Luke 17:3 Ministries Inc
Monday, April 24, 2017
For Adult Daughters of Controlling or Abusive Birth-Families
HOLIDAYS 2005 Newsletter
LUKE 17:3 Ministries
for adult daughters
A sisterhood for those who seek support in developing self-esteem, setting boundaries and limits, forgiveness, Godly confrontation, recognizing and cutting ties with reprobates, healing, and rejoicing in the peace and love of
the Lord, our Father
THE ONLY FORM OF ABUSE STILL CONDONED BY SOCIETY. THE ONLY ABUSE IN WHICH THE VICTIM IS CRITICIZED OR ABANDONED FOR TRYING TO PROTECT HERSELF. CHILD ABUSE THAT DIDN’T END WHEN ADULTHOOD BEGAN…THE CONTINUING ABUSE OF GROWN CHILDREN BY THEIR PARENTS.
If you have ever experienced Adult Child Abuse by a parent, sibling, or other relative, We Welcome You!
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Thank you Jesus!
Glory to our King!
THE SHAMEFUL SECRET BEHIND ABUSE AND BETRAYAL
By Rev. Renee Pittelli
A jealous, envious, or competitive relative will never be happy for you. She will not celebrate your joys or successes, but she WILL celebrate your sorrows or failures, and although she might make an effort to keep it to herself, you will sense it. It will kill her to compliment or congratulate you. She doesn’t believe you deserve anything nice, or that you worked hard for something- she believes it’s just dumb luck- and why shouldn’t it happen to her instead of you?
She will make lame excuses not to be a part of your happy occasions- getting “sick” on the day of your wedding and miraculously recovering the next day, being “too busy” to visit your new baby, “not being able to get a babysitter” for a big party at your house. She doesn’t want to see you surrounded by family or friends or celebrating any happy events- it just kills her to watch you be happy!
When something bad happens to you, however, she will be there with bells on. If you lose your job, you have problems with
your kids, your husband leaves you, or God forbid, anything
worse, she will swoop in with false sympathy long enough to hear every gory detail and then disappear just as quickly, without ever having actually done anything helpful.
(Continued on Page 2…….)
In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.” Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death- that is, the devil- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death… For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people…..Hebrews 2:14-15, 17
It’s as if she can’t wait to get home and gloat in private, or call up everyone she knows and pass around your bad news or revel in your tragedy. And she will make it a point of claiming that you “deserved it” or explaining how you screwed up and “brought it on yourself.” There will never be any true empathy, compassion, comfort, or encouragement.
An envious relative will choke on the words “congratulations”, “good for you” or “that’s so nice” when you achieve a goal or have a happy event. You can count on never, EVER hearing the words, “I’m so happy for you”, or, heaven forbid, “I’m PROUD of you.” He is also completely unable to manage any words of sympathy (or at least any sincere words of sympathy) when you are grieving or in sorrow.
When my beloved cousin Tony died unexpectedly and very prematurely after a short illness a week before Christmas, I was devastated. We were very close and he was like my older brother. Tony had spent every holiday at my house for many years and my husband and children were also heartbroken. He was a gentle, good-hearted soul whose loving and cheerful presence kept things on an even keel at family gatherings despite my birth-father’s hostility and nastiness. Like all best friends, we chatted frequently, went out to lunch, and spent a great deal of time together, commiserating and laughing about the relatives we had in common.
Christmas the week after his passing was a very traumatic time for me, and I missed him so much I couldn’t help but brush away the tears. Yet my birth-sister, who was in town for her once-a-year visit on Christmas, never uttered a word of condolence. No sympathy whatsoever, not even an acknowledgement that I had suffered a major loss in my life the week before. She did not even mention Tony’s name. She laughed, chatted away about herself, and celebrated the holidays with our cousins at our aunt’s house on Christmas Eve, and then came to my house as usual on Christmas Day, eating the food I had prepared through my tears and having a fine time without even acknowledging Tony’s very conspicuous absence- as though nothing was the least bit out of the ordinary.
