Abuse - Dealing With ABUSE Understanding Healing Breaking...

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Reprinted from United News, www.ucg.org © 1999-2005 Dealing With ABUSE Understanding • Healing • Breaking the Cycle The United Church of God prepared these articles to inform, educate and provide understanding of abuse issues. by John W. Cafourek Abuse, in its myriad forms, is a problem of astronomical proportions in our world today. Community educator Ellie Kimaro of Seattle Rape Relief confirms that in the United States one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted by age 16. In addition, other types of abuse such as verbal, emotional and physical battering wreak havoc in the lives of millions. Broadly defined, abuse is any pattern of behavior that threatens the physical, mental or emotional well-being of another. Abuse is detrimental to the human spirit. The nature of abuse, as in all sin, is progressive if allowed to continue (James 1:13-15). The following behaviors illustrate how abuse progresses. Attitudes Behind Abuse To enhance our understanding of abuse, we must begin with its origin. Abuse began with the corrupting of God’s truth and the breaking of His laws by Satan, the originator of all abuse. Genesis 1:2 describes the end result of abuse perpetrated by Satan against God’s creation. In his rage and quest for power and control, coupled with his inability to direct it at God Himself, Satan lashed out at God’s creation, His entire plan and the future home of mankind. The Bible begins with the end result of all abuse—confusion, ruin, destruction, loss and emptiness. Improper Treatment Our present world groans and travails under the weight of its continued abuse. Satan has replaced truth with his principles of power, force, greed, lust, self-centeredness, selfish ambition, deceit and pleasure-seeking, to the point of hedonism. He has successfully convinced the world to pursue these principles. Although we live in the world, we are not to accept its principles and practice its abusive methods. Paul warns the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 7:31 that while they must live in the world, they are not to abuse, overuse or be controlled by the things in the world. Abusing the earth results in disease-causing and life-threatening environmental pollution. Mankind has long fought personal battles against alcohol and other substance abuse. God encourages temperance and control in Proverbs 16:32. It states: “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he who rules his spirit, than he who takes a city.” A Deceitful Act Deceit and manipulation are chief ingredients used by an abuser, resulting in the emotional abuse of the victim. Emotional abuse is the cruelest and longest lasting of any abuse. It scars the heart and crushes the human spirit, leaving the victim traumatically affected for life. Where trust and hope once flourished, there remains only a sense of dread, uncertainty, confusion, hopelessness and helplessness. Misplaced guilt and deep sadness shatter the victim’s bond with the abuser. The pain created from childhood experiences
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Abuse - Dealing With ABUSE Understanding Healing Breaking...

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