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.
Over the last few days I have engaged in various conversations with people regarding some seemingly controversial subjects. I realize that at times, I can practice my own dogmas in my conversations and interactions with others. I am not saying I should compromise my positions, when I am convicted of those positions, but I wonder, do I use methods that come across the wrong way? I am confident that at times I do, and this is learned behavior that I need to walk away from and make new habits. Of course this isn’t always my fault but the approach is something I can control, since it is my emotions I am seeking to control. I am reminded of an old saying I learned some time ago, ‘being right, doesn’t make one right.’ I have to make sure that I behave in a Godly way in all things.
There are certainly negatives that have impacted my behavior related to how I have been treated by certain religious groups that I need to change. I also need to make sure that I am responding to others in a way that reflects the love of Jesus. I need to remember it wasn’t Jesus who didn’t love me; it was that some of his followers didn’t practice love.
I have done better in how I respond to others over the years, I am not as argumentative as I once was, and I try to find positive things to say use humor and try to think in advance about how others will respond to what I say. That doesn’t mean I am perfect in this area though. Today I realize, maybe more than in the past that this negative attribute is something that has come about from the things I learned from the abusers. I know I can do better at reflecting the love of Jesus. I don’t have to always be ‘right’ because the truth is I’m not and even when I am I have no right to express my dogma’s in such a way as to disrespect others.
God help me be respectful, help me be to love. When I am right on an issue, let me focus more on the love of the individual than my own selfish need and desire to be right. Help me be right in the way I love.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, to that you may spend it on your pleasures. ~ James 4:3
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