The life we have.
I watched the news tonight and saw the marchers who marched in regards to all those children who have been killed in family violence here in New Zealand. Of course just one is too many never mind the number who have died. Speakers rightly spoke of the need to protect our children from such violence. They spoke of how innocent they are and must be protected from such attacks, they spoke from one end of our country to the other with one voice. People have had enough of attending the funerals of our children who are abused and murdered just because they are in the way. One speaker said all children should have the right to grow in safety and so they should. This past weekend I spoke with many people who had been used and abused as children and then reacted against the very society that should have protected them. Many had spent a life time in darkness and in jail never able to experience the happiness that was robbed of them in their childhood. Violence against our children started long ago but never has it been so bad since we started not to care for the unborn children. If we don't care for the unborn how will we ever care for them after they enter this world? It is time for our nation to stand up and say enough is enough. It does not matter at what stage our babies are at, just conceived or after they are born they are still precious in Gods sight. [Luke 18:16] If we stop the violence against all children then I believe, we will stop filling our jails with broken men and women.
There are many ways that a child's future can be destroyed as there are many forms of abuse, some violent others verbal, or worked to the point as I was, until you just have to run and then go into burnout which can follow, creating what the world sees as a lazy rather than a sick person. Whichever it is, a childhood is lost and can be lost forever. [Jeremiah 7:6] The child then grows with a hurt they cannot conquer by themselves as they see forgiving those who hurt them as a means that they themselves have sinned. But nothing could be further from the truth. [Ezekiel 18:14-17]
When it is suggested to the abused they need to repent of the hatred they may feel, they can see no reason to do so, as they were not the ones who sinned. This is very true so the problem remains. A problem of guilt that can last a life time but can turn the abused into a person that can never forgive themselves and turn to sin to compensate the hurt. But a person should never be punished either in his or her own mind or by anybody else, for the sins of the parent. [Ezekiel 18:20]
We can take many paths in life and those paths are mostly directed by our childhood. From an abused childhood the path we choose can be one of hatred towards those who have sinned against us or against ourselves or against God Himself, or all three.
Firstly God did not make the person sin against us. Well we ask why did He not stop it? God did try, not through a big stick but through the love of the Cross. His Son hung on the cross for six hours, now all we have to do is look to the cross and remember the One without sin took our condemnation as He died. [Romans 8:1]
We - the abused have not sinned in any way to cause the abuser to do what they did. The sin they do is theirs and theirs alone and they are answerable to a higher power for what they have done. [2 Corinthians 5:10] God did not take revenge on the sinners at the time of Jesus, instead He reached out in love. [John 8:11] A love so strong that He withstood His pain as He watched His Son Jesus die in an agonizing way for all humanity. As God reached out from the cross He is reaching out for the abused, so you and I can have the life God wants us to have. [John 10:10] We did not sin to cause the abuse, but we may have stepped out of God’s will because of the abuse. We let ourselves run riot either in search of what we missed out on or in reaction to the hurt we felt. [Isaiah 53:6]
As I have said, it is not our sin that caused them to do what they did and this we must always remember but the evil one makes us feel that way as he roams around like a roaring Lion. [1 Peter 5:8] But we must remember that the cross removed his teeth. Every lash Jesus took removed another tooth, every drop of blood removed another tooth and every nail that nailed Jesus to the cross removed yet another. If there were any left when Jesus was placed dead in the tomb, they fell out when the stone was rolled away and Jesus walked free and alive from the grave. As it is written: He is not here He has risen. [Matthew 28:6]
But as life continues the perpetrator goes their way and may be untroubled by what they have done and we allow their sin to rule our lives. It is our reaction to their sin that has caused us to become who we are. It is our reaction to the situation that I suggest is what God wants us to repent of. Jesus did not ask who had sinned when He said in Mark 1:15; “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand”. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. [Romans 3:23] May be it was on purpose or as a reaction to what has happened in the past. Whatever the cause Jesus wants to come into our lives to take care of the hurt or our reaction to the hurt placed upon us. [Revelation 3:20]
If we ask God to forgive us our sin it is then easy to forgive those who sinned against us as God forgives us. The day I apologised to my mother - my verbal abuser, for not being the son I should have been, was the day that a prefect peace swept over me and has remained with me to this day on this matter. [Philippians 4:7] What I was doing was apologizing for my reaction to her attitude towards me. Just as we act towards God and blame Him for the things in our lives when it is us who have sinned not Him. Jesus forgave us, and yet had never sinned. [2 Corinthians 5:21] As He hung on the cross He said “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” [Luke 23:34]
It is us who have to be right with God as we walk that final road and we stand at the judgment seat of God. For here we are responsible for our own actions and nobody else’s. We have a free choice in the decisions we make and as long as we remember that our weapons are not flesh and blood but this is a spiritual battle. We will then know that we can overcome all things when we have Jesus in our hearts, as then we can take every thought captive. We can do this by calling on the name of Jesus, the one who died, was buried and rose from the grave by the power of God to give us eternal life. [John 3:15-17] He is the one who gave us a new and living way to be able to go into the presence of the Father, [Hebrews 10:20] a way that overcomes all the doubt, all the hurt and clears the road ahead. In the words of a Christian Japanese man suffering from Leprosy; “Why should I fear the road ahead when I know the one who loves is leading me.” In Jesus our past was buried in the tomb and He rose in power to give us a glorious future.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6