It’s possible to become so determined to defend a spiritual place of authority, a doctrine or a way of doing things that you wound and abuse anyone who questions, or disagrees, or doesn’t ‘behave’ spiritually the way you want them to. When your words and actions tear down another, or attack or weaken a person’s standing as a Christian – to gratify you, your position or your beliefs while at the same time, weakening or harming another – that is spiritual abuse. ~ David Johnson / Jeff VanVondoren
My blogging buddy, Chaz @ One Direction Forward, made some comments on Wednesday’s Ashes to Go post that stirred up my thinking about the whole concept of spiritual abuse. I’ve found it lurking in all corners of the Christian community, from Fundamentalists to High Church.
Just as I was reading some excerpts from The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, my email notifier gave a whistle and Dictionary.com Word of the Day popped up. Today’s word was Adamantine, which means: Utterly unyielding or firm in attitude or opinion. A few of the synonyms are: unbending, unbreakable, uncompliant, uncompromising, unrelenting, unyielding.
The book was talking about churches and their culture. The dictionary was talking about individuals and their nature. The parallel was striking. Just as I was mentally gathering a few smooth stones to cast at some stain glass, I had to suck in my breath. Adamantine. Am I?
Father, make me bendable. Break me when I need to be broken. Teach me to compromise, relent and yield in all of the areas of my life that grace allows and grace dictates. Amen.