Tony’s friends put together a wonderful memorial service for him a few months later. Many spoke about how much they loved him. I gave the eulogy, and my husband and children attended as well. But not my birth-sister. She couldn’t be bothered. And even worse, not my mother, either- even though she was Tony’s first cousin, she went to an anniversary party instead. So while I tearfully struggled to get through the eulogy I had written, neither my mother nor my b.s (birth-sister) was there for any kind of support. It has been nine years since his tragic passing and my family and I still miss him and feel his loss, especially around the holidays, but never once has my b.s. expressed her sympathy or even mentioned his name in all this time.
Although I had expressed sympathy to her in the past when she had lost people she cared for, the favor was not returned. And since Tony’s passing, she has made it clear to me that she STILL feels entitled to MY sympathy and support if she loses a loved one, even though she gives none when the situation is reversed. This is a common characteristic of all narcissists. Sympathy FROM me was expected, but sympathy FOR me was unheard-of.
Was she envious of the relationship my family and I had with Tony and the love we felt for each other? Was she jealous that I had been blessed with someone so terrific in my life? (I should mention that she could have been close to Tony too, if she had ever made an effort to keep in touch, but she didn’t- as she didn’t with most of the family. I had a special relationship with him, as well as many other relatives, because I DO make that effort.) Was it a small victory in her one-sided competition that he was gone and I didn’t have him anymore? Was she so selfish and self-centered that only HER pain deserved an acknowledgement- and she was blind to anyone else’s sorrow? Or was she secretly glad to see me hurting over the holidays instead of being happy and enjoying myself? I’ll never know- but her completely ignoring the fact that I was mourning the loss of a loved one is shockingly uncaring and unfeeling behavior coming from a so-called “sister”.
A jealous relative will do everything he can to bring you down and keep you down. This will range from snide remarks and criticisms, to lying about you or gossiping behind your back, to outright sabotage. I have seen jealous parents or siblings purposely set up a situation to embarrass or upset their unsuspecting family member- some even going so far as to sabotage their relative’s job or marriage. If you are joyful, he won’t be satisfied until he sees your smile vanish. If you are sorrowful, he’ll make sure to say or do something when you are at your lowest point to make you feel even worse.
In the Old Testament, we see that Cain murdered his brother Abel because he was jealous of him (Genesis 4:4-8). Abel never did anything to deserve being murdered by his brother. In Genesis chapter 37, we are told the story of Joseph. Joseph’s brothers were consumed with jealousy toward him, threw him in a well and plotted to kill him. They eventually sold him into slavery and told their father Jacob that he had been killed by a wild animal. That is how much their hatred burned toward their brother because of their own envy. But God loved Joseph, and prospered him greatly, as he will also prosper us. Genesis goes on to tell the rest of the story of Joseph and his brothers. Joseph had a happy ending, in which his brothers must come to him for survival and repent, he forgives them, and they are all reunited, together with their father. Our happy ending may not be the same as Joseph’s, but, sisters, I assure you that we will have our happy ending as well! Thanks be to God!
A jealous relative can only feel good if you feel bad. The last thing he wants is to know you are happy. All his high points come at your expense. In a sick way, he is truly obsessed with you and your life. Without realizing it, you have become his focus. It is a creepy feeling to know that you are just going about your normal life and minding your own business, all the while being observed by a loved one with jealousy in his heart who is just waiting for you to be hurt, upset, or embarrassed in some way.
Perhaps he is angry that you are not as obsessed with him. Maybe he wants your attention and is resentful of not being the center of the universe to you. In the case of a sibling, maybe he wants your PARENTS’ attention or approval. Perhaps he feels inferior in some way and can only feel better about himself by bringing you down to what he unconsciously thinks is “his level”. Or perhaps he really IS inferior, and can only boost his own self- esteem by making you look or feel foolish or bad. When a tragedy happens to you, he is secretly thrilled, because all along he had been bitter at whatever good things you had in your life.
