Breaking Free from Abuse

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Breaking Free from Abuse

Because every human has a sinful nature – we live in a broken world.
So how to deal with unhealthy & broken relations

Today History has record of humanity’s inhumanity to humanity
2 Timothy 3:2 says abuse will increase in the last days.
As culture decays- abuse has increased.

Physical & Sexual abuse are easy to identify
Emotional is more subtle- harder to nail down

But the Bible is full of examples of emotional abuse:
Genesis 16:6 “Sarah was abusive to Hagar so she ran away.” 

1 Samuel 25:17 “He’s a bully who won’t listen to anyone” 
(Nabal, Abigail’s alcoholic husband)
Job 19:1-3 “Why do you keep tormenting me with words? Time after time you insult me and show no shame for the way you abuse me. 
The damage from ABUSE can last a lifetime unless it is dealt with.

US Gov study: 80% of people in their 20s who were abused as kids
were still struggling with at least 1 emotional disorder.

Like Job 30:27 “The churning inside me never stops;
each day confronts me with more suffering.”
NO DOUBT: Either you’ve been abused or you know someone who has. So…
HOW TO HELP SOMEONE BREAK FREE FROM ABUSE
There’s no single Bible passage that show what to do with abuse.
But there are many with examples & principles
1. DON’T KEEP IT A SECRET!
Share your pain with someone you trust who can help you break free!
Don’t hide it, conceal it, ignore it, close your eyes to it. TALK ABOUT IT!

John 8:32 Jesus: “The truth will set you free.”
– I’m only as sick as..
– Write: Revealing my feeling is the beginning of healing

Abuse is often called “The Silent Epidemic”
ILL 10 Nation Study: showed that, depending on the country, between 55 % to 95%
women abused by their partners have never talked to anyone.
Men are even less likely to talk about it or get help

Abuse often creates false shame. Abused? It’s not your fault!
o King David spent much of his life-spent dealing with people who
wanted to hurt, discredit. abuse or even kill him.

In over 100 passages in Psalms he express frustration, fear, shame, & depression – caused by his abusive enemies (show a few in a min)

One thing David learned well: Don’t hold it in!

Psalm 39:1-4 David: “I said, ‘ I will not say anything while evil people are near.’ So I kept quiet, not saying a word… but my suffering only grew worse, and I was overcome with anxiety. The more I thought, the more troubled I became;
I could not keep from asking: ‘Lord, how long will I live? When will I die?
Tell me how soon my life will end.” 
THIS A CLASSIC RESPONSE OF AN ABUSED PERSON
Note: 1. He was afraid to talk about it in the presence of perpetrators.
2. His silence made it worse.
3. His internalized pain turns to panic & anxiety
4. He began to be obsessed with death

Abuse can lead to considering suicide – as the only way out
IF YOU’VE FELT THAT WAY – THERE’S HOPE!

Your church family wants to help! 350 trained counselors!
BUT YOU MUST SPEAK UP!
2. NAME THE ABUSE. Identify it! Be Specific! Recognize it!
Call it for what it is! – You may need some help at this

When people are emotionally abused- often don’t spot it

8 CHARACTERISTICS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE
David’s Descriptions: uses “enemy/enemies” 92 times

1. AGGRAVATION “My enemies taunt me day after day. They mock and curse
me.” Psalm 102:8 Always picking on you, provoking – Won’t leave u in peace

2. INTIMIDATION “…they tell lies about me and threaten me.” Psalm 109:20
Always making threats, pressure you, scare you
3. DENIGRATION “…they make fun of me and ridicule me” Psalm 22:7
This isn’t good natured teasing – mean-spirited scorn & derision
ILL: Kids on bus video belittle, constant put downs

4. HUMILIATION “I have been insulted, put to shame, and humiliated”
Psalm 69:19 – shame is a favorite tool of abusers
They demean you, dishonor, disgrace you

5. MANIPULATION “They jeer, using words to kill; they bully their way with
words.” Psalm 73:8. Ever been verbally bullied?

