Spiritual abuse is something that people don’t talk about; especially in church. Forgiveness of spiritual abuse is what needs to be openly discussed because people need freedom in Christ. Church unfortunately does not equate to freedom for many.
It is amazing how many people leave the church because they have suffered spiritual abuse. It’s even worse to learn how many of those people want nothing to do with Jesus because of the spiritual abuse of the so called Christian leaders that they trusted their spiritual journey to. It’s hard to separate the two; although it should make people be glad to learn that even Jesus wasn’t thrilled with the religious folks of His day. Spiritual abuse is no laughing matter and if you have ever experienced it or know someone who has or is currently; these words are for you.
First and foremost there is freedom after spiritual abuse. If you have suffered spiritual abuse do not allow it or the abuser to have control over your future. Forgive. There is a call on your life and you matter. There is something in your future that no one can take away. To get free and live your God given life I begin with:
1. Forgive the abuser. It truly is a test of your strength and probably one of the hardest things to forgive someone for. The person that you trusted as a confident, spiritual mentor or adviser; or whatever you want to call took advantage of what you gave. It’s a hard thing to work through for anyone when the reality of what has been done to you sets in. This is why forgiveness is needed because otherwise your future and your life will suffer the consequences in ways you can’t deem possible.
Forgiveness will free you in any situation and unforgiveness will kill you as well; so working through forgiveness first will help you see that you have a future and that your past has not been wasted. It simply hasn’t. While you may have a harder time getting back what was stolen; the great news is that there is redemption in Christ. God is the redeemer of all things and through Him what has been stolen shall be returned to you. Just keep walking toward your future.
What you must understand is through forgiveness of the abuser you will be able to see that most people don’t know what they are doing. They just don’t. You probably didn’t know what you were doing when you got yourself into the situation of being abused in the first place! Remember forgiveness is not about the abuser; but rather you and your own journey. Those who are spiritual abusers for the most part are just doing what they know and or what they have been taught. Does that make it any easier? Of course not! You still lost your identity, the years of your life all the things that it probably should have been filled with; and much more that you don’t yet know.
When really looking at the abuser through the eyes of forgiveness; you will be able to see that that person too has lost much. What that person has lost may not be any concern of yours; but it doesn’t change the fact that most people who abuse were abused and your forgiveness toward that person may put you in the perfect position to not only free yourself but that person and all those who would come after to you that would otherwise be spiritually abused. It’s a journey of healing, reconciliation and forward progress toward the real life waiting for you.
Regardless of what has been done to you by whom; the first step is forgiving the spiritual abuser so that you can take the next step forward. You don’t want to miss more of your future by not starting there.
What’s next? Forgiveness in Spiritual Abuse: Forgiving Yourself