Does God Like Me?

8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. (Jam 3:8-9)

How many of us have been attacked by the tongue? How many live at home with a reviler and are subjected to the lash of ugly words?

You’re fat.

You’re stupid.

No one even likes you.

You are worthless.

If it wasn’t for me, no one would even tolerate you.

There are millions who were raised by cruel and harsh men and women who have never known a kind word; who have never known what it is to be accepted or loved.

And there are also millions who scoff and say, “It’s only words. I just get angry sometimes…” To you, I have just one thing to say: Please read carefully Matthew 5:22 and meditate on how you use words. You are in danger of hell. If you have ever called one of God’s children ugly, fat, stupid, worthless, unlovable – who shall deliver you from the wrath to come? It is a dangerous thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Your words do not come from God. They are lit on fire from hell.

These are not the words that we have learned from Christ Jesus. He taught us to use words of truth and grace, seasoned with salt, edifying to the hearer.

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. (Eph 4:29)

There are so many ways to tear people down with words. One of the most insidious is to never revile out loud, but just simply let your victim know that they really aren’t very likeable. Perhaps they are weird. Perhaps they do things differently. Perhaps they think a little…not like you. This is the classic passive-aggressive bully. God hates it.

This one is close to my heart, because I am…let’s face it…weird. I cannot small talk for anything. I have no idea what is going on in any sporting event. I say weird things at weird times. I don’t have a clue what “guys do”.  At my bachelor party, two of my friends picked me up from work and said, “This is YOUR NIGHT. You can do whatever you want!” I sat on their couch and stared at them for two hours until they let me go home.

I’m weird. There is no situation where I am not awkward, no conversation that I can’t stop by saying something very weird.

And most of my life, I was absolutely convinced that most people would be far happier if I just went home. So I usually did.

It occurred to me the other day that I have a hard time believing that anyone likes me. And then it occurred to me that I carry this belief to God himself. Does God actually like me?

It is an interesting question. I think that question is particularly difficult for those who have been attacked with the tongue. How can anyone like me? Does God like me? Does it matter?

It isn’t the same as “Does God love me”. We know that God does love us. He loves us with perfect, infinite, unchanging love in Jesus Christ, his beloved Son. We also know that nothing separates us from his love.

But does he like me?

I’ve heard of parents who say to their kids, “I love you, but I don’t like you very much.”

I’ve heard husbands say that about their wives. “I love her, but I sure don’t like her at times.”

And our greatest fear is that God just barely tolerates us. He loves us in Christ, but really just wishes we would go away. Can you think of anything more shameful than hearing God say, “I love you, but I sure don’t like you much.”

Do you see what I am getting at? I’m trying to make the doctrine of God’s love practical, and looking at what it actually means. What does it mean to love someone that you don’t really like? I guess I just don’t get that.

Does God think I’m weird? Does he think that church would be better if I didn’t show up? Does he roll his eyes and sigh when I cry out to him yet again?

Yes,  I know that God hates sin and calls me to repent. I also know that he has cleansed me from sin. I know that he does not tolerate sin. I’m not talking about sin. I’m talking about the fact that I really like colored socks and don’t know what to say to strangers I’ve just met. I’m talking about the kind of clothes that I wear and the kind of music I like. I wear waistcoats and hats and say weird things.

Does God like me? I am not speaking about the independence of God. I know that God does not need his creatures, including me, for anything. I do not add to his blessedness, for in him are all the perfections of holiness. I add nothing to God. I get that.

But does God like me?

Here’s why I believe this question is important. We were created to be social, in fellowship. We were created to be loved and have friends, to walk with God, to speak with him in the cool of the day. We were created to live in harmony with one another. We were created to be accepted and to love and be loved and to belong. To know and to be known.

And we still have that memory of Eden. We still have the need to belong. My heart still cries out to belong, to fit in, to be acceptable. The human heart cannot abide being outcast. No one can live thinking that everyone wishes they would go away, that everyone just thinks they are stupid, fat, smelly, ugly and weird. We cannot live thinking that we are totally unacceptable. This is the insidious nature of abuse. It tears down and destroys what the heart longs for the most. The words of a spouse can hurt and destroy and kill far more than any weapon imaginable. To be unacceptable, banished from love, and undesirable is intolerable to an image-bearer of God.

So the question is very important. Does God like me?

If God does not like me, then I must seek acceptance elsewhere. The stupidest, most shameful things I have ever done I did to try to be accepted. I sought the approval of men, and failed all the way around. I still blush when I think of it.

But if I do not seek the approval of men, whose approval do I seek, if God does not like me?

Do you see what I am getting at?

What do I do to be accepted? I am loved because of Jesus Christ, but does God accept me? Does God like me? Do I need to wear more acceptable, “god-like” clothing? Use more Christian-like phrases? Do I need to change my personality to something more acceptable to God?

Once again, I am not talking about sin. I know I need to confess and flee from sin. I am asking what I need to do for God to like me. Does God like me? Am I likeable?

And when I asked that question, scripture after scripture after scripture came to my mind and I felt free at last.

5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Eph 1:5-6)

God chose ME because he wanted to, and he made me accepted in the beloved. God DOES like me, and I am accepted by him!

As for my body and my face,

14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from Thee, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.
16 Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Thy book they were all written… (Psalm 139:14-16)

He put together my frame, my form, my face. He gave me my hair and my eyes. he gave me this belly and these feet. He doesn’t think of me as defiled, ugly, unclean, untouchable, for he made me. He gave me these parts, and behold they are very good.

Get thee behind me, Satan! God gave me this face and said it was very good! How dare you insult the frame that God gave to me! I’m not dirty and untouchable and unlovable!

