Abuse: To use improperly or injuriously; misuse. To hurt or harm by treating wrongly;
Devotion for Abuse
As Jesus was led to his death on the cross, he suffered the ultimate abuse at the hands of mankind. He loved mankind with such a deep love, though in agonizing pain and humiliation, he said, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Jesus loved them, in spite of the hatred spewing from their mouths, the beatings and the nails they used to pierce his hands and feet. He knew that their minds were clouded by fear, resentment and hatred. These are attitudes and actions that we recognize as sin. A mind that will allow, and even encourage, a person to abuse another, whether physically or mentally, is a mind that is still in darkness, with a heart that is broken. God’s word, Jesus and the Holy Spirit work in unison to shed light, where darkness once was. They are the keys that open the heart to replace hate, fear and anger, with love compassion and gentleness.
Often abuse is an extension of one’s own pain, fear or previous abuse. Even though it may be breaking their heart, people often continue to abuse those around them seemingly helpless to stop. Psychologists spend many hours, days or even years, trying to find the key to a troubled mind, but as Christians, we know that the problem is not with the mind, but in reality, it is with the heart. In Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) we read, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”. Often times, we don’t even understand our own actions or motives, but God does. He can see beyond our actions and is able to study our heart. Our hearts are not a secret to God; remember he is the creator of our very being, so it shouldn’t surprise us to know that he knows the motive behind all our behaviors. God is truly the best psychologist I have found and his diagnosis is always correct!
One thing is certain, change a man’s heart, you change a man’s actions and attitudes. As Christians, becoming more like our precious savior Jesus should be our desire. With Jesus as our example, it should be easier to forgive those who mistreat us. After all, unlike Jesus, most of us haven’t endured abuse unto death. In addition, people do not usually hate us because we stand for everything that is good and holy. You can forgive a person who mistreats you. However, my personal belief is that a person should not stay in a physically abusive relationship and if you are the one abusing another, please seek help immediately. Love is not expressed with a fist! I can also tell you, from personal experience, that verbal abuse can be very painful. Many relationships are permanently damaged because of physical or verbal abuse and shame on any Christian involved in either.
I remember certain things that I did and said before I accepted Jesus as my Savior and allowed him to change my heart. Believe me when I tell you that it was not a pretty picture. I am not proud of various parts of my life and I only have God to thank for changing my heart and my desires. I praise him for showing me a better way to live! Just as Jesus said, I honestly don’t think I knew what I was doing or just how ungodly I was. However, shining the light of God’s word into my life and heart, it became very clear….I need a Savior and so does the rest of the world. All I can say is, “Thank you God for accepting me when I was unacceptable.”
How could Jesus be tortured, ridiculed and murdered at the hands of mankind and say, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”? Because he knew that the world needed a Savior and he was willing to pay the price. Before Jesus drew his last breath, he uttered the words “It is finished”. Through the washing of the word of God, the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, let us say “Abuse if finished!”
Ecclesiastes 8:9 All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt.
II Timothy 3:1-5 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
Psalms 37: 1-3 Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants, they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
I Peter 4: 13-14, 16 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalms 119:41-42 May your unfailing love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise; then I will answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word.
Psalms 119:50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
I Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”