This is a very important point that we must all beware of: many jealous relatives are very good at getting you to reveal personal information which they will later use against you. Be very cautious about what you reveal. They are often shameless in their prying and nosiness. They will ask personal questions and become insulted if you decline to answer. They are OVERLY INTERESTED in every aspect of your life, including details that you consider less than trivial. Remember that this is a COMPETITION, even though YOU are not thinking of it in that way, and how can your parent or sibling compare her life to yours and compete with you if she doesn’t know all the details? If he can’t drag information out of you, he will go behind your back and try to get information about you from other sources or other people. “Minding your own business” doesn’t exist in the minds of some jealous relatives- comparing their lives to yours IS their business.
We usually think of people being jealous of concrete things, like your marriage, your money, your house, your family, your looks, or even your popularity. But it is often difficult to figure out exactly what they are jealous of, because many times the jealous relative has more friends, more money, a better house, or a better figure than you do! Often it is the intangible things such as your personality, your sense of humor, your intelligence, or your kindness that they envy and resent.
Even righteousness and a Godly character can produce envy in those more inclined to worldly ways. DO NOT BE LIKE CAIN, WHO BELONGED TO THE EVIL ONE AND MURDERED HIS BROTHER. AND WHY DID HE MURDER HIM? BECAUSE HIS OWN ACTIONS WERE EVIL AND HIS BROTHER’S WERE RIGHTEOUS. DO NOT BE SURPRISED, MY BROTHERS, IF THE WORLD HATES YOU…..1 John -13.
Misery loves company. Sometimes she is simply jealous because you are content or happy with your life -and she isn’t. This is a vicious cycle- because the reason she isn’t content or happy with her life IS her jealousy! If you suspect you have a jealous relative, at the next family gathering, take the time to stop and observe her. You will see for yourself that it is just killing her that you are enjoying yourself and appear to be having a good time. Pay close attention to facial expressions, body language, eye contact, subject-changing, attention-seeking behavior, sulking, and comments that are made, as well as what is left unsaid. The resentment you notice at a one-time event is only the tip of the iceberg compared to the bitterness she feels when she sees that you are happy with the big things in life- your faith, your family, your marriage, your friends, your job, etc.
I did not always have a nice family and a nice life. Far from it, as most of you already know. The Lord has blessed me abundantly and taken care of me as his daughter since I have come to know him as my Father. Godly people are not by nature jealous, envious, or competitive- because the things of the world are not important to us. We know that our Father provides for our every need and gives us all we need to be happy- and we are happy with all he gives us and supremely grateful; therefore, we can be happy for others when he blesses them as well. Sometimes I have been told by people, half in jest, that I’m “so lucky” or that they envy my life, my family, etc. But they are not willing to do what I d id to have this life- which is to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Only through him can you have peace and joy. Only through him can you have everything your heart will ever desire. Only through him can all your dreams come true. Unfortunately, jealous people prefer to wallow in their bitterness rather than ask the Holy Spirit to give them a new heart.
We each need to decide what our tolerance level is for phony relationships with people who will never be happy for us and are just waiting for us to stumble or for some disaster to befall us so that they can then feel good. If you choose to have such a person in your life, know that you can never share anything with her from your heart. My personal opinion is that many such people can be downright dangerous in many ways, and it is much safer for me, my husband, and my children if we just stay away from them.
You will always be disappointed and disillusioned with a jealous family member’s reaction if you share upsetting news- you will never feel supported, she will manage to make you feel even worse, and you will know she is secretly gloating. Any happy news will trigger her feelings of inferiority and envy, which she will then take out on you somewhere down the line. You can hardly call it a close family relationship when you have to watch what you reveal and think twice before you share anything about your own life.