6. DOMINATION “They push hard to make me fall” Psalm 118:13
try to control you in all sorts of way, everything is a power-play
everything is about control & being in charge

7. DEFAMATION “They spread rumors about me, and conspire against me”
They love to gossip & say things that embarrass you Psalm 31:13

8. CONDEMNATION “They mock me with the worst kind of profanity, and
snarl at me.” Psalm 35:16 They shock with vulgarity. Use crude slang about u

If these words describe your environment- you’re being emotionally abused!
Admit it & name it.
3. DON’T MINIMIZE OR RATIONALIZE IT.
Ephesians 5:6 “Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him.”
“Well, he was just having a bad day”
“ I brought it on myself”
“There are so many good things about him”

NOTE: God hates abuse! It makes him angry! (12 Minor Prophets)

ILL: The more insecure & powerless a person feels…more abusive
4. HELP THEM TO A SAFE PLACE IF NECESSARY.
If you’re being physically or sexually abused, you need to get out NOW!
“But I’m married” I didnt say divorce them immediately!

**There is NO verse in the Bible that tells a child, wife, or husband to
stay in a life-threatening or sexually abusive situation.”

Explain “separation for the purpose of reconciliation”

How can I best help my friend who is being abused?
1. Help them report it & get help
2. Put yourself in their shoes! Sympathize

Hebrews 13:3 says “Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them!” Then..
Hebrews 13:3 “Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them happened to you.” 
– Imagine how they feel! Put yourself in their shoes

God commands us to share the load:
Galations 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Abuse can happen anywhere- work school
…so Christians need to be ready everywhere to protect..

5. DON’T CONFRONT AN ABUSER BY YOURSELF.
That is neither wise, nor safe.

Solomon talks about the wisdom of doing difficult things together:
Ecclesiastes 4:12 “By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you get a third person? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.” 
Need a group intervention. (We can help)
You shine the light of truth- where sin has grown in darkness
Ephesians 5:11 “Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But when the light shines on them, it becomes clear how evil these things are. And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds.”

6. BEGIN THE HEALING PROCESS.
This point could have 12 subpoints- because it’s the process of Recovery
Based on the beatitudes of Jesus.

The advice of Job’s friend is still valid today: Job 11:13-17
“Put your heart right. Reach out to God. Put away any evil and wrong from your home. Then face the world again, firm and courageous. Then all your troubles will fade from your memory, like floods that are past and remembered no more! Your life will be brighter than
sunshine at noon, and life’s darkest hours will shine like the dawn!” 
1. Make the courageous decision to do what’s right
2. Turn to Jesus. He is your Savior
3. Get away from the evil. Get it out of your life.
4. Get help & have hope! (CR, GROUPS, COUNSELING)
7. LET GOD SETTLE THE SCORE.
Don’t seek revenge. Don’t retaliate. Dont try to get even.
1 Peter 3:9 “Never repay one wrong with another, or one abusive word with another; instead, repay with a blessing. That is what you are called to do, so that you inherit a blessing.” 

There is one person who understand the pain of abuse better than anyone: Jesus. He took the guilt of every abuse ever committed on himself when he died for all sin

Isaiah 53:5 “He was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten and bruised so we could have peace. He was mocked and whipped, so we could be healed” They don’t call him Savior for nothing!

If you’ve never met Jesus- your healing starts with him!
So let me introduce you to your healer & savior!
Explain salvation (get transcript)

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed”

Did Jesus retaliate & hurt back? No. He turned it over to God the Father.
1 Peter 2:23 “Christ never verbally abused those who verbally abused him. When he suffered, he didn’t make any threats but left everything to the one who judges fairly.” 
One day, God is going to balance the books. Settle accounts; Administer justice
All the evil done will be punished! God can do a better job that you ever will.

CLOSE: There is a big problem with Abuse it’s contagious. Can be passed on

ILL: Millions of children witness some form of domestic abuse in their homes.
They are twice as likely to abuse their own families when they marry.
It’s time for YOU to break the chain… and the time is NOW

(BOW)
I know this has been a painful message for many of you. I want you to know that God cares and our church cares and I care about you. You don’t have to stay in the pain any longer. There is a way out. There is healing & salvation available both for the abused and the abusers. He can transform both victim & perpetrator. Both the offended AND the offender. He wants to save you, starting right now.

“Dear Jesus, I need you to be my savior. Save me from my pain…memories…shame. sins… resentment…fears. Please do what I cannot do for myself. I need a new life, a fresh start, a new beginning. I want to trade in my hurt for your healing, and I want to trust you and follow you the rest of my life. Please begin the process of recovery now. Give me the courage to begin these steps now. Write “HELP” on Card

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