Category: Bible Characters

When abusers are nice to you

When abusers are nice to you does that mean they aren't abusing others? In our last article, we looked at Jonathan's grave error in thinking he could just talk to Saul and that would make David safe. Instead, all he achieved was to put David at greater risk by...

Will an abuser stop if you ask them to?

Will an abuser stop if you ask them to? That was the solution Jonathan tried, a little over 3000 years ago, when Saul ordered him to kill David. He only made things worse. Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill...

How to spot a non-apology

As we saw with Saul in our last article, abusers might employ a barrage of emotional abuse tactics that can make it very difficult to know how to spot a non-apology. Those tactics can make conversations about harm and responsibility very confusing. To cut through that...

Saul’s skill at non-apologies

As part of his armoury of abusive tactics, we can see Saul’s skill at non-apologies. If we understand his tactics, that can help us spot non-apologies in our own situations.

Saul’s narcissism and rage

In our previous post, we looked at some of King Saul's blame-shifting tactics, and now we come to consider Saul's narcissism and rage. When Saul's desires were frustrated, he lashed out at others. In the story of Israel's war with the Philistines at this time, Samuel...

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

“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, 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, 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.

Made in the image of God

Being made in the image of God gives us innate value. One of the clear evils of abuse is disrespect for the image of God in people. Rather, God created us as incredibly precious creatures, and to love and cherish a person involves holding high regard for this being God made.

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