On March 12 in my post entitled, What’s Going On, I linked to an article Tracy Keen wrote on abuse (it is in the comments section). Today she has another great article up at RickThomas.net entitled, How to counsel the abused by going beyond the abuse. If Rick or Tracy see this, I would love to post the entire article. But for GCMers here are a few quotes from the article that you need to understand, something that has been left to the wayside in all the counseling that goes on at GCM.
Jennifer is the abused in this post.
“Jennifer has two problems. The first, she has been on the receiving end of much abuse and hardship and that is the problem that is obvious.
The second problem, which is not so obvious and where you must tread carefully, is she is also the victim of the modern gospel. She has a heart issue in more ways than one.
Jennifer needs a heart that is healed from the sins done to her, but she also needs a heart healed by Christ for the sins she has committed, which are not connected to the abuse.”
“In comes the struggle when dealing with a person like Jennifer. It is unbelievably difficult to counsel or help a person who has had so many sinful things done to them.
The reason for this, simply put, is because it is hard for them to see their own sin in addition to the sins done to them. Their focus is on others for obvious reasons. Even writing about their Adamic condition outside of the abuse can be an affront to the abused.”
“This is why a gospel that is centered only on the love of God and does not address the sins of the person is going to fail a person like Jennifer. She may come to God looking to be loved and accepted, which she will, but she will not be helped comprehensively.
So she comes to God confessing all the sinful things people have done to her. She admits to Christ how she is broken, about as broken as any person could be when they have been abused. She sees no future for her life and truly wants God to put her back together.”
“But here’s the problem, Jennifer was never helped to see her sin that put Christ on the cross. So when she comes to the cross, she comes with a list of sins committed against her.
When she leaves the foot of the cross, nothing has truly changed because now she sees herself not as how God sees her, but as someone better than those who have wronged her.
So what did Jennifer walk away with if it wasn’t Christ? Just an empty form of religion that often times leaves a person worse off than before. When dealing with a person like Jennifer, there are some things to keep in mind.
- Salvation is the work of God. We are to lead people like Jennifer to the cross.
- Sanctification is a work of God. We are to water and plant, trusting the LORD to give the growth.
- A person like Jennifer will need time to be able to separate her sin from the sins done to her.
- Pray, pray, and pray some more.”