This morning, Jesus and I had a talk. It was a pretty big deal. I was hurting and angry because I spoke to a dear mama, yesterday, who has massive confusion about who Jesus is because of the cult-like religion that has saturated her life from the time she was tiny. And I thought of all the people I know who have experienced spiritual abuse. It is so bad. It is so so bad. It is easier to forgive someone because they are wicked and everyone knows it and they admire you because you are forgiving this famously wicked person who has done wicked to you. But, what about the people with “Christians” platforms who have hurt you in the name of Jesus? What about the people who use their platforms to hurt you? What about the men who claim to be special-called-by-God-ministers who have hurt you . . . in the name of Jesus?
Oh, my heart. Father . . . . they have taken their long, awful fingernails and scratched marks across Your face and have marred Your image so that Your Children cannot see Your beauty.
And why? We don’t know why, exactly. Power? Control? Fear of their bubble being burst?
I don’t know.
But, in my tears, this morning, He spoke to me . . . This is what He said,
They do not speak for Me.
How do I know? Because spiritual abuse produces darkness. Dark feelings. Dark thoughts. They accuse and they blame and you have become their scapegoat. That is not of God. They are using you to work out their own pain. But, it is not of God.
Christ’s words produce life. Freedom. Beauty. Christ’s words leave behind a lovely fragrance that sparks hope and joy and purity in their hearts of those who love Him!
God spoke more things to me. This is what He said:
Everyone needs mercy at some point in their lives. Would you be ready and willing to give it if those people who abused you needed it?
Would I? I think, at this point, I would. And, how can I so boldly state that? Because their lack of mercy for me, when I was at my lowest, most painful state, is the exact thing that made me a merciful person. And, for that, I will always be thankful.
I am thankful for those who hurt me on a continual basis. I can’t believe I am even saying it.
And, therein, I find the joy that God has given me.
Brennan Manning is my fave. And he says, in many of his books, that when you begin to doubt, to repeat these words, over and over: Abba, I belong to You. And I do that a lot. But, I believe we can take it further . . .
Abba, I belong to You . . . even when they say I do not.
Abba, I belong to You . . . even when they say horrible things about me.
Abba, I belong to You . . . even when they persecute me.
Abba, I belong to You . . . even when they do all kinds of evil to me.
Abba, I belong to You . . .
You belong to Him. You know this because (1) You are growing (2) You are forgiving (3) You love Him and you love His Word (4) You are able to see the hurt of those who hurt you (5) You hear His voice. These are all qualities of a follower of Christ as outlined in First John.
Say it with me . . . . Abba, I belong to You. No one can take that away from you. Nothing and no how. No one . . . NO ONE can snatch you out of His hand.