He encouraged me; I shall never forget some of the things he said. He told me life isn’t easy, but it has consolations: religion, art, and the love one inspires in others. He often told me that the only mistake one makes in life is to cause others suffering.
When you stop to think about it,we only have one life to live. Just one. We don’t get any second chances or retries. There is no reset button. But yet, people act like they will live forever. Like they have until the end of eternity to make poor decisions. To hate. To show bitterness. Live each day like it may be your last on earth, because believe it or not, that day will come. Love and cherish each and every thing that surrounds you, make good decisions, and once that last moment comes, you’ll have no regrets.
Aries: You’re as fierce than the Byzantine Empire as it swept it’s way through the Mediterranean and conquered land
Taurus: You’re as stubborn than the first estate in France in the 1800′s refusing that they were in debt from all the wars they fought and lost
Gemini: You’re as happy as Great Britain was during the Victorian Era, where science and industrial breakthrough’s took place
Cancer: You’re as caring as the servants were to the Renaissance children, and tried to keep them alive past the age of 20
Leo: You’re as bold as the Rebellions of 1848, where several European countries rebelled against their monarchial government in favor of more liberal ideals.
Virgo: You’re as rebellious as Galileo was, promoting the sciences against Church wishes
Libra: You’re like Queen Isabella of Castlie and King Ferdinand of Aragon, trying to promote peace by uniting their Spanish nation under one Catholic religion, but ending up really problematic because they put in place the Spanish Inquisition converting or killing anyone who wasn’t Catholic
Scorpio: You’re as underrated as the Golden of Age of the Dutch, as their citizens lived in peace, established the first national bank, and unanimously promoted Protestantism
Sagittarius: You’re as go getter as the European States were during the Age of Imperialism, conquering land but refusing to deal with the consequences
Capricorn: You were broken, but now fixed like the Italian States in 1830 when Garibaldi unified North and South Italy
Aquarius: You’re as innovative as Otto Von Bismark of Prussia as he ruled with an Iron First and helped gain territory and unite with Germany
Pisces: You’re as sensitive as the Catholics and Protestants were to each other, igniting the thirty years war
When we Christians use
words like “forgiveness” and phrases like “True love keeps no record of
wrongs,” I find myself wondering how that would apply to certain
contexts, namely with victims of abuse (sexual, physical,
emotional/mental)? I wonder if we should even be using these words when
speaking with victims/survivors of abuse and how it might come off as to
For example, when we say to forgive
an abuser, what does that look like? Does that mean we forget the harm
they did and pretend like everything is okay? Do we welcome them back
with open arms? The same questions also apply to phrases such as “love
keeps no record of wrongs”. I ask because as Christians it would be good
to be mindful how these words and phrases can sound like and that we
tend to throw these terms around much without thinking. What is your
take on this?
Hey dear friend, I truly appreciate your heart and care in this question. I am with you absolutely 100% here. The Christian culture so easily falls into a martyr syndrome that unnecessarily risks our safety, and it so often assumes that “church people” have no pre-existing baggage that makes “love and forgiveness” an extremely painful endeavor.
The thing is, love must absolutely include truth, wisdom, boundaries, and grace for yourself. Love is not enabling, pampering, coddling, or letting someone off the hook—or it wouldn’t really be love at all.
For those who have been abused or traumatized: Forgiveness doesn’t mean friendship. No one should ever be rushed into forgiveness for the sake of “getting right with God.” We need healthy boundaries. We need to recognize patterns of unrepentant abuse and gaslighting and manipulative language that will only guilt-trip you back into a vicious cycle. We can never mindlessly open the door again on an abusive relationship.
Many well-intentioned Christians try to act the part of a psychologist or social worker or therapist and have absolutely no idea about the real dangers of abuse, codependency, and compassion fatigue.
The other thing is that “Christian love” is overly romanticized, where if we just love enough, then we get the Hollywood montage of reconciliation and hugs and high-fives. But having been at the deathbed of many, many patients in the hospital, I hardly ever see it work out that way. Abusers will use up good will and spit it right out. Survivors of abuse have tried again and again to reconcile, only to find out that opening the door to their heart is no better than unlocking the cage of a pack of wolves.
It’s absolutely atrocious that preachers harp on forgiveness without listening to the stories of their churches. And still, Christians are slammed with the Bible to “forgive” because “it’s the Christian thing to do,” without any nuance for individual situations and without, you know, reading the rest of the Bible that says a lot of other stuff about abuse and trauma.
God is for the victims, for the abused, for the survivors. God is for
the exile, the foreigner, the despised, the despondent who crossed the
Jesus told us to be as pure as doves and as wise as snakes. Pure, but wise. Wise, but pure.
There’s a destructive idea in Christian subculture that breeds a martyr-hero syndrome, at the expense of yourself, and eventually everyone else. I spent too many years consumed by the “sacrificial radical love” model of Christianity, which required that I pour out more than I had—but it only scooped out my guts and left me bitter and resentful and exhausted. I had to remember that only one person really did love all the way to death so that we wouldn’t have to.
My friend once asked me, “Are you trying to be like Jesus, or are you trying to be Jesus? Because you can’t be crucified for all these people. He already did that.” I had to re-work my idea of love and forgiveness to include self-care and proper distance.
When Jesus was dying on the cross and said, “Father, forgive them,” let’s notice that Jesus did not say, “Father, help me forgive them.” It was very specific wording. In other words, Jesus was concerned that his murderers would find forgiveness from God, but not necessarily that Jesus would “feel forgiveness” towards them. Jesus was deliberately not condoning the murderers’ behavior, but also concerned for the destiny of their souls.
This is a perfectly balanced love that cooperates with truth. Of course, Jesus did offer forgiveness to them, and to everyone else who was ever born, and we’re called to work towards such divinity. But no, we’re under no such illusion that we must befriend those who have hurt us or hurt the ones we love. Jesus may pour out unlimited grace from a cross, but each of us are finite beings, with limited resources, who must go to Jesus who says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Since I’ve started working alongside social workers and psychologists, I was at first surprised how blunt and to-the-point they were. But they’ve seen hundreds, maybe thousands of abusers and victims, and they’ve heard all the excuses and rationalizations. They know that victims feel obligated to stick up for their abusers and that abusers will hijack language around forgiveness to be taken back. The medical staff’s sole goal here is to advocate for the victim. That requires tough talk, no bull-crap, no beating around the bush, but actuallove that’s as sharp as surgery, for both sides. The victim needs to know it’s okay to call the police and get a restraining order and defend themselves. The abuser needs to know they’re actually an abuser and that “forgiveness” is not some cheap ace-card that glosses over all they did.
In that kind of love, people are held accountable and responsible, because that sort of love is for the very best of each person, not to trap them or trick them, but to help them heal. So for the abused, it will mean empowering them with boundaries and the ability to say “no.” It will mean re-framing their religious obligations to “forgive.” It includes safety and boundaries and self-care. And perhaps one day, it includes the hopeful possibility of reconciliation, whether on this side of life or the other.