Posted by: Judy | December 12, 2018

Guilt

Another gift liberally shared at Christmas time.

I’ve seen the memes and posts and articles about not allowing another Christmas to go by without mending fences. The reminders that those from whom you’re estranged may not be here for the next holiday.

I could say “Don’t give in to it.” “Don’t let it bother you.” You may plan to do exactly that, but then it niggles in the back of your brain. I know because it happens to me, too. It happens to good people because they are caring and believe in making amends and mending fences.

What the memes and posts and articles tend to fail to mention is this:

Being healthy and having a relationship with an abuser are mutually exclusive. Choosing to be healthy is not selfish or hateful or even mean.

The next time someone throws at you something like “You’re not a good Christian” or “What would Jesus do?” Remind them that Jesus did not hang out with the Sadducees and Pharisees. In fact, He avoided them. He also didn’t hang out with anyone who wasn’t Jewish. This made His encounter with the woman at the well all the more unusual.

If the naysayers bother to push further, you tell them you’re hanging out sinners who want to be around you. Jesus wasn’t a sinner, but He hung out with the ones who wanted to be with Him, who needed Him. Do what Jesus would do.

A storm in July felt appropriate for the post.


Responses

  1. ❤️❤️ Dearest Judy. Thank you for this informative, right on article. You are correct, choosing to be healthy is not hateful, rude, or selfish. It is necessary and our God given right. Becoming and remaining healthy is absolutely necessary to receive God’s best in this lifetime. In order to live the life God, intended us to live, we must free from abuse, and the guilt often associated with said abuse. Manipulation and mind games are normally part of the emotional abuses that occur along with physical and other abuses .
    Thank you for sharing this, and especially for addressing well meaning Christians advice. My husband and I, are ministry leaders, for Celebrate Recovery, in our Church. Celebrate Recovery is a recovery Program for hurts, habits, and hang ups. Often people associate CR as being for ‘those people’ with drug or alcohol problems. However only one out of three attend for drugs or alcohol issues. We see lasting affects to victims by the harm done by abuse and abusers. Walking with someone into wholeness is very rewarding, but also can be very challenging because of what you have addressed.
    I want to reiterate, Forgiveness offered to the abuser does not equal relationship restoration. Forgiveness often is not recommended or done face to face, due to dangers involved. We deal with survivors where the perpetrator or perpetrators have died and the forgiveness is done with a letter or the empty chair technique.
    If anyone is being guilt tripped to let their guard down, and quote unquote, just forget what happened, this is spiritual abuse. God is bigger than the what if’s involved. Forgiveness is for the person to be free. Doing the work of forgiving has nothing to do with hanging out with or being around abusers. If abusers are still alive and are truly repentant with the evidence of owning their bad behaviors and actions, of course this is a whole different outcome. We also help abusers walk into wholeness, and make their amends to those they have hurt. If the abuser is truly repentant they want to make amends for the harm they have done and own it! If this isn’t evident; BEWARE!
    I see spiritual abuse where the victim will say, “but I must ___________ because I am however a Christian.” No! That is passivity not forgiveness. We can walk in love from a safe distance away. We can pray for those who spitefully use and abuse us, as the Bible instructs, while warning others. No sane person in their “right mind” abuses or torments another human being. This is in the mental illness arena and these are unsafe people.
    Thank you again for sharing this good, godly sound advice. I pray that this sets many free from unearned guilt they may have been carrying around from year to year. Merry Christmas! 🎄❤️

    Henry Cloud, Christian councilor and phycologist, offers this great advice. If you have to go to a family Christmas gathering and you know there is an unsafe ‘other’ there, do the buddy system. Take someone with you who is aware of the ‘other’ and have them stay with you at all times.

    • The buddy system works, and so does having an exit plan.


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