If you are a victim of abuse, you remain a victim until you choose to enter into the healing process–which includes forgiveness. When you choose to forgive your abuser(s), it releases the hold that the abuser(s) has over you. Your choice to forgive begins to remove the pain and scars they have left in your psyche. God made us with brains that are waiting for us to choose what we will think and remember. You can’t bury it–you must forgive!
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Remaining a victim stops you from growing, from living, from loving relationships… Growing to be an adult can be tough. It can be even tougher when you are already in an adult body and have been for years, but the abuse you have experienced still forms your thinking patterns. To be healed it is necessary to get out from under the authority of others and become our own masters under God.
It’s not a self-help program, achievable on your own. You need to invite the Holy Spirit in to shine his revealing light and partner with you as you tear down rickety structures and replace them with those found in God’s design and blueprint.
- Be honest about your disagreements with other adults.
- As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)
- What ideas will you stop being afraid to say out loud?
- Who will you tell them to?
- Be free to make your own decisions and to bear the responsibility for them. If voices from your past or people in your life are telling you what to think, to believe, to do, or to buy, start making these decisions for yourself.
- Who are you letting take away your freedom as God’s child? Why?
- Earlier, before you knew God personally, you were enslaved to so-called gods that had nothing of the divine about them. But now that you know the real God—or rather since God knows you—how can you possibly subject yourselves again to those paper tigers? Galatians 4:8–9 (MSG)
- What will you do the next time you hear the words, “… you should…?”
- How are you still operating under the old system of gaining approval of others in order to be okay?
- Does legalism have you by the throat? Are you trying to earn approval?
- Practice disagreeing with those “self-appointed human gods” who are telling you what to do and think.
- If you weren’t allowed to do this when you were growing up, it will take training and practice to develop this expertise.
- Never speak harshly to an older man,[a] but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. 1 Timothy 5:1–2 (NLT)
- Learn how to say, “I see your point, but I look at it differently. I think . . .”
- Which authority figure do you need to disagree with? When will you do that?
- Revoke the power of the names and bitter root judgments that were given to you in your childhood.
- Out with the old and in with the new.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.[a] 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. Ezekiel 36:26–27 (NLT)
- But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. 1 Peter 2:9-10 (MSG)
- Read Romans 12:2 (above)
- Out with the old and in with the new.
- Exercise the authority given to you by Christ. So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. James 4:7 (MSG)
- Recognize the talents and gifts that God has given you.
- Pray that God will empower the nature that he wants you to have.
- You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. Psalm 139:13–14 (NLT)
- Move into the privileges of adulthood in the Lord.
- Let me show you the implications of this. As long as the heir is a minor, he has no advantage over the slave. Though legally he owns the entire inheritance, he is subject to tutors and administrators until whatever date the father has set for emancipation. Galatians 4:1 (MSG)
- Step into adulthood.
Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. Proverbs 6:6–8 (NLT)
- What choices will you make as an adult in these areas?
- Relationship with God