My daughter recently said something to me that hit hard. She told me, “In our house, you are either a victim or a bully.” The more I thought about it, the more I realized the truth of her statement. She also said, she is learning, that you don’t have to be either. I pray that I can communicate what this statement taught me about living in an almost safe place, and how I can be part of making it sanctuary.
This is not about abuse. If you are in an abusive situation, you need to seek the proper help. This is about loving people who in their humanity hurt each other anyway.
How to not be a victim:
-Do not be easily offended- Often the person upsetting you is not actually doing anything deliberately to you. They are reacting toward the world around them as a result of how they feel about themselves inside. Being offended can cause hardness of heart, but it does not bring justice.
A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city;
disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel. Proverbs 18:19
-Have compassion- Remember the days when you have hurt others because you were feeling off, insecure, or anxious. Understand that how a person acts is not always who they are.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8
-Protect your spirit-Remember that you are deeply loved, and an attack from someone else cannot change that.
The beloved of the Lord rests in safety–the High God surrounds him all day long–the beloved rests between his shoulders. Deuteronomy 33:22
-Turn the other cheek-This is often misunderstood as allow someone to hit you again. What it actually means is, stand firm in your conviction, and act in such a way that the person offending you is made to think about their actions.
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, in truth and love. 2 John 1:3
-Forgive-With forgiveness in our hearts for others we can be better prepared to let go of the offense instead of reacting to it.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” Luke 6:38
I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. Isaiah 44:22