Category: Resilience

Saul’s blame-shifting tactics

Saul’s blame-shifting tactics

Saul's blame-shifting tactics are typical of abusers When we consider the theme of non-apologies in the Bible, Saul's blame-shifting tactics stand out. But one of the amazing things we see in his story is the difference between him and his son, Jonathan. Jonathan is...

Like a tree planted by streams of water

Like a tree planted by streams of water

“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water”

Psalm 1 carries such a beautiful picture of the relationship between our ethics and our health and wellbeing. The poet calls us to avoid harmful behaviour but also calls us in a positive sense. Since we are created in God’s image, there is a part of all of us that loves to treat people well. When we spend time reflecting on our own behaviour, and how we can best care for those around us, I suggest that’s us nurturing the image of God in ourselves. It’s just like caring for a garden and can be as beautiful, or as much hard work.

No good tree bears bad fruit

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.

Deep calls to deep

Deep calls to deep

“Deep calls to deep, in the roar of your waterfalls”

I’ve written earlier about the experience of having significant disagreements with God. I’d like to suggest some of those ongoing disagreements might demonstrate we are listening to his image in us. If we are moved by compassion and concern for others, doesn’t that sound like an expression of the fruit of the Spirit?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Sift the lies from the truth

Sift the lies from the truth

We have been looking at some of the ways we can sift the lies from the truth despite the mess created by abuse, and the story of Elijah gives us some clues. Much of what God did with Elijah was simply care for and affirm him. But God also helped Elijah refine his understanding of what was happening around him.

It’s possible Elijah was experiencing some degree of hypervigilance. There was certainly cause for that. Elijah was on the run for his life.

The dilemma of ongoing, significant disagreement with God

The dilemma of ongoing, significant disagreement with God

Yesterday we started looking at the dilemma of having ongoing, significant disagreement with God. Especially in the context of also relating to an abusive person who claims to be always right. There are a number of psalms and stories in the Bible that share this...

Where is God?

Where is God?

As we slow down and be present with Hannah in her trauma, it is difficult to avoid deep respect for her. It’s really fascinating to see Eli’s response to her. His brief encounter, based on what he observed, led him to think she was...

Hannah and the Sons of Eli

Hannah and the Sons of Eli

We aren’t given much detail about the background of Hannah’s story, but it seems most likely her and her family were at Shiloh to celebrate the Passover. It is common to associate the Passover with freedom from slavery, but less common to think about slavery in terms...

Hannah’s character

Hannah’s character

There is so much to admire in Hannah. She is really a lovely person to write about. However, as I write it’s Mothers’ day in Australia, and she is one of those for whom such a day would have been very difficult for many years. Even after she had Samuel, I would...

Some trust in chariots and some in horses

Some trust in chariots and some in horses

One of the many difficult and important challenges for victims of abuse is to predict future behaviour. Is the abuser going to change? Abuse often happens in a cycle, with increasing tension until there is an episode, followed by a show of “remorse” from the abuser,...

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