NEVER relegate anyone to a “sub-human” status

I think that when Jesus told us to love our enemies, he was saying that we should NEVER relegate someone to a “sub-human” status. That’s also why he tells us that our hidden anger can lead to violence… because it ALL starts with the language we use and the thoughts we harbour in our minds…

Many of us here are victims of this, as the cult or highly controlling religious group has labeled us as “apostates”, “heretics”, “backsliders”, or simply “bad association”. Little by little, they take away our humanity in their minds, reducing us to a mere CONCEPT, that must be avoided or shunned 😥😥😥

Every act of racial violence and case of sexual abuse involves people being steeped in a mindset in which they are SUPERIOR to others… It is fuelled by toxic stereotypes, loaded language and intolerance …

So, what do we do? Do we “demonise” the intolerant people, speak badly of them and shun them? No!!! We must prayerfully find space in our hearts to love them with compassion, without coming under their control or toxic influence…

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Another thing I’ve been learning is that we can never label ourselves “the good guys” and our adversaries “the bad guys”, or anything similar. Neither does it help much to see everyone as “imperfect”… these are just empty words which don’t help much. I personally find that the best adjective to use to describe those who intentionally hurt others, is “broken”. In their broken sinfulness, due to their own upbringing in an environment devoid of compassion or grace, they have developed an attitude of small-minded superiority, which actually masks their deep-seated insecurities and fears…

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Does this mean that their their actions are excusable or that they get to avoid justice??? By no means!! It just helps us to visualise them with more grace and empathy, to avoid feeling “superior” ourselves…

It all starts with our thoughts and the language we use. God has been showing me this week that I need to GROW in grace and compassion towards those who irritate, hurt or exasperate me… I can’t spend my time “venting” or gossiping about them or dwelling on their flaws and imperfections, I need to “let them go”, trusting that God is a righteous judge and will deal with them at the proper time.

If we follow the Christ-like path of forgiveness, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can move past our hurts and focus on God’s goodness towards us and ALL humanity, putting bitterness behind us and walking in grace and victory 🌟🌟🌟

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Considering “sin” and “repentance” after leaving a highly controlling religion

Nowadays, it is not fashionable to discuss the concepts of sin and repentance. For those of us who were in a cult or highly controlling religious group, this question is much more complex, as we were made to feel ashamed for even the tiniest of actions and nothing we did was ever “good enough”.  Due to all the legalism and crushing demands that our groups put on us, we never ever felt FREE or CLEAN…

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As many of us come to this topic with a lot of baggage, I personally prefer to focus on the FRUIT of being washed clean from sin, and the POWER we can receive through the Holy Spirit to overcome temptation.

Tragically, some people seem to have given up on themselves and simply don’t believe that they can change…  They may make an effort to change for a while, but then end up falling back into things they know deep down are wrong.  As a result, they feel the need to justify themselves to drown out their guilty consciences…

On the other hand, some people seem to have rather over-active consciences and feel guilty most of the time for things that aren’t objectively “sinful”.  As a perfectionist, I sometimes fall into this trap: I beat myself up for not being more productive, for not exercising, sleeping or praying enough, etc etc etc…

People on both sides of this spectrum need relief and FREEDOM.  Freedom from the guilty secrets we’re ashamed of and freedom from the angry, demanding voice in our head that is never happy with our performance, no matter how hard we try…

Both these scenarios find their solution in the loving arms of Jesus.  We can turn away from the thoughts that torment us and the actions that shame us by looking up to our Father with humble hearts and asking for HELP.  A few words are enough; like the repentant tax collector in Luke 18, who simply cried out “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

When I torture myself mentally,  I desperately need God’s grace and His perspective. Sometimes it helps to get away from everything that is overwhelming me, such as my daily obligations, “to-do lists” and chores and simply kneel down in prayer before our beloved Father.  I often feel like Martha, who was “anxious and troubled about many things”[1], but Jesus told her that “one thing” was necessary: to sit at His feet and humbly learn from His goodness, his mercy, and compassion for all.

Whatever our situation, if we take time to return to God in prayer every day, asking His forgiveness and seeking His wisdom and guidance, He will direct our steps and gradually lead us onto a path of peace. 

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[1] Luke 10:42

Weekly Inspiration, Nov 18th – 24th

I’ve decided to change this format to a weekly rather than a daily one, as it’s much more manageable!  Feel free to “follow” this blog if you haven’t already, so you don’t miss out on new posts.

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“Waiting patiently for God always includes joyful expectation. Without expectation, our waiting can get bogged down in the present. When we wait in expectation our whole beings are open to being surprised by joy.

All through the Gospels, Jesus tells us to keep awake and stay alert. And Paul says, “Brothers and sisters … the moment is here for you to stop sleeping and wake up because by now our salvation is nearer than when we first began to believe. The night is nearly over, daylight is on the way; so let us throw off everything that belongs to the darkness and equip ourselves for the light” (Romans 13:11-12). It is this joyful expectation of God’s coming that offers vitality to our lives. The expectation of the fulfillment of God’s promises to us is what allows us to pay full attention to the road on which we are walking.”

