Pink Elephant Alert
Have you been spiritually abused? I’ll walk out on a limb and say that if you are in ministry, then you probably have — we all have and sadly, may not even realize it is what it is.
Spiritual abuse has been defined as “a kind of abuse which damages the central core of who we are. It leaves us spiritually discouraged and emotionally cut off from the healing love of God.”
But why does it happen? Generally, by “the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining, or decreasing that person’s spiritual empowerment.” But there are other causes as well.
I honestly didn’t realize there was such a thing until I had it happen to me. The last 15 months have been the hardest months of the nearly 5 years I’ve been in active ministry (internship to full-time employment). I don’t believe there is anything more damaging to someone’s spiritual walk than when it is plagued by spiritual abuse and its aftermath.
If you have experienced spiritual abuse, you know the result. Those who have experienced it, know it is powerful enough to cause them to question their relationship with God, and even, the very existence of God. There are feelings of hopelessness, anger, sadness, loneliness, need of escape, loss of joy and loss of peace.
But the damage that has been done is not irreversible. It is possible to feel safe again. It is possible to learn to rest again. It is possible to regain that sense of blessing you once had. And somewhere along the way… the joy returns. It is possible to even trust again.
The cynic can become the optimist. Believe me of that one.
Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand.
If you you are in midst of spiritual abuse, and would like prayer or someone to talk to … please let me know. I’d love to walk alongside of you.
Experiencing and/or have had experiences with spiritual abuse? Discuss.