Monday, September 30, 2013

Matthew 18? Really?????

I have been both saddened and angered lately by the number of people I see misusing Scripture to attempt to manipulate others. I'm going to touch on one passage that I have repeatedly seen completely misused lately.

There are many people who respond to abuse victims who cooperate with law enforcement to prosecute their abusers by telling them that according to Matthew 18:15-17 they are doing wrong. This is the passage that talks about if you have a problem with a brother you go to them, if they don't listen then you bring someone with you, then if they still don't listen you bring it to the church. Let me emphatically say this does NOT apply to crimes! I have never heard this used with someone who commits a murder, so why on earth should it apply to any other crime????? When a crime is committed the authorities MUST be contacted, that is the law! 

Physical abuse, rape, incest, sexual abuse of any kind, and frankly ANY kind of abuse is a CRIME and should be dealt with as such. If you want a passage that applies to how to deal with crimes Romans 13:1-7 would be much more applicable. God has ordained our governmental authorities, and if you do no wrong you don't have to fear, but if you break the law you do. Prosecuting a crime is completely Biblical! There are consequences (both good and bad) for the actions that we choose. When a crime is committed we should allow the authorities that God has ordained to deal with the investigation and allow the perpetrator to pay the price for their actions. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What message are you sending?

I have a very dear friend who is going through so much right now because she has made the courageous and tough choice to prosecute her rapist. This process has been made so much harder by the fact that most of her family (including her own mother) is supporting her rapist. This has really gotten me thinking. I wonder if the people who stand behind rapists (and other abusers) really know what they are saying when they decide to support the perpetrator instead of the victim. Having been in a very similar situation I can speak in a very educated way about this. So, without further adieu here is what they say...

When you choose to support an abuser rather than the abused you are saying...
   ~ I don't believe the abuse really happened, or it wasn't as bad as you say.
   ~ Your abuser means far more to me than you do.
   ~ I never really loved you, and you are not worthy of true love.
   ~ You are not good enough to stand up for.
   ~ Who cares how much this hurt you, grow up and move on!
   ~ I don't believe this crime should be punished.
   ~ The crime that happened was really not a crime at all.
   ~ Abuse is ok.
   ~ Your pain is nothing in comparison to the inconvenience you have caused me.
   ~ Your abuser deserves sympathy and compassion, but you don't.
   ~ The abuser's loss of freedom concerns me more than your emotional scars.
   ~ Even though your abuser has confessed (and is therefore guilty) I don't care about protecting other potential victims they might come into contact with (potentially their own children).
   ~ God's view on justice doesn't matter. (Micah 6:8)
   ~ What God has to say about those who hurt a child doesn't matter. (Matthew 18:6)
   ~ What God has to say about the governing authorities executing justice doesn't matter. (Romans 13:1-7)

This list could go on, but I think the point is made. I would encourage you to think about how the choices you make truly do impact others.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Speak Life!

I spent a lot of time this last weekend with survivors of many different kinds of abuse. There was one common factor that I kept hearing that stuck out to me. So many people asked me "How do you stop the voices in your head that tell you that you are damaged, guilty, etc... and the shame that seems to plague our minds?".

I am not a professional, but I can tell you what has helped make a huge difference in my life. In my experience the "tapes" that play in our mind are the things that we heard over and over. If we want to not hear the negative all the time we need to fill our minds with truth. So what I have done is when the voices started to tell me that I was not worthy, or damaged, or that the abuse I experienced was in some way my fault, I will speak truth out loud. I will declare I am a beloved daughter of God, I am pure, I am forgiven, I am LOVED, and so many others.

This was not something that helped change my mind overnight, but over time it did help! Speaking it out loud felt weird and awkward, but I believe that made a difference. To hear those things spoken over your life repeatedly really starts to help you start to believe that they are true!

There are some really good songs about this out right now! This one talks about how words build us up or break us down. The one below is a great encouragement to speak life! That's my encouragement to you (and to myself) today, speak life! Let what you speak over your life be positive and true!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I saw a quote today that really made me think. I haven't been able to get it out of my mind, and maybe that is because there is so much truth in what it says.

I am ___________: Everything you put in the blank will either build you up or tear you down. Choose wisely!

So often we fill in the blank with words like: fat, tired, ugly, stressed, overwhelmed, a failure, etc... When we do this we start thought processes that drag us down emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Instead we should be filling in that blank with truth such as: loved, chosen, redeemed, beautiful, and overcomer, and so many others! When we dwell on these things it brings us up and helps us to not get discouraged, but to realize who we are and who we are created to be.

My challenge to myself and to you is to try to fill that blank with things that are true, and lovely! Let's start to see ourselves as God sees us!

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Deal with it ~ Don't wait!

When I got back from Denver with my sweet girl I found that so many things around my house looked really good, but our pool (an above ground one) was nasty! Since school has started and the kids aren't home most of the time it was easy to think about putting the cover on the pool and call it a season. Yes, we would still have to clean it and deal with the nastiness, but if we covered it we could put off dealing with it for a long time.

Ultimately I decided it needed to be cleaned now. As I was cleaning it (it took a couple of hours) I had a lot of time to think. I started to think about how easy it is to do that in our own lives. We cover up, hide, put on the back burner, whatever you want to say...Basically we wait to deal with the yucky stuff in life because it seems so much easier at the time.

I'm here to tell you it isn't easier to ignore the pain or the nastiness in your life. Sure, you can pretend for a while that it isn't there, but at some point you are going to have to deal with it, and the longer you wait the harder it will be (yes, I've been there, I know)! If you wait to deal with a problem, the problem doesn't get better, or smaller, it tends to get bigger and nastier. 

My encouragement to both you and myself is to deal with things. Get it out in the open, get help, seek counseling if necessary! Holding painful secrets is not only excruciatingly hard, it also keeps you from the freedom you could know from the healing that is available to you!