Today starts a new day; I realize that I have been abused by religion. It took me through Day 8, 9 before I realized this, but I am glad I did. You can go back to see my comments on Day 8 and 9 to see what I am speaking of. I am taking the time to do the exercises as outlined in the book; Recovering From Religious Abuse, 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom written by: Jack Watts. While I know that hurt and abuse as described and presented in the book are two different things, I have come to the understanding that in regards to taking advantage of me I have in fact been abused. I will admit, one of my greatest concerns is I may have at times abused religion. I don’t think I have but this journey will help me understand where I am at and in the process help others as I journal each day with the steps outlined in the book.
Today’s theme deals with bitterness. I have to admit, over the years I have been bitter and still am about some things, especially finances. To have some in the name of religion force either their beliefs on me and at the same time when my family and I have made the sacrifices we have hurts. My bitterness isn’t at God, but at individuals.
I have been told at various times that others have recognized my bitterness. I also think the way they tell me makes me in some ways, even bitterer.
At times I respond in a defensive way, never really recognizing or owning up to the point that I am, and have been bitter. Normally when confronted with this, I have denied it but I realize now more than ever of the feelings that have been within me. It is possible those feelings have given the wrong impression. I don’t know? I do know that my faith experiences, specifically with Christians have not been as positive as they could be. I have seen more abuse, and hurt than I have love and concern from others, at least in a real way. I guess this is one way I respond and do the things I have done, I also realize though; it doesn’t make my response right.
I get angrier at these things than I should. I don’t know though. Do those who follow Jesus have a responsibility to be like Him? I think they do and at times, God must be upset by the actions of people. I work to not get angry at God, but there are times I certainly question and maybe border on being mad at Him. I think God can handle it though. I don’t think he holds it against me. I see examples of this with others in the Bible, from the prophets to the apostles. Even Jesus expressed at times his frustration and concern.
I recognize my own need to be careful about getting angry. While at times the anger may be deserved, I have to make sure it doesn’t come out on the wrong people. I wonder if that is a part of the cycle others go through? I continue to ask for healing in these areas. May I be a bright light that shines hope and inspiration, not despair and abuse.
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