Jealous people usually have few friends or family members willing to put up with them- and this is a *Natural Consequence of their behavior . However, many envious relatives can behave pretty normally with outsiders and are not jealous of EVERYONE else, they have singled out just ONE unfortunate sibling or child to be the focus of their resentment- and God help you if you are the unsuspecting “winner”. There is not much you can do about a jealous parent or sibling except avoid them until they change their attitude.
WHEN RACHEL SAW THAT SHE WAS NOT BEARING JACOB ANY CHILDREN, SHE BECAME JEALOUS OF HER SISTER. SO SHE SAID TO JACOB, “GIVE ME CHILDREN, OR I’LL DIE!” JACOB BECAME ANGRY WITH HER AND SAID, “AM I IN THE PLACE OF GOD, WHO HAS KEPT YOU FROM HAVING CHILDREN?”…..Genesis 30:1-2NIV
I often think of this scripture when dealing with jealous relatives, not only when thinking about my own birth-sister’s apparent envy of me for having children, but with all types of envy and jealousy. What especially rings true to me is Jacob’s response to his wife’s unreasonable attitude of blaming him for whatever she is not satisfied with in her own life. He points out to her that he is not God, who decides who has children and who doesn’t. Jacob is not responsible for Rachel’s unhappiness, dissatisfactions, failures, bitterness, resentment, or feelings of jealousy and envy.
We need to take a page from Jacob’s book and not allow others to make us feel responsible for their unhappiness. We didn’t cause it, it is not our doing, and it is not our fault. Should we not have children because a relative is going to feel bad? Should we not accept a big promotion at work because a family member is going to resent us if we are more successful than he is? Should we not talk about our friends because our mother is going to be jealous of our popularity? Should we not buy a new couch or a new car because we don’t want to trigger our sister’s feelings of inferiority and envy?
With very few exceptions, someone who is unhappy or dissatisfied with his life can take many positive steps to change things and to work toward his dreams, if only he wanted to, instead of thinking that if he can’t have something, no one else should have it either! A person who is unhappy with her job can enroll in college classes and advance her education at night, and then go out and get a better job. YOU having a great job is not keeping HER from getting a better one! Someone who wants to take an expensive vacation or buy a new car can get a temporary second job, save up, and pay for it. YOU’RE not stopping him from doing that! A childless person who wants children can pursue fertility treatments or adoption. That has nothing to do with YOU! A brother who envies your outgoing personality can take public speaking or drama classes to overcome his shyness. YOU can’t do it for him! You will find that jealous family members rarely, if ever, do anything positive to change their situation. They prefer the lazy way out- feeling sorry for themselves and resenting what others have.
The Scriptures are very clear in calling jealousy and envy a serious sin, which will keep the jealous person from heaven. THE ACTS OF THE SINFUL NATURE ARE OBVIOUS: SEXUAL IMMORALITY, IMPURITY AND DEBAUCHERY; IDOLATRY AND WITCHCRAFT; HATRED, DISCORD, JEALOUSY, FITS OF RAGE, SELFISH AMBITION, DISSENSIONS, FACTIONS, AND ENVY; DRUNKENNESS, ORGIES, AND THE LIKE. I WARN YOU, AS I DID BEFORE, THAT THOSE WHO LIVE LIKE THIS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD….Galatians 5:19-21 NIV. It is interesting that the Scripture does not make a distinction in degree of seriousness between envy and jealousy, and idolatry, sexual immorality, witchcraft, hatred, drunkenness, etc. ALL are grievous sins which will keep the sinner from heaven and God’s grace. THEREFORE AS SURELY AS I LIVE, DECLARES THE SOVEREIGN LORD, I WILL TREAT YOU IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ANGER AND JEALOUSY YOU SHOWED IN YOUR HATRED OF THEM AND I WILL MAKE MYSELF KNOWN AMONG THEM WHEN I JUDGE YOU….Ezekiel 35:11 NIV
God is so serious about condemning envy that he included it in the Ten Commandments. In Exodus 20: 17, we are expressly FORBIDDEN from envying others and COMMANDED NOT TO do it: THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOUR’S HOUSE, THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOUR’S WIFE, NOR HIS MANSERVANT, NOR HIS MAIDSERVANT, NOR HIS OX, NOR HIS ASS, NOR ANY THING THAT IS THY NEIGHBOUR’S (KJV).
