Spiritual abuse exists. It is something that I have experienced on many fronts since coming to know Jesus in 1997.
I have been bullied for being a woman. I have been bullied for being outspoken. I have been bullied for being too opinionated. I have been bullied for being too excited. I have been bullied for daring to believe that God desires to use women in a powerful and beautiful way. (And He’s does by the way!!)
I am not angry. I am not resentful. I forgive and I pray blessing over those who have bullied me.
I want you to know that toxic and spiritual abusive environments exist. Ignorance and the enemy encourage these environments. And God does not support or endorse them.
Jesus is our earthly example of how people should be treated. He was sinless on earth and is perfect in heaven. His purpose for coming was not only to be a flawless example but to bring freedom from oppression and abuse. He came to set every captive free and to bind up the broken hearted. I’m so thankful He did!
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,”
Isaiah 61:1 NIV
Good News!! Did you read that?! It is because of this “good news” that my life was transformed at the age of 17. Good news is news that someone wants to hear. Good news makes the hearers excited. Good news can change everything! And the Good News that Jesus brought with Him DID change everything!
Jesus had come to break every rule that kept His beloved from LOVE. Even rules in the church. Over time, and because of sin, love had become distorted and manipulated. It had become self seeking, self focused, and as a result people were being oppressed inside and out of the temple. The leaders knew that a Messiah was coming, because of prophecy, but did not recognize Him because of pride. They had allowed their hearts to become hardened because knowledge had become power.
“Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.”
Luke 14:3-4 NIV
Jesus did not bully. He did not exclude. He did not judge or inspect or segregate.
He came to love. He came with compassion in His heart and healing in His hands. He came with a mission to destroy death and restore life and with that life, the depths of love.
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.”
Song of Songs 8:6 NIV
If you find yourself being judged harshly by someone in spiritual leadership. If you feel everything you do is under a microscope and your affairs are up for constant discussion. If you are controlled and manipulated through use of scripture, guilt, manipulation then you may be experiencing spiritual abuse.
This is not God’s intention for the Church or for you. Somewhere along the line love has been distorted and you are experiencing the result.
Jesus made a way for us to always return to…
“Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].”
1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-7 AMP