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Shame, The Tool Used To Silence

Shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

“Don’t you ever come near my tribe again”

“The next time I see you…”

“You have delayed your season because of this”

“You’re the reason you’re all alone”

“You are so emotionally unstable…Look at how unstable you are” (After not getting a reaction out of me)

“You have such a victim mentality”

“No one will believe you, you did this to yourself”

These are just a few of the words spoken over me as I broke free from what I believed to be a group of godly people. By the power of the Holy Spirit I did not fight back but rather, He had me speak a promise.. I would now speak against abuse within the church and help people heal from spiritual abuse.

These last words were a tool to manipulate and shame me into silence, The uncovering of true character and motives had been uncovered. Fruit had been exposed and it was rotten.

With a history of childhood trauma it was easy to believe the lies that were sown. Often abusers use things that you tell them in confidentiality and care as weapons later on. You see, these people knew I had just went through another miscarriage, my husband was deployed, and knew I had went through prior abuse within the church. They used they very things I had asked them to pray about and twisted fears and insecurities I had into what looked like truth.

I finally blocked every single person that had participated in this hurt and began to ask questions. Would He actually hurt me with my husband not home? How could a godly leader threaten me over accountability for their own actions? Was talking about my problems and asking for prayer about abuse I had suffered in the past, really a victim mentality? I am really alone right now. But I was just trying to set healthy boundaries. Was this really my fault? Where is Jesus in all this? Is this how God really feels about me?

The Anointing at Bethany is a well known testimony in the bible where Jesus was at the house of Lazarus, Martha was serving, and Mary took the pound of perfume, pure and expensive and anointed Jesus’ feet with her hair. Judas Iscariot had plenty to say:

“Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot (who was about to betray him), said, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in it.”

-John 12:4-6 CSB

Judas criticized Mary’s extravagant worship to Jesus. Like many abusers He shamed because there as a hidden heart motive at play. He shamed her. But what was Jesus’ response to this?

Jesus answered, “Leave her alone; she has kept it for the day of my burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” -John 12:8 CSB

Jesus spoke up for Mary. He wasn’t ashamed of her actions and He was not afraid to stand up for her when shame was thrown at her to make her feel belittled. He saw the heart of the matter.

I am not sure where you are in reading this, but I do want to let you know that if you have endured shame being thrown at you by an abuser to silence you, know Jesus’ first response is stand up for you. Spiritual abuse can be confusing because it is someone who is supposed to represent God’s character. We can often relate our abuser’s to God’s character. We can fall for the lies and shut up and shut down. I want to let you know today that no matter what was spoken over you, Jesus is not ashamed of you. His grace, His mercy, and love outweighs it all.

More To Chew On:

-The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit. -Psalm 34:18 CSB

-Be gracious to me, God, for a man is trampling me;
he fights and oppresses me all day long.
My adversaries trample me all day,
for many arrogantly fight against me.

When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?

 They twist my words all day long;
all their thoughts against me are evil.

 They stir up strife, they lurk,
they watch my steps
while they wait to take my life.
 Will they escape in spite of such sin?
God, bring down the nations in wrath.

You yourself have recorded my wanderings.
Put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
 Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call.
This I know: God is for me. -Psalm 56:1-9 CSB

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. -2 Corinthians 1:3-5 CSB

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Having The Heart of Jesus In A Culture Of Disposal

Disposable.


The paper plates and plastic wear you throw away when you don’t want to do dishes. The one time use razors to shave. The rare but needed toilet paper that was hard to get ahold of just shy of a year ago. Our culture has made a habit of one time uses because it is well, convenient. However, I am sad to say that many of us have felt the weight of disposability when it comes to relationships and even our hearts.


As I was crying out to God yet again after what had seemed to be a relationship that had came and went without a word, I wondered what I was feeling. I had been praying for God to take out people that were not meant to be in my life and send people that were. I knew that this was an answered prayer but there was such a weight on my heart I knew I needed to talk to the Father. Our conversation went something like, “I forgive them Lord. I know I did as you told me to. You’ve searched my heart. But I just feel…I’m not sure how to explain it.”


Then I heard the Holy Spirit whisper that wretched word, disposable.


Quite often in my 28 years of life, I have tried to build relationships. But there comes a point in many of them that when I was no longer useful, I was tossed to the side. I was good until I was no longer useful. It seemed that through the seasons, I was labeled with a lack of durability for the long haul. Because of my previous history of trauma and abuse I lacked on understanding healthy boundaries. Truth be told, boundaries even felt ‘un-Christ like’ at times.


Disposable was slowly becoming my identity as each person came and went. It felt that each time, they took something with them when they left.


When we are built for community, it can be hard for us to understand why the cherished friendships we have cannot come with us in the next season. It can be hard to understand why when you are innocent, and you are made out to be the villain. Relationships can be messy. A wise counselor once told me that relationships are not only a place of hurt, but they are also a place of healing.


I have missed the mark countless of times in relationships and I am so thankful for grace and mercy. However, one reminder has remained the same through each season:


It is important that we value people through the heart of the Father and not our flesh.


Pride can sneak its way in and we slowly begin to have a fogged lens of superiority over one another. This is not the way God wants it to be. After all, it is only through His grace that we have been saved. It is a sheer gift, not something that can be earned or deserved.


If we treat others while remaining in the love of God there is no possible way we could treat them as something that can be used and tossed to the side. Because when we have God’s heart, we know that His Children are worth dying for when they have nothing to offer.


For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. How much more then, since we have now been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from wrath. -Romans 5:6-9 CSB


Jesus not only died for us and made us His children, but He encourages us that as we are being sanctified each day, that we are to be made into a vessel of honor for special use. The only way to no longer treat people as disposable and not allow ourselves to be used is through the Spirit of God. When we walk in step with the Holy Spirit, we will remain humble, living a life full of honor, love, and put boundaries in place that not only protect us but the relationships he has given us. We will not always get this right. But what we do after we have missed the mark is imperative.


Will we come boldly before God and expose the times we have had wrong motives? Are we courageous enough to call and ask for forgiveness when we have hurt those around us? And even if they do not forgive us, can we still pray for them with Abba’s heart? When we walk in love, remaining in the Spirit, we cannot help but see the value Jesus has placed not only on us but those that surround us.

Other Scripture To Meditate On:


If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others. -Philippians 2:1-4 CSB
Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also those of wood and clay; some for honorable use and some for dishonorable. So if anyone purifies himself from anything dishonorable, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, because you know that they breed quarrels. The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. Then they may come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. -2 Timothy 20-26 CSB