Life After Abuse – How to Move On

Galatians 2:20 ESV  I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

What do you do with your life after you have gotten free from an abuser? In most cases of course we all know that being totally free isn’t possible because of things like joint custody of children, visitation, relatives who often ally with the abuser, and so on. And there are triggering events and places that can replay the trauma. Nevertheless, we need to be able to get on with life. Here are some of my thoughts on this subject and I hope they will be helpful.

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The Letter of the Law is not Enough and Bible Knowledge is not Enough

John 5:39-40 ESV  You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,  (40)  yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

I used to think I could find sound, genuine churches by reading their doctrinal statements. As far as the reformed confessions go, our church adheres to the London Confession of Faith. And years back we joined a fellowship of churches (ARBCA) that all held to that same confession.

Now, the London Confession is sound. It is a systematic statement of what the Bible teaches. It is a summary of what I believe. But…

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A Warning to Those who Harbor the Wicked

Jeremiah 7:5-8 ESV  “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another,  (6)  if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm,  (7)  then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.  (8)  “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail.

Listen to Matthew Henry’s comment on these verses. The underlining is mine:

Those that had power in their hands must thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, without partiality, and according as the merits of the case appeared. They must not either in judgment or in contract oppress the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor countenance or protect those that did oppress, nor refuse to do them justice when they sought for it. [Matthew Henry, Commentary on Jeremiah]

We all know that abusers and other evildoers work very hard to gather allies for themselves. And frankly, in local churches, they don’t have to work all that hard to accomplish this. We have firsthand testimony time after time after time of how a pastor, other church leaders, or church members did exactly what the Lord is commanding Jeremiah’s countrymen to repent of. They do countenance (approve) of these wicked people and protect them from judgment.

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