By Henri Nouwen

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Sometimes, I get the impression that people meet me or get to know me online and think I am a lovely person. Then, when I do something that disappoints them or lets them down or say something they disagree with, they think they have seen the “real Emily”, who is not such a nice person after all and is most likely a hypocrite…

Of course, I can’t control how people see me or know exactly what they’re thinking. My worth and self-esteem are not conditional on their approval, but I do find it sad that many people have such a “black and white” way of seeing people…

For example, they tend to consider that people are “good” or “bad”, rather than a complex mixture of different factors and characteristics… I actually think that this is what Jesus meant when he said: “Do not judge”… He was speaking out against the idea that we can sit in God’s seat and decide if someone is “good” or “bad”…

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#Perspective

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“FOGGY” believers (those whose faith has been drilled into them via “Fear, Obligation and Guilt/Shame”) usually try to use these same tactics when bringing up their children. They may have some “success” and breed a robotic clone of themselves, who goes to church/meetings every week and will in time bring up their own children in the same, tyrannical way…

However, more often than not in this day and age, “FOGGY” believers will see their sons and daughters rebelling against this kind of toxic control…

This is a cycle which perpetuates itself, whose ONLY fruitful end is in the arms of Christ, who is always knocking at the door of our hearts, ready to bring us peace and FREEDOM from the abuse and manipulative control that we suffered at the hands of toxic religion…

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⚡️ Be aware!!⚡️ There are too many wolves in sheep’s clothing out there. Jesus said to His disciples:

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#ListenToTheShepherd

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All the secretive evils that are carried out in cults and toxic religious groups will eventually be exposed:

 

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There is a deep, raw emotional honesty to the Psalms. At every stage of my life I have found a prayer there that echoes the cry of my heart, however troubled or in pain it may be…

“YHWH, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Have mercy on me, Lord , for I am faint; heal me, Lord , for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord , how long?

Turn, Lord , and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. I am worn out from my groaning.

All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.

💕 The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.”💕

Psalm 6:1‭-‬4‭, ‬6‭, ‬9 NIVUK

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The end of an era…

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Grace and Peace to you, my dear readers,

I’ve really enjoyed putting together these “Daily Inspiration” posts over the last month, but sadly I’ve come to the point where I no longer have the time to commit to a daily post.

To be honest, I was never sure how long I would be able to keep it up, and after praying about it today, I feel that this is a good time to stop.  I can see that my first “Daily” post was on 16th October, and my last was on 16th November.  It seems a very symbolic and fitting time to bring it to an end.

I will still be sharing in the Faith after Deception Fellowship Facebook group, and another group I co-manage, called Kingdom Christians Fellowship.  You are very welcome to join, but I will understand if you’re not a Facebook person.

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With warm Christian love,

Emily

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Daily Inspiration, Nov 16th

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you:

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

1 John 1:5-10

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#NarcissistsAndFakeRepentance

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A friend of mine shared the following reflection recently:

I have noticed that when trying to help a person who has made many bad decisions through their life, even a whisper of correction sounds to them like a yell through a megaphone because they are not living with guilt, but shame.

They don’t have the resolve to change because they don’t think they did something wrong, they think there is something wrong with them.

The difficulty is trying to convince them that they are complete and enough while challenging them on their wrong beliefs and actions that only continue the destructive results they are getting.

There is only a spiritual solution to this. The mediator between God and man, who makes us righteous, calls us complete, shows us our worth, and then helps us change and recover from the mess we have made of our life.

There is no other way than through Jesus. Only he can take the worst of us, give us such incredible worth, then comfort us as we change into the image he has for us.

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I always come back to the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 15 again and again, to contemplate the GLORIOUS hope it contains, such as this:

☀️ “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” ☀️

⚡️ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ⚡️

💕 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.💕

1 Corinthians 15:55‭-‬58 ESV

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Daily Inspiration, 15th Nov

John the Baptist said this about Jesus:

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If any of my readers don’t know me already from Facebook, this is me!   I am Emily, an unashamed lover of Jesus:

“There in front of the whole assembly King David praised the Lord. He said, “Lord God of our ancestor Jacob, may you be praised forever and ever! You are great and powerful, glorious, splendid, and majestic.

☀️ Everything in heaven and earth is yours, and you are king, supreme ruler over all. All riches and wealth come from you; you rule everything by your strength and power; and you are able to make anyone great and strong.☀️

💕 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and we praise your glorious name.💕

🌟 “Yet my people and I cannot really give you anything, because everything is a gift from you, and we have only given back what is yours already.” 🌟

1 Chronicles 29:10‭-‬14 GNT

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#Perspective

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“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.”

1 Peter 1:3-4a