2 Timothy 4:14-15 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. (15) Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.
The Apostle Paul was wise about evil. Notice that in this warning to Timothy, Paul does not make any excuses for Alexander nor does he minimize his culpability. Paul does not tell Timothy to “pray” for Alexander or to urge him to repent.
The typical line that professing Christian people use on victims of domestic abuse is something like, “but I’m sure he is sorry. I’m sure he has changed. I just know that he loves you.” Blah, blah, blah. But here is my question for everyone who lays that kind of load on a victim:
How can you say these things when you weren’t there? When you haven’t lived in that home? When, in other words, you did not and still do not know this abuser? How can you say that he has “changed” when you in fact do not know what he was?
Paul knew who Alexander was and therefore he knew the truth – Alexander had not changed. Paul knew who Alexander was. If Alexander had repented, Paul would have known it and could have confidently told Timothy he had.
So in reality, when people tell us an abuser “has changed,” they are being dishonest with us and with themselves. What they really mean is, “he never was what you (the victim) say he is. He is who I want him to be – a nice guy who isn’t perfect.”
Before you ever declare that someone has repented or that they have changed, you had better first be certain that you know who they were. And in most all cases of domestic abuse, people outside the walls of the marriage don’t know.
That “nice guy with shortcomings” isn’t. In fact he is an Alexander and what you should be telling people is, “beware of him.”