Category: John

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.

Good shepherds cherish their sheep

Good shepherds cherish their sheep

Jesus made it abundantly clear that good shepherds cherish their sheep, while wolves are intent on doing harm. And there is a sense in which we are all called to be shepherds.
We all have a responsibility to care for the humans around us, and those responsibilities are reflected in our daily communication and interactions as well as in larger ways. Even children can learn to be increasingly kind and respectful of others.

Respect is part of cherishing someone

Respect is part of cherishing someone

One of the beautiful things about Jesus’ engagement with Mary and Martha was his respect for their boundaries after Lazarus died. Even though he was the Son of God, a recognised teacher with a large following, and a man, he still asked for permission to enter into their emotional world. Even though he hadn’t done anything wrong, he listened to and respected the pain his actions had caused. He asked for consent.

The degree of difficulty

The degree of difficulty

There is a difficult problem in that committed abusers will seek to load their victims up with impossible burdens and expectations. It’s a game. Then, even after leaving abuse, a victim may have a massive volume of external and internal balls to juggle. It may well be...

He knows you, and delights in you

He knows you, and delights in you

Where is God in the turmoil of abuse, or other trauma? Over and over again, we see people in the Bible asking this question. If you’ve been following this series, we grappled with it in the story of Lazarus. But what about us, now? One of the last things Jesus did...

Is Jesus safe to allow in?

Is Jesus safe to allow in?

Experiences of trauma can make it difficult to be confident: is Jesus safe to allow in? We have been looking at the story of Martha, Mary, Lazarus, and Jesus, and to remind ourselves of Lazarus’s perspective: he believed Jesus could heal him. He counted Jesus as a...

Why didn’t Jesus help Lazarus sooner?

Why didn’t Jesus help Lazarus sooner?

Why didn't Jesus help Lazarus sooner? We have been looking over the last few days at the story of Martha, Mary, Lazarus, and Jesus. We've looked at the shock of Jesus not turning up in time to help, and at his deep respect for boundaries. So far, the focus has largely...

Jesus shows deep respect for boundaries

Jesus shows deep respect for boundaries

One of the beautiful things we see in the gospels is that Jesus shows deep respect for boundaries. Yesterday we started looking at the story of Martha, Mary, Lazarus, and Jesus and got as far as Lazarus’s death, and Jesus’ failure to arrive. You might like to read...

Closer than a brother

Closer than a brother

“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”

It is a completely normal response to suffering to wonder if God cares.

Honestly, he has a whole world to manage. A whole universe. And in that world are literally billions of people. Billions are, in fact, suffering. Plus he is working out plans that affect the whole human race, and those plans affect everybody’s eternal well-being.

Enduring with God through severe disagreement

Enduring with God through severe disagreement

Those who have been in any abusive relationships might have some exquisitely painful issues in relating to God. It can be extremely complicated, and the last relationship one might want to have complications in. A number of abuse tactics involve the abuser trying to...

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