Of course, we must be very careful not to brag or show off in any way, but we should not have to hide, sneak around, or keep secret whatever we do in the course of normally living our lives just to avoid envious relatives being jealous. Our jealous relative needs to take ownership of his own feelings and not blame us because he is not happy with his life. We have a right to expect to be able to share good news as well as bad with our loved ones and have them react appropriately. It is perfectly reasonable for us to want our family to act like FAMILY, but with a jealous sibling or parent, it is unlikely that will ever happen.
THEREFORE, RID YOURSELVES OF ALL MALICE AND ALL DECEIT, HYPOCRISY, ENVY, AND SLANDER OF EVERY KIND. LIKE NEWBORNS BABIES, CRAVE PURE SPIRITUAL MILK, SO THAT BY IT YOU MAY GROW UP IN YOUR SALVATION, NOW THAT YOU HAVE TASTED THAT THE LORD IS GOOD…..1Peter 2:1-3 NIV
LOVE IS PATIENT, LOVE IS KIND. IT DOES NOT ENVY, IT DOES NOT BOAST, IT IS NOT PROUD….1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV
SURELY RESENTMENT DESTROYS THE FOOL, AND JEALOUSY KILLS THE SIMPLE….Job 5:2 NLT
A HEART AT PEACE GIVES LIFE TO THE BODY, BUT ENVY ROTS THE BONES ….Proverbs 14:30NIV
ANGER IS CRUEL AND WRATH IS LIKE A FLOOD, BUT WHO CAN SURVIVE THE DESTRUCTIVENESS OF JEALOUSY?....Proverbs 27:4 NLT
FOR HE KNEW IT WAS OUT OF ENVY THAT THEY HAD HANDED JESUS OVER TO HIM….Matthew 27:18 NIV
WHEN THE JEWS SAW THE CROWDS, THEY WERE FILLED WITH JEALOUSY AND TALKED ABUSIVELY AGAINST WHAT PAUL WAS SAYING…..Acts 13: 45 NIV
THEY HAVE BECOME FILLED WITH EVERY KIND OF WICKEDNESS, EVIL, GREED AND DEPRAVITY. THEY ARE FULL OF ENVY, MURDER, STRIFE, DECEIT AND MALICE….Romans 1: 29NIV
YOU ARE STILL WORLDLY. FOR SINCE THERE IS JEALOUSY AND QUARRELING AMONG YOU, ARE YOU NOT WORLDLY?.... 1 Corinthians 3:3
LET US NOT BE DESIROUS OF VAIN GLORY, PROVOKING ONE ANOTHER, ENVYING ONE ANOTHER…. Galatians KJV
IT IS TRUE THAT SOME PREACH CHRIST OUT OF ENVY AND RIVALRY, BUT OTHERS OUT OF GOODWILL….Philippians 1:15 NIV
BUT IF YOU HARBOR BITTER ENVY OR SELFISH AMBITION IN YOUR HEARTS, DO NOT BOAST ABOUT IT OR DENY THE TRUTH. SUCH “WISDOM” DOES NOT COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN BUT IS EARTHLY, UNSPIRITUAL, OF THE DEVIL. FOR WHERE YOU HAVE ENVY AND SELFISH AMBITION, THERE YOU FIND DISORDER AND EVERY EVIL PRACTICE….James 3: 14-16 NIV
AND THE SPIRIT LIFTED ME UP BETWEEN EARTH AND HEAVEN AND BROUGHT ME IN
THE VISIONS OF GOD TO
SEE TO IT THAT NO ONE MISSES THE GRACE OF GOD AND THAT NO BITTER ROOT GROWS UP TO CAUSE TROUBLE AND DEFILE MANY…Hebrews 12:15
AT ONE TIME WE TOO WERE FOOLISH, DISOBEDIENT, DECEIVED AND ENSLAVED BY ALL KINDS OF PASSIONS AND PLEASURES. WE LIVED IN MALICE AND ENVY, BEING HATED AND HATING ONE ANOTHER. BUT WHEN THE KINDNESS AND LOVE OF GOD OUR SAVIOR APPEARED, HE SAVED US, NOT BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUS THINGS WE HAD DONE, BUT BECAUSE OF HIS MERCY…TITUS 3:3-5NIV
*For more about Natural Consequences, see the article “REAPING WHAT THEY SOW- THE NATURAL CONSEQUENCES OF BAD BEHAVIOR” in the Section entitled “Rebuking” on our website.
Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words…..Proverbs 23:9
What Would Jesus REALLY Do?
By Rev. Renee
Why is it that when we ask ourselves, “What Would Jesus Do?”, the Jesus that almost always comes to mind is the Jesus we have read about in the gospels of the apostles? Later, I will discuss how we then go on to misinterpret what the gospels reveal about our Lord’s nature by seeing him only as endlessly forgiving and patient with everyone, and so meek that he placidly allowed himself to be dragged away to his own death. But first, let me pose this question- When we ask ourselves, “What Would Jesus Do?”, why do we never think of the Jesus of The Book of Revelation- a great and mighty warrior, righteous and just, awesome and powerful, who will gather his saints to him to live in paradise, and throw everything evil- men and women, demons and devils- into the lake of fire for all eternity?
Part of the problem is that many of us don’t read Revelation. It is sometimes difficult to understand, but much of this can be overcome by reading and comparing the different versions of the Bible (King James, NIV, NASB, NLT,etc.), using a study guide, and praying for understanding from the Holy Spirit, who will open our eyes and make all Scripture accessible to us.
Some people have admitted to me that they don’t read Revelation because, quite frankly, it scares them. I truly believe this is the biggest reason many of us feel reluctant to study this book. Let’s face it, reading about the end of the world and Armageddon certainly sounds terrifying. It seems few of us stick it out long enough to get through the “frightening stuff” and read Revelation’s magnificent and glorious ending. All fears and sorrows will be gone. Our joy will be unsurpassed in that day- Praise and Glory to our Lord and God!
On the Lord’s Day, I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet….And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”….Revelation 1: 10, 12-18 NIV
Hmmm, so far, Jesus is not sounding so meek and mild!
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great- and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”…Revelation 11:17-18 NIV
Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her
plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her
crimes. Give back to her as she has
given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own
cup. Give her as much torture and
grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, “I sit as
queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.” Therefore in one day her plagues will
overtake her: death, mourning and
famine. She will be consumed by
fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”….Revelation 18: 4-8
(concerning the Fall of
And so we learn that Jesus is not endlessly forgiving and patient, and he is most certainly not forgiving and patient where evil and wickedness is concerned. Jesus does not forgive EVERYONE. Those who do not repent, accept Jesus as their Lord, and change their ways are NOT forgiven.
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and the books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the
first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: ”It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death….Revelation 20:11-21:8 NIV
When we think of Jesus, many of us picture a passive, meek, gentle man. In some of our minds, Jesus was the first hippie- believing in peace at all costs. We see him as being placid, quiet, unassuming, low-key, complacent, and serene even in the face of interrogation, false accusations, torture, suffering, and death.
