Everybody, direct or indirect has been abused. Abuse has multi faces and forms. It can be physical, verbal, psychological, spiritual, sexual, social, political, financial…
To go bit deeper, if we truly want to be honest, we have also abuse others even if it was in a very light way…and usually we do it very much consciously, in a calculated way! True?
Let’s remember what love is, isn’t, does or does not do:
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Let’s see now what abuse is, what’s the definition of abuse:
“Use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose; misuse
To hurt or injure by maltreatment; ill-use.”
Simple mathematics! Just compare the definitions of love and abuse: it is obvious that they are exactly the opposite!
In fact, it is easy to know whether we abuse or we love: abuse is maltreatment, ill-use, misuse. From the other hand, one says that he is hurt so he is abused. Is it true? We need to go deeper and reflect to all the background, as someone might “feel” hurt without really being maltreated. He just uses his hurt to abuse the other. Yes, it can be complicated!
Abuse is a wide subject and I just try to highlight few points for thinking/chewing over. There are amazing people who can help us. It can’t be said in a better way:
“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”
―Michael J. Fox
That’s a so true statement! It is always about choice. We won’t avoid abuse, especially when we can’t even think that it is there. At times, we are abused but we do not see it or we deny to see it. Yet, all signs are there. We sometimes consider it love! Imagine! There are women in this world who believe that their husbands beat them out of love. If they don’t beat them, means that they are indifferent and they do not care and love.
When we are abused, one thing we lose is dignity and confidence. We need to remember that soon or later we move out of abuse – we can do this – and our dignity will always be with us, as long as, we do not surrender it.
“The human race tends to remember the abuses to which it has been subjected rather than the endearments. What’s left of kisses? Wounds, however, leave scars.”
Another important point: abuse cannot be forgotten easily. I love what Brecht said… “what’s left of kisses?”. Still, when healing comes and it will come, we might not forget but we are not affected from the memory. We have a great Healer to take us through the process…
When we come to reconcile with God through Jesus Christ, our Lord, our God, we become new creatures spiritually, all sins and miserable mistakes we have done are gone, deleted from the book of life. At least, God deletes them and forgets them. We, not necessarily, forget or forgive ourself…But in time, through process we are freed and healed from all past, including abuse we performed and abuse we received. It is the will of God because God is love and there is no place for abuse in His Kingdom. Believers, we live with the Holy Spirit , naturally should be no abuse inside us.
But it is not always what it seems… so, we reach to another kind of abuse that sometimes comes from members of the Body of Christ…
The authority abuse is all around, not only in the society, community or family but very much in the Church of today and seems that there were cases within the first church if we keep reading the New Testament Books.
In fact, abuse is connected with authority: the abuser stands from a point of power and authority “beating down” the abused. There is a moment when the abused realizes that the abuser has no true power but he/she is basically a bully and a coward – or suffers from serious mental issues. When the abused understands the each one carries his/her own power to break through, perception changes. I do not say that it is an easy thing to happen but it is the start of everything.
The same happens in the Church. Church is the Body of Christ and Christ is love, so there is no space for abuse. But it does happen all the time.
We ought to be careful where we are and mostly, as Paul examined/reflected on himself, be careful not to become the abuser.
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