When Christian Friends Spiritually Abuse and Mistreat You
She was a single, divorced mom with several children looking for employment. Her ex-husband, a pastor in good standing at the mega church where he served, didn’t pay her child support or alimony. Their church embraced him while kicking her to the curb.
She was on her own.
One day a former friend from church, an outstanding Christian woman with a godly reputation, reached out to her on Facebook, inviting her to lunch.
She hesitated. But in spite of a fear deep in her belly that she couldn’t explain rationally, she decided to take the risk, and she went, craving love and support.
She spent two hours in this woman’s home listening to the Word of God twisted into ropes that strangled and choked her heart.
When the lectures were over, the woman invited my friend to join her MLM company.
And then it was over.
My friend left, stunned and hurting.
She was never given any lunch.
She went home to her apartment where a former drug addict who lived in her building met with her and listened. She listened and leaned into my friend’s pain, offering her some time alone for a couple of hours so she could unwind and process the trauma that had just taken place at the hands of a Christian woman.
After my friend spent some time alone praying and recovering, she went back to her own apartment where her kids were waiting.
A Russian woman from an apartment down the hall stopped by with food and cookies and $50 to help them make ends meet. She also listened and loved my friend.
Who was the Christ-follower in this story?
The Christian? The ex drug addict? The Russian?
“If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.”John 13:35
Sisters, this is how we change the world. Not by giving up our power. Not by taking power away from others. Not by giving up altogether.
We change the world by finding our own personal power and using it to empower others. This is love.
We will reflect the God we believe in. If we believe in a powerful god who isn’t loving, we will become abusive. Like that god.
If we believe in a loving god who isn’t powerful, we will become victims. Like that god.
If we believe in a god who is neither powerful nor loving, we will be both victim and abuser. Like that god.
And if we reject all those gods and decide there is no god, we become meaningless. There is no “me” anymore. Like there is no god.
But what if we believed in a God who is both loving and powerful? If we really leaned into that God, we would feel secure and take risks and be vulnerable.
We would neither give our personal power away, nor would we take power from others. We would, ourselves, be powerful and loving.
We would change the world.
And I think that’s what Jesus came to model for us. THAT kind of power and love.
The Jewish people only thought of power in terms of overthrowing the Roman government.
But that’s the power of the abuser god. The devil, if you will.
Jesus came to show a different kind of power. The power to change the world one heart at a time.
That’s the kind of power we as God’s creation have.
But it depends on our choosing to believe in the right God.
Right now, most of us don’t. And that’s why our world is the way it is.
There isn’t anything I can do about the beliefs of others, the emotions of others, the actions of others – and the results they get.
But I can take my power back and do something about MINE.
That is my work, sisters.
Will you join me in it?