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.
This is crazy, especially if reading yesterdays post. Crazy because the book and request for the journal entry addresses the very thing I spoke about yesterday, even expounding on my thoughts. I had never thought about the fruits of the spirit all being emotional traits before.
Galatians 5: 16-26: (16) If you are guided by the Spirit, you won't obey your selfish desires. (17) The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should. (18) But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control over you.
(19) People's desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. (20) They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are (21) envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God's kingdom.
(22) God's Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, (23) gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways. (24) And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. (25) God's Spirit has given us life, and so we should follow the Spirit. (26) But don't be conceited or make others jealous by claiming to be better than they are.
For those seeking God and relationship with Him, we will seek after the fruit of the Spirit, recognizing in the process that we are no better than anyone else. That isn’t to say we shouldn’t want the best offered by God from the areas where he blesses us. We will realize there is a peace that passes all understanding provided by God. While there are those who would desire to exhibit power, disrespect and other things towards me and/or others, it doesn’t negate the work of God. God would have me loving, happy, have peace, patience, be kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self controlled. I can see so many examples where I have failed here, and yet I also see these examples succeed in the lives of others. The freedom and healing God provides and intends is far better than any material possession I could have. I know others are at the place of not having progress in obtaining the fruits, whether from abuse, or not, the reality is God would have the best for all of us. The abuser will not take that away from me.
God help me more so than ever before, exhibit the fruits of the spirit in my life, help me understand, share, live, obtain and experience them more than ever before.
(8) Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. (9) Would any of you give your hungry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread? (10) Would you give your child a snake if the child asked for a fish? (11) As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask. ~ Matthew 7:8-11
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