I don’t feel that the gospels support this view of Jesus’ nature at all. Selective memory appears to be the culprit. Jesus is not some wishy-washy milquetoast who lets everyone do whatever they want and never speaks up. He is the King of Kings, and he acts like the King of Kings! He is at all times in control and command of what is going on around him. And he is Master, Teacher. Rabbi. How could he possibly teach us right from wrong if all he did was keep silent when we were doing something wrong?
It seems as if almost all of us remember the compassion, mercy, kindness and love that Jesus had for the poor, the weak, the suffering, the children, the humble, and the sorrowful, the widows and orphans. But for some reason we tend to forget the firm stand he always took against wickedness. I can’t picture Jesus casting out a demon by asking it politely to please leave- nothing personal and no offense intended, just please go, if you don’t mind! That is not at all how Jesus dealt with evil. From rebuking and harsh words for sinners and evildoers, to driving out demons, Jesus was far from patient and meek- he was mighty and powerful, and always took a firm and decisive stand against evil behavior:
Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “ ‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers’”…Luke 19:45NIV
Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God….John 8:43-47NIV
Notice that Jesus has no problem calling a liar a liar:
Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word…John 8:55NIV
Jesus was, and is, GOD, and during the time he walked among us, he acted like GOD! Can you imagine God standing by and silently watching abuse? He was our Savior, and he acted like a Savior! He was our Teacher, and he taught us! He spoke the truth no matter what the opposition might be. He was righteous and just. He did not pussy-foot around wrongdoers, no matter how powerful they were. He never protected wrongdoers by silence, or covered up for them, and he admonished us not to, either. He did not look the other way and ignore unacceptable behavior in order to “keep the peace”. He instructed us to bring evil deeds into the light and reveal them. Jesus was outspoken, firm, and strong. He did not mince words, and he called a spade a spade!:
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true…..Yet a time is coming and is now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”…John 4:17, 23-24NIV
I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law….Luke 12:49-53NIV
So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs…Matthew 10:26-27NIV
Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs…Luke 12:1-3NIV
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law- a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me…Matthew -38NIV
When faced with wrongdoing, bad behavior, and wicked people, some of us ask ourselves What Would Jesus Do? And then we use what we imagine would be Jesus’ reaction to justify being “tolerant” or “patient” with wrongdoers. Sometimes we tolerate abuse because we think we are the only target and we “can take it”. But that is seldom true- most abusive people abuse several, if not many, others, not just us. That is their pattern of behavior, and we owe it to ourselves, as well as other innocent victims, to take a stand.
Jesus was never tolerant or patient with wrongdoers. We think that Jesus always tried to “keep the peace” but that is not true at all. Jesus never backed away from a conflict. He did not hesitate to rebuke a sinner. He himself instructs us to rebuke wrongdoers. Jesus makes a point of telling us to forgive IF THERE IS REPENTANCE (Luke 17:3). He never tells us to be endlessly patient with abusers or to stick around for more abuse; in actuality, he clearly tells us to avoid and shun those who continue in their bad behavior and who refuse to listen to our rebuke:
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of the Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” Than I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”…Matthew 7:21-23NIV
If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town…Matthew 10:14-15NIV
And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them…Mark 6:11NIV
If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one of two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector…Matthew 18: 15-17NIV
Jesus did not hesitate to rebuke even his own apostles:
“Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, whom though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him)…John 6:70-71NIV
When Jesus needed to be strong, his words were harsh. His firm rebuke and strict words did not mean he didn’t still love those he chastised. Loving and rebuke are not mutually exclusive. Listen to his rebuke of his beloved apostle Simon Peter:
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”...Matthew 16:23NIV
So we see that by Jesus’ example, we can love someone and still call them on it when they do wrong.