As for my gifts and personalities,

18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.
19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
20 But now there are many members, but one body. (1Cor. 12:18-20)

(Read the whole chapter!) See how God has chosen ME and has given me the gifts that he gave me. He gave me those gifts on purpose. He knew what he was doing. He gave me my weird personality, he gave me my strange quirks. In fact, it is because I am different that I am valuable to the body of Christ, according to this text. If we were all an eye, who would do the hearing?

Look around your church, look at your fellow believers. God gave each of them their gifts, their looks, their abilities, their perspectives, their cultural and social background. And he did it ON PURPOSE.

It is his good pleasure to give you all the kingdom.

Does God like us?

17 “The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. (Zeph. 3:17)

And here,

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (Psa 100:3)

Our God, thrice holy, infinite and almighty, the creator and sustainer of the earth made ME, and made me on purpose. He gave me my personality, my background, my gifts. he gave me the body that I have, and even the flaws are counted – like how many hairs fall.

And he said it was very good. He redeemed me in Christ, and calls me to put off the old man with the fears and the doubts. He told me not to be a man-pleaser, but to seek to please him.

Because of the work of the Lord Jesus, and because I belong to him by faith, I am accepted by God. And because I am loved, God has given me his spirit, and given me gifts.

And when I am kind, when I use my gifts to his glory, when I rest in him, when I trust in him, when I cry out to him, he accepts me. He delights in ME.

ME!

I am not just barely tolerated by God, but accepted in the beloved. He loves ME, and, yes, if I may say so, he likes me.

And so let’s all put aside our doubts and our fears and run this race together, shall we? Let’s quit trying to lift ourselves up by tearing one another down. Let’s quit trying to one-up each other, bragging and boasting about our accomplishments. Let’s quit worrying about whether anyone else likes us or not. If God is for us, who can possibly be against us?

Be kind, courageous and faithful, for your God is with you!

Advertisements

49 Comments

Filed under Gospel, Hope, Love, Words

49 responses to “Does God Like Me?

  1. Very timely message. I needed this. I am humbled at the Lord’s grace and mercy in my life and yet; the difficult days of rejection creep up on me. Tears flow. Thankfully, I can cry out to my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

  2. Amen, Sam! Not only does God really like us, I believe He actually laughs at our antics with all the delight and joy that a good Father has when he laughs at his own kids. God is not mad at us, God is in a good mood.

    Somebody smart once told me that the very definition of being weird, of feeling set apart, was actually to be holy. Holy actually means “set apart.” We are being made into something holy, so deliberately chosen and set apart. “Weird,” for sure. Rather than sensing other people’s rejection, we should be sensing our own adoption, our special invitation to come rest at His feet.

  3. Bunkababy

    This is an interesting post for me to read. It will make me think. It did bring about questions though.
    I understand the God given DNA chosen by God that makes up my personality. But I can’t help wonder how that has been altered throughout my childhood. There is no doubt my childhood altered me. It has left a deep imprint on my personality.
    The only life experience I can see how DNA affects personality is through my husband and daughter. It is absolutely profound and mindboggling.

    In my particular situation how I am is a direct result of PTSD. And to me that is a side dish. But because I was so shattered in the formative years, I don’t even know what my personality is.
    Did it rise out of the ashes anyways? Did I come up with a new personality and traits because of abuse.?
    Now I wonder who is my core? What is my core?
    I do have creativity galore. But that is not a personality. It is a gift. And it was always there in spite of abuse.
    Does God like me now? I can honestly say overall yes. That is a thing he has made absolutely clear. I don’t have problem with that at all. He has cemented that in me by revealing himself to me.

    Do I like me? I like who I have become. Do I like that girl? Do I like that baby that was reviled? If I was honest about that little girl, no. I don’t even like looking at pictures of her. Can I see God liking that little girl? I don’t know. That idea has drawn an empty , blank space. Like looking at a blank wall.
    Its interesting how my experience has made me loathe myself as a dirty, vile, thing that needs to be kicked. Throw her out. We hate her.

    Mmmm. I really can’t see God liking that ugly little thing.
    There was absolutely nothing to like.
    For the life of me I can’t think of one good thing to like about me as a kid.

    I can only seem to like what I have become, and yet who I am is so tainted and scarred , and imprinted by my past.
    This is such a complex thought. I’m not the person he created in the womb.That was someone else.
    She is lost. She is still a baby before people Got a hold of her twisting her into a mutilated persona of evil inprinted on her.

    Got hates evil. I dont think he liked that little wretched rag, bag of bones. Only good for evil purposes. Purposely manipulated for evil.
    For all my yakking about what has brought out of the ashes and what I am now, I can only see the now. He likes me now. Not then.

    • Psalm 139 deals with all of it. Not only your body and your personality, but also your experiences. It isn’t just your genes that determine your personality. It is also your experiences and your training and your upbringing – for good or for bad.
      For all of the evil that was done to you, I think of Isaiah in chapter 6 crying out “Woe is me,., for I dwell among an unclean people”. The coal from the altar not only cleansed him from HIS uncleanness, but also cleansed him from the shame and guilt inflicted on him by wicked people around him.
      Paul’s training and background and experience made him who he was – even before he was converted. Same with Jeremiah, John the Baptist – and each one of us.
      We do grow and put off sin and become adults. But God formed us in the womb, and FROM the womb, to be exactly who we are today.
      I am so sorry for the evil inflicted on you. God’s love is such that he despises all who twist and seek to destroy his image in you.

      • Cat lover

        I understand what you wrote in theory. But to actually go there and know it it won’t happen. It would probably throw me over the edge. It has taken me this long to stay on top of the edge nicely balanced.
        I will think about it.
        It promped me to ask my husband about my personality, which took him aback. His answer did not surprise me but brought a clarity I had never thought about.
        I’m pretty convinced the who I am now is not the who I would have been minus my childhood.
        Maybe if I had biological parents whom I could look at and see their traits it would not be so difficult.
        Thanks Sam. Your posts and thoughts are appreciated and thought provoking.

