Why Study Abuse? (Matthew 18:6-10)

Why Study Abuse? (Matthew 18:6-10)

Abuse is one of the most painful things that a human being can endure. Most people do not want to talk about their painful experiences, much less spend time studying it. Why should we study abuse?

Abuse defined
There is much evil in our world. There is sexual sin and physical violence. Abuse is something quite different. Abuse is when a person in power, trust, and authority ABUSES their position and causes physical, sexual, emotional, or spiritual harm upon a person who is under their authority or weaker than them. Jesus addresses this issue head on in his discussion on authority. He is clear that those who have power have been given their positions to serve others not use them. (Matthew 20:25-28)

Jesus addresses darkness
Jesus left heaven to come to a dark world. Jesus did not ignore darkness; He faced it head on and even sought it out. If we are to follow Jesus we must take the light of the Gospel into the darkest recesses of our world. Jesus came to bring people out of darkness and into His light. If I am going to be a true follower of Jesus, I must follow Him into the darkness. I must bring His light and hope to the abused and broken. We cannot remain silent on one of the greatest darknesses of our day and still be true followers of Christ. (Luke 1:76-79, John 8:12)

Jesus sides with victims
Jesus personally identifies with those who are abused. He Himself was an innocent man abused at the hands of the powerful. Throughout Scripture God always identifies Himself with the weak and oppressed. Jesus spent His time ministering to the broken and confronting those who broke them. If we are to follow Jesus we must follow Him in helping victims find the love of Christ and the healing He brings. When abuse happens, we must circle the wagons around the victim. (Psalm 68:5-6, Amos 5:8-9, Luke 4:18-19) 

Jesus desires justice
God is just. Jesus came to establish what is right in a world that is wrong. He has commanded us to seek justice in this world. The horrible thing about abuse is the massive power imbalance. We must come along side those who are weak and seek justice on their behalf. (James 1:27, Proverbs 31:8-9, Micah 6:8)

We must prevent further abuse
We must make plain to a watching world that how heinous abuse is in the eyes of God. We must loudly proclaim God’s judgment on those who would hurt the weak. We must do everything within our power to prevent abuse from taking place. (Matthew 18:6-10)

We must help victims heal
Victims of abuse are forgotten and abandoned in our world today, but they are not abandoned by Jesus. He does not throw broken people away. Like Jesus, we must do whatever it takes to help victims find healing. (Matthew 12:18-21)

We must being abusers to repentance
The Gospel is for abusers as well. Jesus saves and transforms people after even the most heinous of sins. However, most abusers are highly manipulative people; they are great at deceiving people. For this reason we must study what true repentance looks like and how to bring an abuser to repentance. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Jesus came to destroy sin
Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and deliver people from his grasp. He came to set people free from abuse and heal them from their wounds, guilt, and shame. Our goal as Christians is not to reduce the instances of abuse; our goal is to eradicate it. We must take this issue head on to stop the destruction of people’s lives.(1 John 3:8)

The glory of Jesus Christ is at stake
Most people that cover abuse do so for one reason, to protect the reputation of those involved. Many churches have covered up abuse to protect the reputation of the church. However, this is the very reason why the church must address abuse. Because of the failure of the church universal its reputation has been ruined. The name of Christ is being blasphemed because professing Christians have not handled abuse according to His teachings. The reputation of Jesus Christ and His glory is the ultimate reason to handle abuse. We must accurately represent Christ to a watching world. (Romans 2:23-24)

Application:
Will you join Jesus in taking the light of the Gospel into the darkness of abuse? Will you believe in Jesus?

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