Many, if not most, victims will conclude from the abuse inflicted on them that they have little or no value. They are likely to view God as angry and withholding, unconcerned for their welfare. This applies whether the abuse is emotional, physical, sexual or in the form of neglect.
When in all humility Christians describe themselves as undeserving of Salvation or compare their righteousness to “filthy rags” (Is. 64: 6), abuse victims can readily identify. However, abuse victims are inclined to view themselves as irredeemable.
Having been treated like filthy rags, having been taught that love must be “earned” – and never is – victims may, even as adults, wrestle with shame and believe that they are worthless. This can drive them toward legalism (Christianity as perfectionism), in a frantic attempt to obtain the love they have been denied.
But God values every life. His love is freely given.
“ ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth’ ” (Matt. 5: 5).
“… ‘Whoever receives this little child in my name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great’” (Luke 9: 48).
Christians must, first and foremost, demonstrate God’s love to abuse victims. If they fail in this, the shame is theirs.
This series will continue next week with Trusting God, Self, and Others
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