    • Dear Bunkababy, thank you so much for opening your heart here!

      You talked about DNA. I don’t know if you follow A Cry For Justice (the blog I lead) but on March 12 (USA time) we will be publishing a post titled
      “Marinated in trauma” – generational transmission of trauma. Diane Langberg & Phil Monroe.”

      Our post will give a link to a video presentation where Dr Phil Monroe talks about epigenetics and the generational transmission of trauma.
      I think what both Phil Monroe and Diane Langnberg say in that presentation will deeply resonate with you.

      If you want to follow A Cry for Justice, here is a link which explains how to do so. https://cryingoutforjustice.com/following-the-blog/

      (hugs if you want them) from Barb

  4. Persis L

    “I am not just barely tolerated by God, but accepted in the beloved. He loves ME, and, yes, if I may say so, he likes me.”

    I grew up with the idea that God accepted me but I then had to make myself acceptable. Huh? That’s why your post is so encouraging. I still need the reminders.

  5. Cat lover

    Cat lover…..it should read Bunkabay…..computer it’s not my thing.

  6. Anon.

    I haven’t even read something like a third of it and I have to comment. Are you kidding? Awkward? Unliked? I wait for these posts of yours. Oh my goodness. And your daughter sounds similar in her writing / conversational tone.

    I don’t do small talk, I read a book on such things once. It didn’t help. I’m so glad you posted again and that you exist Pastor Powell! Now, I’ll go back to reading this lastest post of yours….

  7. Pastor Sam, I too can not, for the life of me, think what to say to strangers (although, oddly, I can write to strangers without much difficulty). My mind becomes utterly devoid of words to speak when confronted with a situation in which I have to ‘socialize’ with those I do not know. My profession, and one which I have ample evidence is the one to which I am called, is in healthcare, which means I interact with strangers all the time. I get through it somehow, and instructors and colleagues have commended me for the humanity I show to patients, but the interactions never get any easier. I sympathize with Moses, and sometimes remind the Lord of his words of protest when he got his calling, “O Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since you have called your servant, but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue”, if only to hear the Lord’s reply again: “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth, and teach you what you should say.” (Exodus 4:10-12)

  8. This thread is breaking my heart Sam, so I simply must say something.

    “I don’t even like looking at pictures of her. Can I see God liking that little girl? I don’t know.”

    The enemy comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I was once that little girl with a ton of evil poured upon me, mis-shapen into something dark and ugly. The Lord however, if we turn to Him, He will restore what has been stolen, ten fold over. He plucks out thorns, He heals, He brings us back into right relationship with Him, and He holds that child, the one He knit together in the womb, in the palm of His hand. The Lord takes ugly things and makes them beautiful once again, the way He designed us to be. But not just beautiful, fused together with gold.

  9. Anonymous

    The part where you say a person should meditate on how one uses words and being in danger of hellfire and that if one has ever said words of hatred to one of God’s children, there is no stopping the wrath to come…..

    I am seeing that I have been poisoned by so much evil that it has forever changed me, for the worse, and the hateful, enraged, things that pour out of my mouth, that I think is my trying to defend myself or advocate for myself for once instead of being silent or otherwise……. I wonder if my baptismal grace is in serious jeopardy.

    Live too long with an abuser, be around too many predators, be subjected to all sorts of hateful things from scores of people and it’s like it mutated me into something else and upon reading this post of yours, I feel convicted.

    Mathew 5:22 deals with a brother or sister in Christ, yes? And Jesus even used “brood of vipers” in referring to some people. So I don’t know. I really think I should become mute for the rest of my life, lest I burn in hellfire. But Jesus died on the cross for me and paid for my sins in full, so I don’t know. But it is one’s soul and I want to be very careful with that.

    Evil taints a person until they become so poisoned that the person no longer knows which way is up, whether God likes them, whether they are false ‘c’hristians who will be turned away by Jesus, saying, “I never knew you” and its seriously scary.

    I don’t know who I am. I haven’t for some time. At one point I seriously doubted and very much wondered if I was yet a human being. When some in the church went against me and were mean and devious towards me I figured I must not be a child of God anymore. Had they told me they didn’t like me or that they believed my abuser or been upfront and not looked to set me up, smear me, and whatnot else, that would have been more tolerable. The deception and underhandedness was what really killed me.

    Evildoers destroy you, yet keep you living, a poisoned person who doesn’t know which way is up, can hardly talk without pure rage flowing out, and it goes from there. I can’t believe this is my life. May God help me and if anyone reading this wishes to say a prayer for me, that’d be very much appreciated.

    • I am so sorry. God’s justice is perfect and you are not the first who has had to deal with this on this earth. May I suggest that you pray the words of Psalm 73 and Psalm 37? both deal with what you have brought up. A longing for justice is godly and will be honored.
      God’s justice is always perfect, and you can leave it in his hands.
      I’m praying…

  10. Bunkababy

    Annonymous
    Rage
    I have felt rage , I actually like rage, I like feeling rage come out. It feels like an explosion kept under pressure.
    I don’t think it is bad because it is an expression of the evil placed upon that you just cannot bear any longer.
    I like rage . Letting it out said to me, ” look what you did to me, look how you destroyed me, look at this crazy effed up person you made me”. It feels really good to let it out. In safe circumstances.

    But I have found there is a difference between letting it out in a general sense releasing pressure and using it to hate.
    Sometimes rage can be revengeful. It can be hate . It can be used to inflict pain on others.
    This is the difference. If it is used to hurt someone as much as they hurt you I think that is where it crosses a line somewhere.
    They can poison and taint us with evil , but that evil doesnt have to be used on others.

