I’ve been thinking about the anger and the hate and the judgmentalism coming from people who claim to be very religious and staunch Christians, feeling I’d like to add my thoughts to what is happening, why people feel compelled to treat others terribly in the name of Christianity and what God has actually told us to do!
Here’s a wonderful post written by a Jesuit priest, who regularly writes about a kind and loving God, whose post I’m linking to speaks to how God wants us to treat one another: The Great Commandment.
If you’ve come out of very difficult or even spiritually abusive experiences, I hope to support you as you re-examine your spiritual relationships to once more feel the peace and tranquility of knowing that you are deeply loved!
Even though I have left the walls of organized religion because of deep shaming, criticism, and harmful advice which almost destroyed me (and my daughter), I now once again hold fast to my original faith in a very loving God and the heavenly host. Years before I started attending any church, I started deeply immersing myself in the Bible, and the loving, supportive verses I was guided to read built my faith.
When I entered the first church, I was told I was wrong and needed to think x,y, and z in order to have God’s love and approval. They placed themselves as being the only true church, and unfortunately, I was easily indoctrinated due to very low self-worth and desperately needing approval, so I followed their teachings hoping God would find me worthy.
The second church I entered followed the same persuasive tactics, and again I was still very fragile from past abuses plus I was very vulnerable so I fell into their methods 100%.
Unfortunately for vulnerable people like who I was, we also suffer from severe anxiety and depression, so the methods used didn’t strengthen or build us up, they just further amplified our mental health issues. We were scolded, chastised, criticized, and eventually shunned because we weren’t able to just “shake off” our mental health issues.
I saw many people just like me, fall and crumble under these methods. Many people left the churches, broken and disillusioned about God because we had been led to believe in a much harsher God, who punished people for any sin. Our Mental Health issues were seen as sins, as being evidence of a lack of Faith.
The same people who were responsible for treating members of their congregations this way had also become the strongest proponents of promoting these methods because they were told that God was happy with them for standing up for their beliefs, even though the fruit from it resulted in people being broken even more than when they came in.
What does God say about how we need to treat one another? What is the “gold standard” of how we should treat each other?
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:36-40New International Version
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”Mark 12:31
What happens when we don’t love ourselves very much when our own self-worth is so low that we accept the instruction to treat others harshly because we feel God will be pleased with this?
When we ourselves are damaged, we don’t necessarily know how to treat other people in a kind and loving way.Tamara Kulish
When we habitually speak to ourselves in an unkind or harsh way, it may not seem strange when others are treated in a like manner; for our outer world becomes an extension inner world.
I have once again come to have deep trust in a loving God, one who created a universe and heavenly beings who follow the laws of Love!
It is this loving concept which helped me to heal from the abuses of my past, to find the strength to develop self-worth, to learn to speak kindly and gently with myself.
The more healed and whole my heart and spirit became, the more I was able to see how and why others could treat people so badly: it was because they themselves suffer under a lack of self-worth, love, or acceptance.
In order to love our neighbor in a loving way, we need to also be able to love ourselves!
Unfortunately, simply professing to be a Christian doesn’t automatically imbue us with the ability to do this! If a person secretly hates themself because of a trait or element in themselves, they will end up projecting that hate onto other people!
We all still need to do the inner work of healing from the damage and the abuses of our past.
I hope you will find the following posts helpful to you as you do your own inner work! You’ll probably find more links to other helpful posts embedded at the end of each!
Guided Journals help you work on a particular issue by answering questions to help see patterns and to find solutions:
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