Being Abused Does not Give us the Right to be Mean

Eph 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Abusers are evil. Abuse is evil. Wicked. It is cruel and those who exercise it are going to be objects of God’s wrath. Abuse harms its victims greatly in many kinds of painful ways. Abuse is the spirit of murder. It is of the devil.

But coming to realize that we have been treated wickedly, betrayed, slandered, (and just go on here and list all the terrible things abusers do)…does not give us the right to be the center of everyone else’s thoughts. It does not give us the right to lash out at anyone anytime they say something or do something that happens to jolt us or kick off one of those mental replays of some evil that happened to us. That is to say, we do not have the right to walk around like a fuse that can be lit by some statement or action or event and then the expolosion goes off to blast those around us.

I am convinced that a lot of so-called therapy that abuse victims seek help from is what could be labeled “me, myself, and I” philosophy. “You’ve been a victim,” this line of thinking goes, “and now it’s time for you to stand up for yourself anytime someone says something or does something that lights your fuse.” Well, guess what? If you embrace this kind of mentality, you are not following Christ. It will not heal you. It will leave you in the ditch and mire and perpetual “chip-on-the-shoulder” victimhood.

We can be honest with ourselves. We can be honest with others when it is appropriate, and when our words will not be abusive themselves. We do need to learn how to set boundaries and the kind of people who don’t respect boundaries need to be firmly admonished. But if we choose to keep everyone around us walking on eggshells and making them worriy that anything they say can and will be used against them by us in a blast of anger and accusation, then we are sinning. Understand?

I am not talking about abusers who are wicked and who abuse. I am talking about other people we have contact with who might say something in ignorance or they might even say or do something that is not even directly related with or connected to your abuse – but it stings because of your past sufferings. If you lash out and attack and accuse and blame everytime something like this happens, then you are embracing the “me, myself, and I” mentality that threatens to punish anyone who says or does something you don’t like or that triggers you.

And guess what? If that is the path we take, our relationships are going to crash one after another. We will not exercise the love that Christ calls us to live by, and we will regularly hurt and sin against others. And that is the very same thing our abusers did to us.