Category: Reflective practice

No good tree bears bad fruit

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.

Jesus talked about the difference between good and bad people with directness and clarity we don’t often hear repeated. He certainly never claimed we could be perfect. He died, willingly, knowing that was the depth of our need for God’s help. But at the same time, Jesus was very clear about standards of behaviour that we could follow, despite our imperfect ethics. He continually reinforced how critical it was for us to follow those standards, for the sake of others.

How can we hear God’s voice more clearly?

How can we hear God’s voice more clearly when there is so much noise? Even though Elijah was well-practised in listening to God, he had great difficulty hearing God clearly when he was in the midst of trauma.

If even Elijah struggled to hear clearly, we can take comfort when we struggle. Perhaps that’s one of the no doubt many reasons why we have been gifted with his story. I am confident at least that while it was happening God was already conscious of our current situations. Way back then, he knew.

Listening through the mess

Listening through the mess created by abuse is difficult for most.

In the previous post, we touched on some of the ways abusers disrupt our capacity to hear clearly. Those tactics can create significant, even overwhelming, internal noise and confusion.

Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas

Today we start a series looking at Eli, and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas.

When we read 1 and 2 Samuel, and look for what it has to say to us about abuse, we are flooded with stories and examples. This makes sense because what we now categorise broadly as abuse is a grouping of different harmful or toxic behaviours: different sins.

Are abusers aware of their behaviour?

Are abusers aware of what they are doing? Overlapping with the question of whether abusers are deliberate is: are they aware? Aware of what they are doing? Aware of the harm it causes? Knowing the answer to those questions might make a profound difference in what a...

How can I be a friend to someone in need?

How can I be a friend to someone in need? The psalmist wrote:

May he give you the desire of your heart

and make all your plans succeed.

One of the most difficult challenges for a victim of abuse is to be believed. Even by their friends. Abusers play on it and often use tactics to perpetrate further abuse through other people. These third parties are colloquially known as “flying monkeys”, reminiscent of the servants of the Wicked Witch of the West. Some might be only too glad to join in on hurting someone, but many will be innocent and unaware of the way they are being used.

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