When you are young, life flows in a somewhat predictable pattern for us here in the U.S., as we go to school, and progress from year to year. The move to middle school, then high school, then finally graduation. Then the decisions about what to pursue next, college, military, a trade.
When we are young, and life stretches long before us, we can hardly even conceive of what we might be doing in ten years, much less twenty, thirty, forty. Life changes happen to us, whether we cause them, want them, initiate them or not. Sometimes it is a spouse who decides they’ve made a horrible mistake in marrying you. Sometimes it is a death of someone we love. We weather these events, by virtue of the fact the sun continues to rise and set, and days pass. We somewhere in the back of our minds, have an expectation that after a while, things will “get back to normal”, but the truth is, there is no such thing really, as going back to the way it was. We leave a job behind, we finish college, we are forced to go onward without that dear person who passed too soon. There is no going “back”, only onward.
Sometimes there are relationships in life that seem irreconcilable. Something is wrong in it, and someone no longer is willing to accept the status quo in which one person does all the giving and all of the forgiving, while another person seems to get a free pass from accountability. It is sad to have to give up on a relationship. But it is necessary sometimes, and even more so in this day when scripture tells us that people’s love for one another will grow cold.
It is a me-centered world and we are called to put others before ourselves, and yet, when it comes to abuse, there is a limit to what the Lord expects us to just allow. We can forgive someone again and again, but if they are not sorry, if they do not repent of the behavior, that is to say, to turn away from it, and have no remorse whatsoever, then the forgiveness we pour out, just spills on the ground. True repentance is the vessel that receives forgiveness. A person can be forgiven many times, but reconciliation becomes impossible. The longer that I live, and the more people I encounter, I have learned that there are people in this world who truly seem to have no conscience and who have utterly no capacity of empathy whatsoever. They will never be “moved” by your telling them how much their action or words hurt you. I don’t know what makes a person that way. I am sure there are all sorts of psychological and human development theories on the subject, but I think that there are some people who are pretty much born that way. Others may get that way because of their own stubbornness and refusal to take responsibility for their actions.
Those people become toxic to anyone who is in close association with them. So unfortunately, spouses, children, parents, siblings of the person who has this “anti-social, narcissistic personality”, will suffer. The individual will flatter others, who don’t already know the truth about them, and convince the stranger that they are charming and thoughtful. While the family members of this person will be thought jealous or envious if they express anything negative about the offender. The offender does their ugly works in secret. When no one else is around to witness it. And when confronted, will deny ever saying or doing spiteful or ugly things, but instead will tell their victim it is all their imagination, they’ve taken it the “wrong way” or are “too sensitive for their own good”.
Life can get very painful for someone who lives with or is forced to frequent interaction with persons who have these antisocial personality issues. They are also called sociopaths or psychopaths. All of them are not violent or serial killers. Most of them function very well in society, because they cultivate a public persona that is very amicable and personable, and charismatic. But their employees, children, spouses, girlfriend or boyfriend, will know a different version of that person, that is never revealed to casual acquaintances and social friends.
This kind of paradigm is “crazy-making”! Because most people do care if they hurt someone else, whether it is a minor offense or real concrete damage, such as besmirching their reputation, or undermining them in some way, and would feel badly about it, probably apologize, or try to make amends once they become aware of the effect they have had. So when a “normal” person is embroiled with someone who has no conscience to speak of, who is unable to empathize, and who essentially has no real “feelings” of their own, they will always be perplexed by what they are hearing and detecting from the anti-social type. These folks are often effusive in their interactions, overly boisterous, gushingly admiring, over-the-top in their expressions, and love to be the very center of attention, and to be deferred to. It is a power thing.
So when someone grows up with a parent who is like that, you can only imagine how huge of a toll this would take on their own ability to trust their own intuition, and upon their own ability to correctly gage the mood or sentiment of other people.
This has been a situation in my husband’s upbringing, and it has been a very real and destructive issue in the course of our marriage, for him to understand how the abusive person in his life effected him, his perceptions, his confidence, and sense of self, and thus both directly and indirectly, our marriage.
Sometimes making the break from that person is not ideal due to the fallout this might have on another person who is also involved with the abusive individual. People who have a visceral need to exert control, will react with rage and fury when someone escapes that power they once held over them, and often the one or ones who remain in the circle, suffer the rage. It is hard, living in a fallen world, where people have drifted so far into selfishness and sin that they have been utterly blinded by it.
