, I forgive my abusers.

 

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.

—Josh Billings

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 you have done nothing wrong. In spite of your embarrassment, everything inside of you insists on setting the record straight—immediately, with no delay.

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, is it? You want retribution—not forgiveness.

But that’s not how the Lord operated, is it? He was so focused upon doing the will of the Father; He never defended Himself when falsely accused. He never lifted a finger, and He certainly could have. Are you capable of doing something that selfless? Would it even occur to you this might be what the Lord wants from you?

In recovery, choosing to forgive is as difficult as it gets, and it’s hard to think about the future when everything inside of you wants to fight back. Vindication can be obtained, but it’s best left in the Lord’s hands. Let Him be your advocate.

Reflect back and think about what would have happened in your own situation, if you had not focused on vindication. I know this is difficult, but just imagine—what if! What did acting on your anger accomplish—other than making you feel good for a very short period of time? Long-term, it probably did more harm than good, making you bitter, robbing you of life’s joy. If you make a conscious effort to the alternative, it will help you in the future.

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. (I Peter 2:21-23)

Jack Watts   The Search for Reality

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