Spiritual Abuse?

Spiritual abuse is not a widely discussed topic. It occurs when a leader manipulates people to achieve selfish goals. Most abusers are unaware of the harm they inflict.

Internal factors contributing to an abusive environment are: Christians wanting to trust their leaders; not wanting to be disloyal; not wanting to be “a problem”; and accommodating abuse because they become invested. A likely external factor in the rise of spiritual abuse is our culture’s obsession with results and an insatiable “thirst for more.”

There are two types of spiritually abusive leaders: insecure leaders use power to protect themselves; narcissistic leaders seek to accomplish some great cause for validation and self-worth. Narcissistic leaders are fueled by narcissistic followers who also find value from belonging to a great cause.

Signs of an abusive system are: power-posturing; distorted loyalty; people are being used; unhealthy centrality of the pastor; an elitist attitude; inability to discuss concerns; and people being labeled as divisive for raising valid issues.

Those trapped in abusive systems can either flee or fight.

If this sounds like your journey, you are not crazy…

Read the full article… Spiritual Abuse: The Unspoken Crisis

Other resources:

Emotional Abuse: The Crushing of the Human Spirit

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church

10 Ways to Spot Spiritual Abuse

church
MaryDeMuth.com

This post came because I woke up one night at 3 in the morning with this burden I couldn’t shake. So I wrote these traits of spiritually abusive ministries and churches. This is not an exhaustive list, but it typifies what happens. Often you don’t realize you’re in an abusive situation until your health is damaged, your soul is torn, or your outside relationships suffer. My heart in sharing this is to simply shed light on unhealthy, manipulative, controlling practices.

Read the full blog post… 10 Ways to Spot Spiritual Abuse

How do you grieve the unfaithfulness of loved ones?

How do you grieve the unfaithfulness of loved ones? A friend, community… you name it…?

💔

Good memories are painful… they haunt me… I don’t know what to do with them. How do you grieve over a once faithful but then turned hurtful inner community…? I’m grieving over the betrayal of a small circle within a community I loved and trusted, fasted for, prayed for…

…friends, leaders, mentors…

…who once were devoted encouragers and cheerleaders with pom moms… now with daggers by tongue. Some who have admitted it was out of envy and jealousy…

I am fiercely loyal and I am like a warrior for others. So, when those I once fought for, prayed for… resort to attack because I have not met their expectations which they failed to communicate directly to my face… ugh… I just want my aching heart to stop…

I rest in the arms of Jesus healing my broken heart.

How I wish those I loved in community would have been loving to the end…

Not everyone was hurtful, thankfully …but of a few I discovered painful stories behind closed doors of ones I thought loved me well as I did them. I learned they didn’t have the courage to seek to understand, but only to assume and attack… and horribly misunderstand me.

I apologized for not being aware of their situation, and I forgave their initial hurtful words. We pressed on. Then, I apologized again and forgave,… but the hurtful attack didn’t stop… it became a toxic, abusive community… and my body crashed. It said, ‘enough is enough’.

Blame, lying, hiding… it felt like Act 2 of the Garden.
How dangerous one mindset can become…to affect an entire family.

My heart is now wounded. I ache. We were once a fruitful family… hearing God’s voice together, bringing freedom and healing to others together… Now, brokenness.

Betrayal is so hard from those you deeply trusted and respected and loved.

John 17 is Jesus’ prayer for us as a family…
He prays for unity, for love…
and yet I have been hurt the deepest by my adopted ‘family’…

I am reminded of the betrayal Jesus went through by his own family and disciples… for my sake! … Timely, as it is Lent season now. And I am reminded in Matthew 24 that it is the sign of the times…

And this too was timely…

I have adopted many of David’s Psalms for prayers… I’m so glad he was so blunt and raw and called a man after God’s own heart. Oh Lord, have mercy on my broken heart.