Blog Post by Sister Diane Foster
Spiritual abusers are Authoritarian. They hand-pick their staff members whose position is that the leader is never wrong. Fear and intimidation are used to shame those who voice disagreement. The leader requires Excessive loyalty, even if they are wrong. If one fails to obey, they become objects of rejection. The leaders hide behind a Façade of righteousness where abuse, immorality, and illegalities exist. Perfectionism is a tool used to keep the followers busy. It is advantageous and effective, yet the leader or leaders are the ones who benefit. Spiritual leaders are Unbalanced. They focus on minor things and blow them out of proportion, just as Yahusha told the Pharisees they sweat the small stuff and forget about judgment and the love of Yahuah, even to the point of creating heavy burdens on others (Luke 11:42, 46). They are Secretive. Secrets are not legitimate when something unethical, illegal, or disrespectful is concealed. High-control groups have secret sins that must not be discussed. Paranoid. This happens because the group is operating on the dark side of religion. John 3:19 “Men loved the darkness more than the light, for their deeds were evil.” No Accountability. There may appear to be structure, but it is not. Anyone desiring to hold a leader or assigned worker accountable for his or her actions are met with hostility. Friendly Fire Casualties are those who receive severe ridicule or more for those not under submission, according to the group’s doctrine, for things such as not working hard enough. Friendly fire casualties often leave the group while others endure. Taking from (Spiritual Abuse Recovery Workbook by David Henke)
Living under the domination of these leadership character flaws can leave the victim with a shattered personality and loss of self-image. Whether through bullying, friendly fire, loss of faith, inability to cope with everyday life situations without the approval of others, spiritual confusion, or bewilderment in terms of the inability to answer the question of how did it happen in the first place healing is possible. You may ask, “Am I to blame?” Did Yahuah do this to me? These types of questions can lead to depression, remorse, sorrow, and regret. Then there is the inability to express such emotions as anger, shame, guilt, powerlessness, codependency, being weak emotionally, lack of discernment, being vulnerable, fear, insecurity, loneliness, betrayal, and embarrassment. These all are in addition to oftentimes, financial loss. Some victims sell homes, quit jobs, turn down educational opportunities, or a host of other reasons. Sometimes the victim becomes overburdened with unfair work treatment where there is no reward, only unjust labor. These create high-stress levels where some have described their symptoms as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), a term often applied to soldiers of war and applicably to victims suffering from high stress levels.
Shedding light on healing emotions can be grouped into a few categories: hurt, grief, loss, forgiveness, and un-forgiveness. For instance, betrayal can be placed under grief and unforgiveness; anger can be placed under hurt or loss, and so forth. Defining the more prominent emotion helps to break the smaller shackles.
Other Things to Consider
✅ Realize time is the healer of all wounds.
✅ Negative and detrimental shackles of spiritual abuse can be broken.
✅ Know that you are not to blame.
✅ Know you were deceived.
✅ Do not suppress your emotions.
✅ Never abandon your relationship with Yahusha.
✅ There is a solution.
✅ Upsize your prayers.
- Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. James 5:13
✅ Do not be discouraged!
- Know that spiritual abusers seek those to whom they can proselyte Matthew. 23:15.
- Know that many of these abusers are no different from the Scribes and Pharisees of biblical times. Matthew 23
✅ Be Confident
Let us then with self-assurance draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
So it is not so ironic that the religious leaders and teachers who are supposed to be supporting and helping the Kingdom of Messiah are the very same people who are mocking, abusing, and persecuting you.
Time is the healer of all wounds. God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).
Your relationship with an abusive leader, group, or person is not equal to your individual and personal relationship with Yahuah. There is no connection between the two. There is no need to turn from your love of Yahuah, no matter how weak it may seem or how deeply you have been abused. Remember, there is no connection between them and our AbbaYah. Spiritual abusers are anti-Yahusha.
Separate yourself from them on all levels.
Peter was not a very righteous disciple. He denied Yahusha three times; one time, Yahusha had to rebuke a demon mocking Him! With all these shortcomings, Yahusha turned Peter into a spokesman. He can do the same for you as you help others.
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Yahusha may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Ah yes, Yahuah’s power is made perfect in us when we recognize our reliance upon Him, for it is indeed by Yah’s grace that we are healed.
One More 😊
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Yahuah, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. Psalms 2:2-3
We are Yahuah’s anointed. Yahuah sent His son Yahshua to break the shackles of spiritual abuse. This is what Yahshua said:
The Spirit of Yahuah is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. Luke 4:18
Some versions, rather than reading bruise, read crushed, oppressed, downtrodden, and wounded prisoners. Yahusha came to set them free! For the spiritually abused, it is possible to realign and restore our spirituality in progressive sanctification through the power of Yahusha and the Ruach haQodesh, Yahuah’s Holy Spirit.
Those who understand the words above can relate. This post has a real-time testimony to share. Click Here. It is hoped that those who feel comfortable enough will share their stories as well. It is this opinion of P.U.R.P.O.S.E that in her story, you will see and identify with some of these characteristics. Please read it; it tells the story of a spiritually abused woman and her reality.
To learn more about spiritual abuse, Click Here.
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