donderdag 29 augustus 2013

Emotional abuse

I came across this article on the internet and reflecting on it I realized that many people in our churches behave this way too. It is good to take note of this issue and prayerfully consider what the best Christian response should be in dealing with people who are emotionally abusive and immature. At this stage I think a spiritual-cognitive method will be best whereby we lovingly and with compassion educate the offenders concerning what they are doing and how detrimental it is for their own growth and how it hurts others.
Emotional abuse

If someone suddenly cutting off all contact in an attempt to get you anxious, fearful, feel rejected, doubt your own desirability, confused and depressed is not acting with love – and you need to recognize it for what it is. Emotional abuse.

When someone uses “silent treatment”, the “cold shoulder treatment” or “no contact” to get you to comply and do what they want, or give them what they want, it’s a behaviour learned from childhood with a parent or key caregiver. A parent or caregiver denies a child attention, affection or love as a way of punishing, hurting, manipulating or controlling him or her; young, innocent and vulnerable, a child gives in or does as told to regain the parent or caregiver’s attention, affection or love.

A child repeatedly exposed to this kind of emotional abuse grows up thinking it’s the only way to get others to do what you want and give you what you want. But the effect of this form of emotional abuse cuts deeper and creates scars that are far more lasting than most people realize. Most people exposed to this kind of emotional abuse live with separation anxiety, are needy and clingy, have low self-esteem, don’t trust themselves, have problems telling whether someone is interested in them or not, never ask for what they want, are passive aggressive etc.

Sadly, they repeat this pattern of parent-child relationship in their adult relationships because it feels familiar and even comfortable to them. Most don’t think there is anything wrong with with-holding attention, affection or love to force someone to give in to what they would not give in to if they were not emotionally manipulated into giving in.

Some grown-up men and women even believe that with-holding attention, affection or love is how you prove that someone really loves you. The more threatened, anxious, rejected, jealous, clingy or desperate he/she feels, the more proof of their love. That’s how unhealthy this is!

A person using “no contact” to make you feel anxious, jealous, clingy or desperate is not doing it out of love. He/she is doing it because he/she needs to emotionally break you to feel in control – just like in the parent-child dynamic they’re so familiar with. The sad part is, many people using this unhealthy and dysfunctional relating pattern are not always necessarily bitter or vengeful people out to hurt the person they love. They often honestly believe that because it was done to them and it worked, it will work with you too.

The policy of breaking off totally with people, “No Contact” is immature, manipulative and undermines any efforts to have a healthy relationship. If he/she doesn’t see what’s wrong with this approach to resolving conflict, then it’s best that you both move on.

You can’t change someone else. The only person you can change is you. Saying “NO!” to emotional manipulation and/or abuse is taking care of your own emotional health, and cleaning up your emotional energy so that you will be ready for a relationship in which you will be treated with the respect, affection and love you deserve.

Keep in mind that not everyone who suddenly cuts off all contact is doing so to break you. Some people use “No Contact” because they believe isolation is the best way for them to handle their pain. You may not like that this is how they choose to move on, you may not agree that it is best for them, but it is their choice so respect their wish. Some day you’ll want someone else to respect yours too even if they do no agree.


donderdag 15 augustus 2013

Hanging our dirty laundry.....

Hanging out the dirty laundry....

Often our fellow believers will point out to us that we should not hang out our dirty laundry for all to see. Sometimes this may be because it makes them uncomfortable as they are reminded of issues they have not yet dealt with themselves but it may also be a genuine concern for what it may do to our reputation and how people may abuse it and use the truth of our errors against us. They are right to some extent, Jesus does say in Matthew 7:6 "Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don't throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” In other words do not waste what is important and special to you on people who will not understand or appreciate it. This is certainly true in society, if you expose your weaknesses and faults it will be used against you. The world in general is not a safe and understanding place. However, within the family of Christ the situation should be very different. Ephesians 5:11-13 tells us that we must expose all the evil that has been going on secretly, to bring to light what happens in darkness. Also James 5:16 encourages us to confess our sins to one-another. In other words, within the family of believers we should be able to hang out the dirty laundry and expose what is wrong and confess our sins in the knowledge that we are safe and it will not be used against us but instead we receive help, forgiveness, gentle rebuke, healing and restoration. If the family of God is not a safe place to do so, where can we go? Too many people are forced to live a life of pretence and hypocrisy among us because we do have enough grace and mercy, patience and forgiveness to help them bring out their dirty laundry and have it cleansed.

vrijdag 9 augustus 2013

Your wonderful destiny


As a child of God you have become a member of His household through adoption as a result of putting your faith and hope for salvation in Jesus Christ. As a human being, created by God in His image you have always been precious to Him and loved by Him and now that you have been reconciled to Him, He rejoices even more as it has always been His wish that you would fulfill the wonderful destiny He had in mind for you, namely becoming like Jesus Christ in every area of life as an active member of a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a people belonging to God. As His priests we are called to offer ourselves as living sacrifices and lay down our lives voluntarily for the other by doing good and resisting evil. As His nation of prophets we are called to courageously proclaim Gods wonderful deeds and call all humanity to be reconciled to Him.  This is your eternal destiny, your birthright, your calling, do not let anything or anyone make you settle for less.

woensdag 7 augustus 2013

My beloved child

My child I love you very very much. Because I so dearly love you I want to point out to you that you should not ask me to give you more of My Spirit or to fill you with My Spirit because I actually made My Spirit live within you. The source of living water is within you in all its fullness and you must allow it to fill you. By My Spirit the Father and I live within you and you live in me. Because of that streams of living water flow from within you. It is not something you have to attain or strife for, it is a present reality.  You do not have to advertise it or try to convince other people of, because just as the presence of water in the desert it reflected by an oasis of vegetation, so the presence of my Spirit within you will be seen by its effects in your life. All I require from you is that you keep your life clean of all those obstacles that prevent the stream of living water, of love, goodness, kindness, and Christ-likeness to flow from within you. I do not require you to splash people with that living water, but those who come thirsty for my love and truth should always be welcomed as My guests. Jealously guard the well of living water within you and do not allow its waters to become muddled by what is not from me. Remember who you are in me and do not try to be anything in the eyes of men. Don't worry about being respectable, or gaining a reputation or position in the eyes of men. Be a ''Mary'' rather than a ''Martha" and find your identity in who you are in me. A beloved child, a member of a royal priesthood, belonging to me. Therefore be proud of your lowly status and rejoice in your trials as this keeps you close to Me. Trust me and seek to imitate me in doing what is good and avoid even a hint of evil.