Do these words sound like they come from an endlessly patient and tolerant Jesus?:
You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?...Matthew 23:33NIV
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned….Matthew -37NIV
I don’t know about you, but Jesus’ words sound pretty tough to me. Probably his strongest rebukes were recorded in the Seven Woes of the Pharisees. Some of them are:
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are….Matthew 23: 13-15NIV
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices- mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law- justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out the gnat but swallow a camel. ….You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisees! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside will also be clean….You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness….Matthew 23: 23-27NIV
We know that Jesus laid down his life for us, and we have no doubts about his forgiveness of sinners. But we err in thinking that his forgiveness extends to ALL sinners. The forgiveness and redemption of Jesus only applies to sinners WHO HAVE REPENTED from their evil ways and have chosen to believe in him and follow him. Unrepentant sinners who continue in their wickedness are NOT forgiven and are NOT saved.
When we think of Jesus being falsely accused and persecuted by the Jews, interrogated by Pilate, tortured and humiliated by the Roman soldiers, and finally dragged off and crucified, it certainly seems as if his patience with these people was endless. After all, he is God- why doesn’t he stop them? He does indeed seem to be a passive, meek person who will put up with just about anything. He could strike them all dead in the blink of an eye, but he just takes their abuse. Jesus seemed passive and patient, because he was intentionally acting passive and patient. He allowed himself to be treated this way in order to fulfill the Scriptures so that we might be saved by his precious blood. Those who persecuted and murdered him were just pawns in the drama that needed to be played out so that we could believe that Jesus was the Son of God. Their part in abusing him served his purpose, and so he permitted it:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am….John 14:1-3
Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live…John 14:19NIV
If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me…John 14: 28-31NIV
Jesus did not meekly allow himself to be tortured and killed. To think that would be the same as thinking our Savior was weak and cowardly. On the contrary, what it did prove was that Jesus was incredibly strong and courageous. Although he knew what was to come and desired to be spared such horrible suffering if there was any other way, he knew what he had to do to save us, and he did it. He loved us so much that he laid down his life for us, knowing how much pain and suffering he would have to endure. This is not a passive man who refuses to put up a fight. This is someone who is tough-as-nails. His murder IS his fight, the fight he was destined for, the fight for our salvation, and Jesus did not back down from this fight. Before the fall of man, the wheels had been set in motion for the ultimate showdown between good and evil, between Jesus and Satan, which we learn about in the Book of Revelation. Without the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the rest of the prophecies would not be fulfilled. We would not be spending eternity in the presence of our glorious Lord, and the final triumph of God over Satan, good over evil, would not happen.
It was Jesus’ destiny to fight evil on a cosmic level, so far beyond our understanding that we can hardly begin to fathom it. This is what the Book of Revelation speaks of. Our fight against evil is the tiniest of specks in God’s grand plan. But fight against it we must, because that IS what Jesus would do, and that is what he DID do. You see, we are all given our fight, just like Jesus was. During his time on earth, Jesus was given many “minor” fights to fight, and so are we. Then he was given a “major” one, and most of us will face that as well. He has not yet fought his final fight, and neither have most of us, but one day we all will. And then we will put on the full armor of God (Ephesians -18) and go to battle again.
So, when faced with abuse, cruelty, unlovingness, hurtfulness and wickedness, let’s ask ourselves WWJRD?- What Would Jesus REALLY Do? And then pray for the wisdom and courage to stand up against evil in all its forms.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing…2 Timothy 4:7-8NIV
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee…Psalm
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart…Psalm 32:11
O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon the earth. Selah….Psalm 67:4
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy…Psalm 126:5
Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy….Psalm 132: 9
I will also cloth her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy….Psalm 132:16
And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation…Psalm 35:9
Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written; this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord….Psalm 149: 5-9
O come let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise unto the rock of our salvation…..Psalm 95:1
Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but a moment: in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved….Psalm 30: 4-6
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise….Psalm 98:4
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing…Psalm 100: 1-2
Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance…Psalm 89: 15
O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph….Psalm 47:1
My lips will greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee: and my soul, which thou hast redeemed… Psalm 71: 23
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The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can't cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues.
For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships. We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person's individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about.
Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord's guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.