Have You Ever Been Abused by a Pastor?
Sooner or later it seems to happen to all of us: we get beat up by a spiritual shepherd who’s supposed to be protecting us!
If you are walking on the narrow road that leads to life (Matt 7:13-14), you are going to run into the persecutors who will throw you out of the synagogues. They will often believe in their hearts that they are right and doing God’s will. (John 16:1-2) Jesus told the apostles this ahead of time so they would not be shaken.
Were you shaken when it happened to you? I certainly was! I had placed someone in spiritual authority over me on a pedestal of idolatry and the day that pedestal crashed, so did I!
Early in my walk, I had the privilege of being connected to a small group of women that loved the Lord. One of the ladies was a pastor that had graciously taken on the role of mentoring me. We formed a small Bible study that met at lunch time and for months things went smoothly. However, one day, the entire group was summoned to gather for correction.
As that correction began, my spirit was in agreement to the truth that was being spoken. Suddenly, however, the correction turned into a personal attack upon me and a spirit of condemnation, operating through this woman, started word cursing me. I was emotionally devastated and it was all I could do to return to work. In fact, I was so wounded that I sat at my desk weeping for hours. I had no clue at the time that this trial would be my greatest lesson in compassion for others that would allow me to later counsel more fully with love.
It took me a while, but I received counsel myself, chose to forgive her and also began working on what I could change in me.
Often times in our outrage at such treatment we cry out to God against the one who wronged us. We cry for justice or even vengeance and end up making things rougher on everyone involved including ourselves.
We need to stop and see this attack for what it is right away.
- Identify the enemy. Do not associate the person with the spirit working through them to hurt you. This is where we make our biggest mistake. We take aim at the person and waste our time and energy ranting and raving and plotting against people. They are simply under the devils influence and their target is your promise from God.
- Once you have identified the spirit, hit him quickly with the Word of God. Use the name of Jesus and the power that has been given to you as a Son and Daughter of the King, begin to bind your enemy from doing you any further harm (Matt 16:19). Then, you can really tick the demonic kingdom off with your next move which is,
- Pray a blessing over that person. In Matthew 5:44-45 Jesus give us these instructions. "Love your enemies, Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you, that ye may be the children of our Father which is in heaven"
I look back on that day of correction with great love for the Holy Spirit who is my teacher, counselor and wise friend because I have clients coming in with these wounds every day. They always start with, "But you just don't understand....." I can honestly say, "Yes I do!" But more importantly, so did Jesus. As his disciples, he warned us in John 16 verse 4, "I am telling you these things now so that when (not if) they happen, you will remember that I warned you."
Do you have a similar trial, that was meant for evil and God used it for your good? I sense this is a topic that needs to be talked about. Please use this open forum for further conversation it will help encourage those still struggling with abuse in the church.