"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death." Romans 8:1-2 NLT
Thoughts for Today
This week we have been looking at the pain from suffering abuse that often lasts for years after the abuse has ended. Victims of verbal abuse suffer constant criticism and condemnation from their abuser. They often continue suffering the effects of this abuse long after it has ended. They tend to criticize and condemn themselves and others, a behavior learned from those who criticized and condemned them.
Repentance is the key to breaking this destructive pattern. You are never called to repent for the abusive acts that happened to you … but you do need to repent of the self-destructive behaviors that may have developed in your life. Only through repentance can you grow in your relationship with the Lord.
Self-condemnation leads to a miserable and ineffective lifestyle. Unjust criticism and condemnation of others hinder the development of relationships. Repentance involves bringing your failures to the cross. As you receive Christ's forgiveness, healing of the past can begin. You can start to understand how special you are to Jesus. And you can learn to see yourself and others through his eyes of understanding and love.
Father, I had no control over the abuse I suffered in the past, but I realize now that I do have control over where I choose to go with my life from here. I have made many bad choices and developed some wrong attitudes and behaviors. Please forgive me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for seeing me as someone special. Help me to see myself … and others … through your eyes of understanding and love. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …
Restoring Families: Overcoming Abusive Relationships through Christ by Janet M. Lerner. This study ministers to families caught in the cycle of abusive relationships. It deals with overcoming these abusive relationships through Christ and is recommended for use in small groups and Christian counseling. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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