Some things are not “fixable”. I am convinced of that because we have been endowed with free will. So even though we pray for someone who causes harm and pain to others, for them to be delivered from their own sin, we also know that God doesn’t always extend grace when a person has already had many opportunities to change their ways. If that person professes to be a Christian, God also will set limits upon just how much they will be allowed to act out and drag the name of Christ through the mud. Have you not ever wondered about that verse (1 Corinthians 11:30) that says “for this cause many are weak and sickly, and many sleep”. The passage is about Communion, and the fact that when a born-again believer takes communion, he or she is supposed to examine themselves before God and forgive others, and confess their own sins, but also ask God to reveal to them any hidden sin within themselves which they are not aware of. When we take communion without doing so, that is partaking unworthily. It is a serious offense, and can result in a spiritual consequence of physical sickness and even death. I knew a man personally who had a criminal and drug history before salvation, who got drawn back to those things and with people in his life, fellow believers, confronting him, striving to bring him to repentance, he remained resistant to conviction, got involved in crime to support the addiction he had re-ignited, and a whole church full of people mourned his death by stabbing at the hands of the criminal gang he had known better than to go back to. You can get by for a while with some things when you are a babe in Christ, without such dire consequences, but God does not allow you to test Him. His wife loved the Lord very much, and she was suffering greatly due to his choices.
When you are the person who is on the receiving end of abuse from a non-repentant abuser, the only thing that you can do is remove yourself from them, pray for them, and take your wounds to the Lord for His healing, and trust His timing because He has already said that we all will be judged, and vengeance belongs to Him.
It is not easy to fight the bitterness and out-right hatred that can sometimes cultivate in our hearts when we have been subject to abuse of some kind. There is some truth to the adage that “hurt people hurt other people” but it is not always the case that the abuser was a victim of abuse himself or herself. I think we forget that the same heat that melts wax, hardens clay. Some people have a spirit of rebellion and self-righteousness in them, and when the Holy Spirit or even simply the “law” confronts them with their culpability, they will respond with rebellious denial. “I have done nothing wrong, it was all your own misunderstanding”, or “who are you to judge?”.
I have often said, trying to make any kind of rational sense out of someone who is behaving irrationally, just makes you crazy right along with them. When someone rejects the very idea that there is One in authority over us, they will believe anything just to avoid what is the truth. Most of the world now actually believes that truth is “relative” and we make our own “truth”. And even when your “truth” directly and diametrically contradicts my truth, they are still, somehow, true and valid. That is madness.
So, no, we don’t just go back to “normal” after something crazy happens. Whether it is losing a loved one, losing a job, having to face the reality that it is absolutely necessary to cut off ties with someone who refuses to cease and desist with their abusive ways, we are all created for relationships and we feel the hole where those things were, when something or someone is removed from our lives or when we have to remove ourselves from something or someone.
I may say this more than some people care to hear it, but I so look forward as a believer in Jesus Christ who has been saved, to the day that we are removed from this life, and carried away to the next one. I do believe in that life that is after this one. And in fact, many people today, even if they don’t believe in God, or Jesus, believe something has been happening in this world that is going to culminate in catastrophe. The Bible confirms this.
There will be no going back to the America we once were. That is sad, but the fact that the whole world is changing in drastic ways, is the more sure sign of this looming event. So many things are converging. Right now, in this moment in time, we are looking at an “election” cycle that is like no other one in American history. And the parties have not nominated their candidates yet. The U.S. is a tinderbox. The Middle East is a tinderbox. Asia is a tinderbox. What spark will ignite the first explosion? The earth is quaking, the fault lines are waking up, volcanoes are erupting, the world’s economy is teetering on the brink of collapse, every nation in the world is against Israel, and God’s cup of wrath is about to overflow.
My father-in-law went home to be with the Lord last week. It has been exhausting, but now he is the third family member who has made that journey in three short years. Little deposits from our life, now up there for safe keeping. I cannot help envying them. But I don’t think it is going to be long before everything changes. Everything is going to change. And so few people realize it. There will be people counting on the Rapture, that will not go up in it. There will be people who have heard about the Tribulation all their lives, but brushed it off as nonsense, and will know immediately when it starts, that they are in for hell on Earth. There are people who are already so deluded that they think everything in the Bible is bunk. But God is true, and His Word is Truth.
