I want to start by addressing those who are currently experiencing any form of abuse. I pray for you right now that the Helper of the helpless sends you the help and support that you need to overcome your difficult situation in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let us take a moment to define the term “abuse” before we proceed further.
- “To treat with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.”
- “The improper use of something.”
God created us in His image, and, sadly, some image-bearers don’t exhibit the character of God. It is worthy of note that any act of cruelty, violence, or abuse contradicts the nature of God.
No one deserves to be treated as anything less than an image-bearer of God. Anyone who claims that abuse is a means of correcting someone who has committed a wrong because they are broken or damaged, and as such requires mistreatment is a liar!
God abhors injustice, which is why He repeatedly commanded His children in Israel to look after their slaves, widows, orphans, and anyone else they encounter.
Confronting abuse with abuse or any other form of wickedness only aggravates the situation and fuels its growth.
To confront and overcome abuse, start by:
- Remembering your identity. This is crucial when dealing with verbal abuse, as the abuser often manipulates you with falsehoods and half-truths. Frequently, they aim to exert control over you and subject you to a life that your heavenly Father never intended for you. If you are in doubt about your identity, the bible is filled with reminders of who you are. Your identity is not determined by anyone else or what they say, but by God who created us.
2. Seeking help. Do not suffer in silence. If you’re experiencing abuse, reach out to someone you trust, like your pastor, parents, or anyone who can assist you. Do not allow your abuser to isolate you, as isolation is one of the most powerful chains of abuse. Seek help and break free from the cycle of abuse.
3. Seeking therapy and professional help.
- Fighting with the word of God. Reject anything negative said to you that contradicts the Word of God, and replace it with God’s truth. Below are some verses for you.
● Psalm 139
● John 1:12
● Ephesians 1:1-14
● Ephesians 2
● Colossians 2:10
● Isaiah 54:14; 53:5
● 1 John 5:18
● 1 Corinthians. 2:16; Phil. 2:5
● Philippians 4:7
● 1. John 4:4
● Ephesians 1:17-18
● 1 Peter 2:9; 1 Peter 1:23; 2:4
● Matthew 5:14
● Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:1
● John 3:16; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4.
5. Surrounding yourself with a support system is essential. Having Godly people around you is a great blessing that anyone can have.
6. Removing yourself from violent abuse. Where the abuse you suffer becomes life-threatening or jeopardizes your mental stability, it is wise to step out temporarily from such a situation. Your wholesome well-being matters to the purpose for which God has called you.
If you are the abuser in your own life due to past failures, hurts, and trauma, it can be difficult to break free from the cycle of negative self-talk. The devil loves situations like this, he will indulge you by feeding you with more lies.
However, you can start by identifying the source of the hurt, trauma, or failure, and seeking God’s help in prayer for healing. Accept God’s forgiveness and forgive yourself. Afterward, intentionally form the habit of speaking the right words to yourself.
When the devil comes with lies, counter him with the word of God. The verses above can be helpful but don’t hesitate to search for more and repeat them to yourself until you believe them and silence the voice of the devil. It’s also crucial to engage in activities that uplift and edify your mind while disengaging from triggers that bring up the past. Protect your mind, knowing that it is the battlefield, and lean heavily on the Holy Spirit, who is our Helper.
May the God of all comfort meet you right where you are and bring you the help and healing that you need. Amen.