    Maybe that is the difference. But , i have found raging in front of the abuser doesn’t get me very far. It is usually turned back at you and causes more pain. The only time it has ceased the rage to flow is when the abuser can feel the actual pain he has caused and is able to identify in himself the ugly evil imposed on you that brings utter sorrow and repentance. Only then has it ever quelled the flow of rage into a flood of tears and pain. Then there is no more pressure.
    Rage needs to be let out. Maybe you can find a way to rage that is not triggered by a person at a particular moment?

    The poison, evil and rage mudt come out. What form it takes, or we turn it into is what the problem is maybe.

    I hope this helps.

    • To both, God tells us how to deal with godly anger in Romans 12:19-21. But “giving place to wrath” he means that we move our sinful anger out of the way, as it were, so that God’s justice can take over.
      I’ll write more on that when I can.
      God also hates what has been done to you, and it is not his will that rage and anger consume you. He would have you put it in his hands, for his justice is perfect.

      • anonymous

        Perhaps it is not rage. I console myself in knowing they will burn in hellfire and to me that feels wrong but i was also raised to incorrectly believe i must be nicey-nice to all.

        God hates the wicked and these children of the devil brag on their wickedness. Felonious criminals. Seriously evil wicked predators. Shameless. Psychopathic. I take comfort in knowing they are going to hell.

        Is that wrong of me…. They are not a brother or sister in Christ so I don’t think the ‘raca’ verse applies. I’d feel better if they were in prison but that’s not going to happen so their spending eternity in hellfire is my only comfort.

        Is this a sin??

      • I don’t know your story, so I hate to speak in generalities, but I think that it is better for you to pray as Jesus did that the Father would forgive…
        If the Father answers that prayer, they will be horrified at what they have done, seek forgiveness and truly and genuinely repent. This is what Jesus actually prayed on the cross and his prayer is answered in the book of Acts, when those who crucified him were awakened and horrified and sought forgiveness. They were the first church members (Acts 2)
        I know it is a huge step, but it is also quite freeing.
        It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

      • Bunkababy

        Sam,
        I think a part of the process for healing from trauma, is letting out the anger. Often rage comes unexpectedly. Often, it is dissociated and put away, and the bearer of trauma is surprised at how much and what the content of the rage is. In a setting of healing being brought out into the light , repented of, and forgiven is different than simmering in it like a crock pot..
        You can’t sincerely repent of something or act in a godly way until you are made aware it is even there.
        I have found that there can even be a demonic aspect to rage, that must also be brought out into the light and be cleansed.
        For some who have been traumatized or even those who have not, but struggle with intense anger on a continual basis the pattern in which it was born and exists must be highlighted by the Holy Spirit, convicted and repented from. Or simply said these are feelings because of injustice done to you. And for some this is an immediate turn around, and for some, the road to dealing with it is a drip feed method of the Holy Spirit shedding light.
        Only God knows the method in which we will respond.
        I might add that once aware of a propensity towards rage or wrath it can be dealt with.
        To me there is a difference between a child who has experienced so much pain and trauma who explodes in a rage of temper throwing things, smashing things, in an all out hysterical hissy fit, in an effort to release emotion in a situation in which she has no control, to a man who drinks , comes home and in fits of rage beats on his wife or kids.

        The adult needs to bear responsibility for his actions. He may not be fully aware of why he does what he does, but he is at the age of responsibility to try to recognize and stop his actions. And if he says he is a christian work on that besetting sin.
        Or even a seething anger towards a coworker. But again it must be brought into light, repented and forgiven. And the Holy Spirit can help the bearer to turn away from the pattern of wrath in the future.

        Sometimes in my own experience as a kid and an adult dealing with past abuse and the pent up rage, or being purposely pushed by a current person in your life to the brink of exasperation , where all control is lost, lamps start being thrown etc, sometimes it is at a point where there is no new patterns of dealing with it, and old patterns set in because there is nothing to replace it. Like just getting up and walking away. I didn’t even know that was an option, or that I had the right to get up and walk away.

        These are not current attacks of rage now, but ones as old as 28 years old. Or even further to when I was 9 yrs old are ones I describe here.
        And those episodes of allowing rage to or against someone else , differ than the rage felt in a clinical therapy environment.

        In my experience, grief, and the release of grief through crying deep sobs , has quelled and stopped the power of rage.
        And other times deliverance from the demonic , completely and utterly ended rage. My anger lost all fuel entirely. Almost to the point where anger didnt even exist. In a situation where anger would have been an acceptable response. (Be angry and sin not)
        And that was the most amazing triumph of healing, and God breaking the chains of the captive and setting me free.
        Certain traumatic events from my past do and will spill over, and expressions of anger overflow , but that is the beauty of the emotions God gave us in dealing with trauma. Once the anger , or feelings of utter helplessness, no control , no power are released n a rage…..it has no power anymore. And the rage dissipates.To even hint at that point that the rage is sinful would stop any healing in its tracks.all it would do is heap more guilt and shame on the person.
        I think hanging on to rage, in some cases is the abused needing to feel control over her abuser. It can be a powerful tool. Not a good fruitful tool, and even a biblically wrong tool. But it is understandable.
        When the person weilding the rage realizes there is no powercord attatched to that tool of rage and it is useless in dealing with an abuser healing can begin.
        All of this is vastly different than having a dispute over something with a brother in Christ and getting all seethy weird , right fighting. That is blatant sin, and in some passages of scripture I think that is what is being addressed.

        Anyhow these are my thoughts on rage.

      • Bunkababy, your comment about rage and trauma is superb. I believe it would be good as a stand-alone post. I’d be willing to post it at ACFJ. Email me if you are interested. My email address can be found under the ABOUT tab in the top menu at A Cry For Justice.

