2003-05-20 - Abuse
Mark 15:29,30 And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, 'wagging their heads, and saying, 'Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross.
I might not be the right person to deal with this topic, but I am going to give it a try. I know very little about abuse except what I have read in books and what I learned in my counseling classes in seminary. God has been very gracious to me but I know that many experience abuse. It can be in emotional, physical, psychological, or any number of manners that someone who should show care, concern, and love does the very contrary. It happens all the time. I am going to take a strange way of looking at this topic, but I hope to make it practical at the end. CFDevotionals may have dealt with this important topic before, but honestly, I don't recall it being dealt with. I hope to be honest and encourage you who struggle with how others have treated you.
For the last two + years I have had two cats, Calvin and Sas, who were abused before I got them. They were even kittens when I got them but they were obviously struck before I got them. After all the time I have spent with them, when I put my hand out to pat their heads (and I have never struck either), they still duck as if I am about to hit them. That is how devastating abuse can be and I have learned it from them. They may never get over it.
But it is worse. They have had kittens together and I have kept one, a boy, who I named Fallen because he seems to fall off everything. He has watched mom and dad duck when I go to pet them and thinks now that he is supposed to respond to a pat on the head by pulling away. After a year of this it really got me thinking about abuse and it's devastation, because if it carries onto generations of cats, well, how great must be the devastation in families lives?
I want to make this really simple and then I hope to drive it home by looking quickly at the example of Christ. If you are in an abusive relationship and being abused, there are two things to do; either get help, or get out. If you are the perpetrator of abuse of any kind you should stop and consider what you are doing. You could be setting things up for generations of hurt. You could be treating someone, who you probably love, in a manner that they may never recover from. After you consider how much this can hurt someone, then get help yourself.
We see in the verse we started with that Jesus Christ did take abuse. However, it was quite different with Him. He took abuse because He was laying down His life to pay the price for our sin. The fact that Christ took abuse is no reason to be "humble" and agree to be treated in an abusive manner. That is not why Christ took abuse and there is, honestly, no way to compare our being treated in an improper manner with His doing so. He was laying down His life for "whosoever," John 3:16, we are not.
I hope that everyone who reads this has never been involved with abuse. I know that is not true. I urge you to rest in Christ for all your hope and trust. The Lord is gracious, and kind. He can forgive and He can heal -- Rest in His grace.
Soli Deo Gloria,