Category: Jesus

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.

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 sons of Belial and Hophni and Phinehas

The sons of Belial and Hophni and Phinehas

"Sons of Belial" is a Hebrew term that can help us find stories of abuse in the Bible. There are many examples of abuse in the Bible, but as mentioned previously, the Bible doesn’t categorise abuse in the same way we do now. It refers to abusive behaviours as specific...

Abuse of Power and Influence

Abuse of Power and Influence

In his book, Principle-Centred Leadership, Stephen Covey wrote about the difference between the power and influence that come from coercion and structures, and what can come from character. It appears that in his time on earth Jesus waived his structural...

Am I losing my faith? (PTSD)

Am I losing my faith? (PTSD)

In the last few posts we have been looking at an important question that comes up for many victims of abuse: “Am I losing my faith?” We’ve had a brief look at some of the impact of depression and anxiety. I want to reiterate that these conditions can express...

Am I losing my faith? (Anxiety)

Am I losing my faith? (Anxiety)

This series has been looking at the turmoil of abuse and leaving abuse. In that mess, it’s common for a Christian person to wonder, “Am I losing my faith?” Others might have the opposite experience. Yesterday we had a brief look at depression. By brief, I mean we...

Am I losing my faith? (Depression)

Am I losing my faith? (Depression)

At the start of this series on turmoil, we looked at some of the difficulties people might experience in relating to God when they are suffering from trauma. Is it ok to be angry with God? To question him, to disagree with him, to doubt him, or something else? The...

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...

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