      • anon

        This is good to know, Bunkabay. No lamps are thrown and all for me, but that’s me. I probably would have done better throwing a lamp or two. Perhaps scare off some of the attackers for awhile.
        But we sin in thought, word, and deed, and for me, the string of profanities and foul-mouthed curses is about as violent as I get and it has to be REALLY, REALLY bad for a LONG, LONG time before I start to bubble into a flash-boil. But when I do swear at someone, I feel very badly afterwards.
        I think it gets to a point where we either get mad and rage and blow off some of that steam or we go crazy. Same with crying. We either cry or we go crazy. Can’t bottle everything up and stuff it and cork it and keep it in, playing this nicey nice role no matter what for fear of being unpleasant.
        I didn’t watch much of the Nassar proceedings but a few seconds here and there is all. But some of the victims were like, ‘i hate you, go to hell, i f—ing hate you’ and I’m with them in that sentiment. I’m like, to my monstrous abuser, thug, felonious criminal, ‘die you a–hole, die! eat [poop] and die!’ and he is an attempted murderer, rapist, wifebeating monster who should be in prison for good, but that isn’t happening.
        But I do, I wake up and my only ‘happy thought’ to get me through the moment by moment state of horrified existence is that he (and others who helped him) are going to burn in hell forevermore.
        There was once this exercise where you took this tennis racket and you could whack this thing, with the racket coming from over your head, down as hard as you can, and scream and yell all the obscenities you wanted and I did it, and it was so loud, and I was so enraged and focused on whacking this thing again and again with all of my might and weight and it scared the heck out of everyone else there because I was so dedicated to whacking that thing and the stuff that I screamed is very foul but it was a lovely moment and I felt better and indeed, I found out I was angry. The counselor had suggested that I find my anger and fight for myself because I wasn’t garbage, I wasn’t worthless, and that he was a monster and anger can be protective. If we shame and scold women out of their anger they will just become more vulnerable and easier prey.
        One more quip – there was this woman who was out jogging and this park or trail had a restroom and she was attacked by a would-be rapist in the bathroom and she fought and escaped. She chanted, “not today, MF’er!” [it wasn’t the abbreviated version I am writing here] to keep herself from freezing in fear and she fought him off and won the fight for survival in that bathroom. Her attacker was harmed and eventually arrested. But the think is women and girls are brainwashed to just take the abuse, tone police themselves to death, not make waves, internalize and self-blame, and I think some rage is really good for women to have. Maybe it is just a healthy self-regard that feels like rage to me. Too long a doormat and victim for so much that it’s dramatic to do anything other than, hope and pray the monster or criminal’s latest attack will soon be over.
        You throw those lamps, women of the world, and keep reminding yourselves that you are human beings and worthy of respect and dignity and self-defense.
        Always lovely reading these blog entries of yours, Sam, and Bunkababy and all the other comments.

  11. anonymous

    But yes, if they were dying of thirst I would give them water, feed them, I mean prisoners are given such things in prison, which is how it should be. I wouldn’t spit in their food or throw it at them. But some people are very, very dangerous and very, very evil and they brag on it. I have not wronged them, criminally victimized them or abused them but I do comfort myself in knowing that God will throw them into hell.

    • anonymous

      Just to be clear, you’re saying with your last sentence that if I don’t forgive I will be the one falling into the hands of the living God???

      • anonymous

        Actually, it would be freeing to simply forgive. God will deal with them. God knows all, sees all, and that’s God’s business, not mine. I’m going to think and pray on that as it does feel like poison is filling my soul. Shake the dust off one’s sandals and be done with it.

      • No sorry. I didn’t mean that at all. I mean we should pray for repentance rather than wish hell. That’s all I meant. But leaving judgment in God’s hands sets us free.

  12. Bunkababy

    Sam,
    I am pretty sure I didn’t describe rage very well.
    I am not full of rage, it does not consume me and never has.
    I am trying to convey very strong emotions that get pent up because worse happens to you if you express anything that was done to you.
    When I was a kid I was trained to not to feel, not to cry, not to verbalise any abuse that took place.
    Pain lays dormant for years.and years. The rage I am speaking about is anger, pain, torment, guilt, disapointment , rejection, and in proper circumstances comes out like an explosion, of rage.
    To even insinuate that it is ungodly is unfathomable to me.Even when I have chosen forgiveness, and given them over to a living righteous judge, it does not diminish the aftermath of what was done. Its like getting run over by a car. You forgive the driver but still have to deal with internal injuries ,broken bones , pain physical and emotional.
    My only hope is that you misunderstood my meaning. And have not seen the torment that can come forth from abuse.

    I agree with anonymous. My only solice is that God is just and when he says putting a millstone around someone and tossing them into sea is justification enough for me to gain comfort in knowing they either go there or end up in hell.

    • Anonymous

      Thank goodness for your comments, Bunkababy. Someone else is comforted by the knowledge their abusers will go to hell. When someone openly and regularly brags on their wickedness, I don’t think forgiveness should be given out because what we forgive here on earth is forgiven above, too, I want to say the Office of the Keys, but I am very tired and I hope someone knows the Bible verses I am talking about.

      The Law is for those abusers who glory in their evildoing. The Gospel is for those who are convicted of their sin and repent.

      But I am sure Pastor Powell knows the Bible better than I. Also didn’t Jesus hang on the cross flanked by two criminals, one who repented and the other who did not and mocked/taunted Jesus. The one who repented was told that he would be in Paradise with Him, whereas nothing of the sort was told to the other criminal.

      It;d be great if any of the wicked repented, turned away from evil and did good but given my experiences the abusers are not about to do anything of the sort. Their track record suggests that won’t ever happen.

