"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Victims: These Bible verses are not for you!

For a safe place, go to http://littleselves.blogspot.com/ 

      Receiving Jesus as my Savior when I was 19 relieved my guilt over my very real sins. God forgave me! GOD FORGAVE ME! But some of my guilt was false guilt for "sins" that were not sins at all. Certain Bible passages exacerbated that guilt and the passages seemed damaging to me. Verses like:

Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought to think. And In humility value others above yourselves. 
I gave myself NO value. Applying these verses to myself made it easy for others to abuse me.

After all, no one ever hated his own body. . . 
Oh yes I did. I couldn't stand living in my body, I tried to claw myself out of it.

Love your neighbor as yourself.  
I hated myself. What I needed to hear was "Love yourself as you love your neighbor." I needed to learn to be kind and gentle, generous and forgiving to myself.

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself
I denied my basic rights as a human being. I crushed myself.

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
I took that to mean I must be willing to be treated like an animal.

Here's an example of what I was like when I was mis-applying those verses:
Undated, probably from the 1990s. . .
     "You say I hurt people + that's true. You made it very clear and it's all true + it is so awful I can't stand myself. I can't bear to think I hurt people like that but it's true + you have it written down so it can never be erased or forgiven. . . So I am bad, sometimes I forget how bad. . . The easiest thing to do, since I keep hurting + hurting people, is for me to go away. but I have tried that  + you won't let me. You say that is not the answer, divorce is not the answer, killing myself is not the answer but I don't seem to be able to be different so I have to go away but going away makes you angry and hurts you so I can't go away so I will give you a divorce but you say you don't want a divorce so I have to stay but you can't live with it so I will take myself out of the way permanently but you say I can't. That won't solve anything. So I can't go away and I can't die and I can't hurt you but I do hurt you so all I can do is what I did for my mother because I could not stop hurting her--that is be very still + quiet + not be a bother + just do my work cook and clean and do dishes + lie very quietly + not be needy + never move + not let you see or hear me cry + not let you know what I want or need. . .+ that makes me good because I am not in your way + not having needs + it's almost as good as being dead which is the best which is the ultimate gift I can give you but u will not let me because I would hurt you and that is bad + the closest I can ever be to good is to be still + to be nothing to be non-person but if I can make someone happy that is good too so I try hard + I have made many people happy but I cannot make you happy. . . I embarrass you + I don't blame you + I am sorry I exist if you had never met me it would be better but since you met me it is too late to not exist. That would hurt you. But if I had not existed in the first place it would have been best because I would not have hurt anyone. Jessica"

     I want you to know this was me but it is no longer me. I am free, healed, whole, grateful. If you are where I was then, there is hope for you, too. Hang on until the Shepherd reaches you and pulls you out of the pit into His strong, safe arms and carries you home on His shoulders.
     In the meantime, these Bible verses may be toxic for you because you may use them to condemn yourself and may apply them to yourself in ways that will make you vulnerable to being re-victimized.
      These are passages written to normal people, not abused people. You who have never felt you had rights to start with have not yet reached the point at which you are free to make a choice to give up those rights for Jesus. Let God be in the timing of your applying those verses to yourselves, lest you unintentionally invite further abuse from those who want to exploit you.

For a safe place, go to http://littleselves.blogspot.com/ 

Today I am thankful for fires in fireplaces.

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