Every generation has had its own defining characteristics. We are the generation who will see the rapture of the church, the rise of the Antichrist, and the return of the true Christ Jesus, though I don’t plan to be here for the false Christ, and will be coming with the true Christ when He returns, just to be a witness when He destroys the last of His enemies.
I know there are a lot of people who could potentially read this, who will scoff and be possibly sincerely incredulous that I could believe this. But I do believe it, because I believe the Bible is God’s Word. I know that is out of fashion now. But fashion and going with the crowd are not really things I put stock in. Truth is the only thing that matters. And the truth is, there are a lot of people who are separated from their Creator by their state of sinfulness, and who will be banished to hell because of it. People don’t want to hear that they stand guilty and defiled before a Holy God. But it is the truth. We all are guilty based upon God’s law, which is pretty much distilled in the Ten Commandments, which most people know. The Bible says it is One Law. Like a swing hanging from two chains, if one link in the chain is broken, the whole chain is now broken. If you have lied or stolen the tiniest thing, or used the Lord’s name as a curse word, or looked at another person with lust in your heart, the Bible says you are a sinner, guilty and there is a sentence that awaits you. The wages of sin, is death. That is the sentence. That is the spiritual law. But God doesn’t want you to die this spiritual death, and He made a way to prevent that, by having an innocent man die for the sins of the guilty. Not just any man, but the only innocent sinless man who ever lived, which is Jesus Christ, God-in-flesh. Infinitely sinless, He laid down His own life for the penalty of our sins, and took His life up again after He had paid our debt in full.
I can’t tell you anything else to make this more palatable. This is pure truth, and you are of course free to take it or to walk away and leave it. But one day you will face your Creator, whether you believe in Him or not. And when you do, He will remind you about this message. You didn’t land here and aren’t reading this by accident. If you feel Him speaking to your heart, you dare not brush it aside. He is calling you to truth, and rescue from horrible wrath that is about to fall upon this Earth. This is not going to be like World War I, or World War II, or 9/11. What is about to encompass the whole world, is going to be horror beyond anything you have seen in movies, or read about in books. Suffering and bloodshed, and oppression and persecution. Because it is not just evil men and women in elite positions in this world who are behind the developments of wars and famines, and death, but supernaturally empowered evil spirits who rebelled against God and who know they are bound for chains and outer darkness, and want to take you with them when they go.
Call upon Jesus to save you from the wrath that is coming. Today is the day of salvation. Get a Bible, read Romans. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and then read the books of Daniel and Revelation. When God removes His saved Believers from this world, all the “impending” catastrophe will crash down upon you. Fear and chaos and suffering will be miserable and only get worse and worse for seven years to come after that. If you call upon the Lord now, confess that you are lost and need a Savior, you can avoid what is coming. If you don’t now, you may not have another chance. God says in His word that those who love not the truth, will be given over to believe a lie. There will be a delusion that people will succumb to. And a world leader will rise, whom the Bible calls the Antichrist. There will be a mark of some sort that will be given for the purposes of all buying and selling and monitoring all of the people on Earth at all times. If you refuse the mark, you will be unable to buy or sell. And you will be a “wanted” fugitive from this new One World government. You have seen this stuff in movies and depicted in comic books. You have heard it in some form or another and perhaps thought it was all just a bunch of superstition or folklore. But soon people will have no more doubts and questions about the veracity of these claims. What is going to be, is going to be very soon. This may be the last warning you will get. Find a Bible and read it. It tells the whole story of God and man. From Creation to the present day, and on into the future. Many of the “unsolved” mysteries of science have been “solved” in scripture, for those willing to look into it and see it there.
Nothing is ever going back to “normal”. All you have ever known and taken for granted, is about to change. All who call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. A thief hung on either side of Jesus as He died on the cross. One made fun of him, the other recognized Him to be the long-awaited Messiah, and called upon Him, and Jesus told the one who believed, “this day your soul will be with me in Paradise”. There are a lot of people who would love to add all sorts of additional conditions and terms and quid pro quos to the “transaction” but if a thief can be saved by nothing but belief during his final few breaths, then no works and no other action other than realizing you need a savior and are a sinner, and that Jesus is who He claims to be, that’s all that can be required of you. Do it now before it is too late! Jesus is coming for HIs own, and a horrible time called the Tribulation, will follow.
Next Entry: The Cost of Caring