      And the Psalms 73, 37 are good. I think Pastor Crippen has a sermon and a recent post on his blog alightfordarktimes.com on Psalm 73 (or 37).

      Thank you for your prayers, Pastor Powell and your comments. Thank you Bunkababy for your helpful comments and shared experiences, too.

      • bunkababy

        Anonymous: I have wrestled with this for years. I check the obituaries about every three months. LOL. Not in spite but I need to know.
        A few years back I was cruising around snooping on old friends FB pages and lives. One rocked me to the core. The friend whom I knew in my late teens early twenties, had become an Anglican priest. He was raised by dedicated loving christian people who helped me along the way.
        As I was looking at his congregation pictures one stopped me cold in my tracks and threw me into a mass state of confusion, anger, and FEAR. I had a little rage of emotions as I fell to my knees floundering for breathe.

        It was a picture of my abuser. The Father of my baby when I was 12 years old. He had been a friend of my family growing up, a pillar in the community, well known in my area for being a local politician and all the accolades that go along with all that.

        In one second I felt betrayed, hopeless, despair, and a massive fear. Here I was a woman in my 40’s overwhelmed that I had to share Heaven with my abuser. I was prepared to not go to Heaven at that point if I had to see him there. The safety, the peace, and the rest I had imagined had been in one second ripped out of my life.
        I felt betrayed by my previous friend, who housed him in church. Who led him to the same place that was supposed to be a glorious existence.
        I told God If he was there, don’t count on me coming.
        Even though I had forgiven him long ago…..I had rested my future in the fact that HE was not going there with me…that he was going to burn. I needed him to burn. I needed safety in my future resting place.

        The world seemed utterly unfair. I was a child. I bore a child for him on purpose. It was not a mistake. That little girl passed away right away as she was far too early…..but I had believed she was in the arms of Jesus being safely kept until I met her one day. The thought of him, being there too crushed me.

        The rage I felt as I paced around my house by myself was like a huge storm, I was inconsolable. I think it was the first time I actually verbally blamed God and was actually angry with God for allowing a place where my abuser could be with me for eternity.

        It took me a good couple of weeks to come to grips with that picture(s) and realize according to this mans character that he was in it just save himself for what he thought he could absolve himself of Years of torment towards me and many other children. I knew there was no real repentance. For if there was, both these individuals would have contacted me.

        And again, I had to remain silent in my misery, fear and confusion and just wait….I could not contact my friend and disclose my abuse done by a man in his congregation.
        Last year he died. It was a lack lustre event for me. I thought there would be a sigh of relief. I thought I would be overjoyed that he was getting his punishment. There was nothing. Absolutely nothing. No feelings at all.

        Oh, they had to have some grand stadium set up for his funeral, all the dignitaries had to say their piece about his life of dedication etc. Which was hard to read. I knew the truth. So did other people. But we have to sit and wait in silence, fighting back the pain of injustice.

        I await my mother’s death. I have not seen her in 28 years for my safety and that of my family. I have come to the conclusion it will mean nothing when she dies. There will be no happy dance. She is unrepentant to this day….even though she has attended church all these years. There has been no apology or acknowledgement for the HELL she inflicted on me as a little baby well up unitl my 18th birthday.

        I actually feel sorry for her. I don’t know why. She scares the living daylights out of me still. I guess deep down inside I know what Hell and torment feel like and I know what is coming to her, and it makes me feel bad. Guilty.

        It is a world of confusion. I think it is like that thing where you actually feel bad for your abuser . It has a name. I just can’t think of it. right now.

        Somewhere in my mind I have had to come to terms with sharing heaven with an abuser…..I can’t dwell on it too long because it makes me shake and physically sick. But I have to trust that God can put me in a safe room somewhere…..all padded and comfy..because I will need it.

  13. anonymous

    The pity play of abusers. They troll you to feel sorry for them. Someone once said that if they were to meet the devil, they were sure that they’d feel sorry for him… I don’t know, but abusers are really great with pity plays, they are kind of like ‘stay out of jail’ freebie passes. If a person doesn’t mix in any ‘kindness’ (which is not actual true kindness but rather a manipulation tool, a bribe, a falsity, a duping device) with their cruelty, abuse, criminal victimization of another, then it raises the chances they’ll potentially go to jail or at least a police report will be made. Umm, it is like slot machines. There’s a whole science to it and the intermittent rewards hook a person, addict the person, and cause a person to act irrationally about it.

    I don’t believe any abuser will be in heaven. I have yet to meet, hear about, or read about any abuser who actually ceased being an abuser, repented, turned from evil, and did good. Nope. Just a lot of manipulation and false shows/displays of so-called ‘repentance’ (think crocodile tears right before that toothy croc eats you in one big bite, having lured you closer with the fake tears).

    Eventually I am going to regularly check the obituaries. I have that to look forward to doing now. I never thought of that! LOL.

    But really, it’s very helpful to know that someone else is a God-fearing woman who consoles herself with knowing her victimizers are going to hell. I don’t think that is rage. That is a thirst for righteousness and justice. People put themselves in hell. God isn’t a bully. God hates evildoers and we are to be like God so I am not going to go the ‘forgiveness route’ as none of them are the least bit sorry but rather proud and would do it again today if given the chance, and not one-off events, but rather years and years of constant evildoing.

    It’s like the Penn State coach who raped and molested how many young boys, making sure to target, groom, and offend against the most vulnerable or most easily discredited ones. Rapists do the same thing with women. Target selection is carried out by all the smart ones.

    I couldn’t bring myself to forgive. Nobody who prides themselves in being evil and truly delights in their wickedness should be treated with grace and given forgiveness as they know what they are doing, it is an ongoing and constant wickedness, and they are proud. Sadists. That cheapens forgiveness and makes it meaningless.

