In one of his devotionals, Charles Spurgeon (one of my all time heroes), says the following, It is ever the Holy Spirit's work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan's work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ. These are powerful words as we often give in to the temptation to strive for self-dependence instead of God dependence. This upside down approach to life is a direct consequence of buying into satan's lie that life is ultimately all about ME. You may be wondering at this point how any of this has to do with the abuse of little ones. Let me explain....
God is robbed of His worship through Commission and Omission. When individuals commit abuse upon children, they do so ultimately as a result of their eyes (and hearts) fixed upon themselves and not our holy and righteous God. In fact, it is not highly unusual to hear a child abuser attempt to rationalize their behavior by saying something like, "I didn't hurt anyone" or "I was demonstrating love to a child who has never known love before." It is even more common for abusers to simply deny their abuse knowing that an admission will result in legal, social, and relational consequences. All of this so clearly demonstrates the fact that the perpetrator believes that he/she is the center of life, and is therefore their own God. They have welcomed and embraced the evil one's destructive lie that their actions are justified because they are all that really matters. This twisted Godless view of man has devastating and often eternal consequences for both the perpetrator, and the precious lives of those abused. In fact, one of the most deceitful and evil acts of satan is to use abuse to turn the eyes and hearts of those abused away from God, and to place all dependence upon themselves...thus resulting in yet another precious life robbed of an authentic relationship with God...a relationship that God so much desires.
As mentioned above, for those who spend their life traveling down this road of trying to be their own god, the end of the road is hopelessness and destruction. However, be encouraged...there is hope...much hope! In God's grace and in His time, He can open eyes to the reality that satan's lie is just that...a lie from the pit of hell designed to rob God of worshippers by destroying man. Sometimes gently, sometimes not so gently, God has to remind mankind that the God-shaped void in every soul will never be filled and satisfied by self. Mankind was created to be God-centered and God-dependant and this is only possible because of the work of God through his Son....who is described as the light that shines in darkness.
Spurgeon closes his devotional with the following words that I find so encouarging and liberating... Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee - it is Christ; it is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee - it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument - it is Christ's blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to they hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope; look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of they faith...it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul.
I know and respect that some may not agree with what I have written. However, it is my committment to each of you to be transparent and share what is on my heart. Even if you disagree, perhaps you will find something mentioned here that brings encouragement and hope.
On the next post, I will address the sin of omission...when the Christian community fails to respond to the abuse of those who have been hurt. Christ had very strong words for this sin that is a direct consequence of professing Christians and professing Christian institutions who are self-centered and self-dependent.