    I am confused nearly all the time. Wanting to die nearly all the time. And the only thing I have to comfort me is knowing that they will be thrown into hell, sooner or later. God’s wrath will be poured out. God is just.

    • I am so sorry for all that you have been and are going through. And I agree. There are people whose wickedness is such that God has given them over, and the day will come when justice will flow and every tear will be dried. There is a difference between a cry for justice and rage. I would say more but my computer is being impossible right now. Thank you for your comments

  14. Pingback: Does God Like Me? - The Aquila Report

  15. I love this passage too:
    1 Corinthians 12:22-25 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
    Notice that those parts only *seem* to be more feeble. And we only *think* some parts to be less honorable in the body. Toes are generally not that pretty, but let me tell you, we couldn’t walk without them!
    I also thought of this:
    2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
    Comparing is so damaging and unwise – to those who do it and to those who fall into the “less than” category.

    I was raised in a home with parents who generally valued people for their oddities and “differentness,” who tried to see the value in the way God created us all with our own uniqueness. They were not perfect, but they strove toward that, and I appreciate it very much.

  16. Bunkababy

    I was reading 2 Timothy 3. It has quite an extensive list of evil found in the church. Along with that in Rev 21:8. There is a list of those who dont go to Heaven. I think between those two lists especially Revelations it covers my abusers. I have forgiven , I chose to do it long ago. But it doesn’t remove the imprint of damage.
    I was reading that studies have shown the lack of love, cuddling and attention affects and changes the DNA in infant and young children up to 3 yrs.
    For chronic abusers in the church, they reject the truth of God in wickedness, and eventually God turns them over to futility. Or fables. So basically they have a futile mind. To put it bluntly they have been turned over to their evil desires and live a life believing their own crap. I forget where that us in the New Testament.
    My mother played the victim to every church member she could. Meanwhile she was a ravenous wolf.

    I don’t dwell on these horrible people. I need to live. I need to move forward. Every once in awhile something happens and triggers something. Its like a little earthquake shaking things off the shelf.
    I have to pick up the pieces of broken stuff, mend it, or mourn it and throw it away.
    Some stuff goes back to the top of the shelf again, out of reach and way back where I dont have to deal with it.. I don’t have the ability to deal with it.

    I often think of how many numbers are my days on earth. It is perseverance and longsuffering that get me through the years. It is incredibly tiring.
    But, I think of my grown kids, one who is starting a family. Im not ready yet …to go anywhere.

    • W

      You’re so wise, B. And I really liked the earthquake example A nice visualization and way of processing. Someday I will get to that point – I hope.

      That’s all I can say right now as too much is affecting me that I lack words.

      God bless you, B. And you, too, Ps. Powell! 🙂

  17. I started reading this post a few days ago and began to weep. I had been very depressed and it spoke to me so deeply I had to take a break.

    Now, days later, I am working my way through all the comments. Not yet read all the comments but I thank everyone who has commented here. Your voices are so important! We survivors of abuse need to be honoured for what we have endured and yet not lost the faith which God has given us.

    Every one of you who have commented here (even the ones I have not read yet) please keep speaking! Please keep telling your stories.

    And if you are doubting your faith, let me share this with you. I went through a torrid time lasting many months when I could not pray, could barely read scripture, could not even in my mind ask God to help me. I felt so guilty, so unworthy, so exhausted, so empty, so depleted of energy. During that time I could only comfort myself by reminding myself that God will never let go of me (John 10:28) even if I feel I can’t communicate with Him at all.

    • Bunkababy

      Oh Barbara,
      What you describe has basically been my Christian existence. Please don’t feel guilty. The smallness of the voice, or the barey there whisper and the faintest yearning of the heart God still hears. I know! I know he hears! And I know He understands. Take courage. As I look back it is in this exact kind of weakness he has strengenthed me. But the strength does’nt feel strong at all. It’s not until later after I look back that I think how did I make it through that? That is when I understood God giving us strength. I am not so sure it is the strength we humans understand. At least I don’t. Please don’t feel guilty.

      • Hi Bunkababy. I ought to have made it clear in my earlier comment that during that torrid time the guilt I felt was false guilt, … I was very depressed mentally and physically because I was undergoing a form of chemotherapy (treatment for Hep C). My emotional & mental state was drug-induced. The drugs I was taking (which did clear me of the Hep C virus) were having profound side effects on me, both physical and mental.

        When I get depressed, I seem to have a natural bias towards feeling very guilty and unworthy. I was clinically depressed once (a different time, not the drug induced time) and I also felt very guilty and unworthy then.

        That kind of guilt is not the guilt that comes from consciousness of one’s particular sins. It just seems to be the way my brain defaults when my body chemistry is out of whack.

        In my observation, some people who get clinically depressed do not feel a profound and disabling sense of guilt. But some do… and I’m one of them.

        When I was in feeling the drug-induced guilt, I was at least able to remind myself that it was a side effects of the drugs I was taking and “this too shall pass”.

        Those who are feeling similar things because they have a slow but terminal illness, often don’t have the hope that I had then. And I imagine their experience must be even harder. All the more reason to lean on God and trust in Him for eternal life in the New Heavens and New Earth where there will be no more pain and no more tears.

  18. Perhaps Sam will write a post on anger one of these days, but something that really helped me was Ephesians 4:26, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath..”

    That’s a commandment, “be ye angry.” So when injustice hits us, it’s right to be angry. Anger is not a sin, the Lord Himself got angry. Some of us learn to swallow our anger and the sun goes down on it, and then it becomes rage or festers into depression. Right at the time I was hearing the Lord tell me “be ye angry,” I got a job at the recycling center. My job was to teach these disabled guys how to break bottles. A bit funny, but I can’t tell you how healing the sound of breaking glass really is.

    So I suppose if you are prone to outbursts or violent or something, the “sin not” part is critical. But if you are prone to depression and internalizing your anger, letting it out in healthy ways can be really useful. To this day I am so grateful for “be ye angry.”

    • Helena

      I’m so glad that you wrote this comment, Insanitybytess22. The 2nd part, “don’t sin” was always emphasized, and that Bible verse was usually quoted in a critical, shaming way. Indeed, the first part acknowledges anger.

      Jesus fashioned a rope and turned over tables and chased the moneychangers out of the temple. He didn’t politely ask the moneychangers if they might, pretty please, possibly reconsider not ripping off the poor people in the temple. He was angry and he created change, very boldly and quickly.

      Smashing glass bottles and being paid to do it? Sounds great. 🙂

  19. Bunkababy

    ANON, oh I hear you loud and clear! You kinda made me laugh because I went through a phase which I call my angry years. I would drive by myself yelling at God ( not blaming) but he can take it, unloading my pain using every profanity in the book.
    I kept it together at home when the kids were little!
    Then I would often go to the ocean walking, walking , walking in the tidal pools or waves. The scenery, and the waves would wash over my soul until I could get enough grip to go home and be a mum.
    INSANITYBITES
    I like what you posted, I had never really noticed the “be ye angry” command.
    I’m not sure, I haven’t studied it but I wonder if all the emotion coming forth,
    Is lamenting? What forms does lamenting take?
    BARBARA, thanks for the clarification! I’m glad to know your sickness is gone and your mind is well!

  20. Bunkababy

    ANON,
    Oh could I totally indentify with your statement::

    “There was once this exercise where you took this tennis racket and you could whack this thing, with the racket coming from over your head, down as hard as you can, and scream and yell all the obscenities you wanted and I did it, and it was so loud, and I was so enraged and focused on whacking this thing again and again with all of my might and weight and it scared the heck out of everyone else there because I was so dedicated to whacking that thing and the stuff that I screamed is very foul but it was a lovely moment and I felt better and indeed, I found out I was angry. The counselor had suggested that I find my anger and fight for myself because I wasn’t garbage, I wasn’t worthless, and that he was a monster and anger can be protective. If we shame and scold women out of their anger they will just become more vulnerable and easier prey.”

    I can totally imagine this scene. I can almost even feel it,or relive the feelings you describle.
    Letting it all go is so powerful!
    I have found once it is all gone forgiveness comes easier. Although that too is a process. Nothing is cut and dried.
    One time I was in therapy and was having trouble finding and avenue to release rage. He said I could pound my pillow. I was like NO. That will not cut it.
    He then said I could buy used plates and throw them against a cement wall. I was like NO.
    What am I supposed to do stand in a parking lot throwing plates against a wall?
    Anyhow, I think you did well to find that group.sometimes what is in us is shocking.

    • Anonymous

      Oh, but smashing plates is so gratifying. Something about glass shattering that is really quite magical. Glassware is better as it really shatters whereas plates merely crack. Get your angries out. I think that may be a book title. I am not sure.

      • Bunkababy

        Haha , That’s funny. I would read a book with that title.

      • Great discussion, everyone. When I read those experiences of people who have gone through things that I haven’t, I tend to learn some things. So thank you for that.
        I was thinking that from the very beginning –
        gen. 3:15 – salvation is always linked to the crushing of the serpents head. Jericho falls, then Israel enters. The canaanites are destroyed, then Israel inherits.
        The theme is throughout Revelation. Babylon the great is completely destroyed and cast into outer darkness, and this is the salvation of God’s people. In this current age, Jesus is calling all men everywhere to repent, but he will come in fury and wrath bringing vengeance upon his and my enemies, and that is indeed a day to look forward to.

      • Jesus said to his disciples:
        ““I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!” (Luke 12:49-50)

        I’m still to read all the comments on this thread—it is rich with wisdom and experiences.

      • anonymous

        I wasn’t familiar with the Bible verse you quoted, Barbara, but the second part, about the division, I knew. And so it is. I still struggle with going back and forth, feeling guilty (false guilt), utterly unworthy, having to fight the brainwashing about how worthless and disgusting my abuser considered me, same with his many, many allies who reveled in further harming and victimizing me. I just recalled Proverbs, there are some verses in Proverbs where it talks about how the wicked HATE the upright (because they are upright) and God hates evildoers. When I was a child, there were assignments to memorize Bible verses but I wasn’t that great at it and nowadays, unless I am talking with fellow believers who know their Bibles, I can see why it is important to memorize chapters, verse, and exact words. But anyhow, the bloodthirsty seek to destroy the upright and that has been my unending, horrific, most traumatic, disabling, agonizing, painful experience for so long. So very, very long. Some people deserve to be in prison because it’s like having a fox run around with young, tender, defenseless chicks and chickens. And pretty soon there’s a fattened fox, feathers here and there on the ground and nothing more. And the fox is not sitting there agonizing over his devouring the chicks. Nope. The fox is proud, contented, and would do it again on another day.

  21. Gail

    When I was looking at the top list of ugly words hurled at people, I thought of a phrase I saw recently, “control by insult”. And among adults, to control is to abuse. Nobody should be controlling anyone else. Nobody should be forcing anyone else. And if the perp doesn’t want to always risk arrest, then he can’t always beat the woman into ‘submission’ (subjugate her), so he controls her by insults, cruelty, and degrades her in other ways that are so painful she’ll do practically anything to get the pain to stop, even checking out of her mind, dissociating entirely.

    And battered and abused women almost always say it is the verbal abuse, the emotional violence that cuts them the worst, kills them the most, and just ruins them from the inside out and nobody in law enforcement, the courts, etc. cares about the verbal abuse.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s