Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Joyce Meyer

I don't watch TV very often. A little sitcom now and then, that's about it, sometimes a history show. However, I left my husband at home last Sunday with a hockey injury and as I left I saw that he was already engrossed in his morning sermon from Joyce Meyer. I'm not sure that she exactly represents our beliefs but she is one more in a list of great female preachers that we have watched on TV.

I was browsing her website tonight and as I didn't know anything about her I just clicked on the first article I came to and read the following.

    Abuse and the Miracle of Recovery

    During my childhood, I was abused sexually, emotionally, verbally, and physically.
    Many of you reading this article have also been abused, or you deal with someone in your life who comes from an abusive, dysfunctional background.

    What is abuse? It means to misuse, to use improperly, to use up, or to injure by maltreatment. Let me give you a brief definition of the four types of abuse.

    Sexual abuse: considered to be the most degrading and offensive. It consists of molestation, rape, incest, exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, etc.

    Emotional abuse: withholding of love, attention, loving touches, or words of acceptance. Love is only given based on acceptable performance, etc.

    Abandonment: would fall under the category of emotional abuse and can occur when one or both parents leave the child physically or mentally. Adults can also experience the devastating effects of abandonment if important people in their lives leave suddenly or violently.

    Verbal abuse: People must hear loving words of acceptance to develop properly. Verbal abuse can be overt or covert. Overt: aggressive, angry words which tell you that you are flawed or unacceptable Covert: loving words withheld

    Physical abuse: beatings, unfair discipline, locked in closets or dark rooms, food withheld, etc.
    The effects of abuse can be devastating and long lasting. Many people never recover from abuse.

    Although I functioned as what appeared to be "normal" in society, I had multiple inward problems and complicated personality disorders. I will name a few of the things going on in me at that time that prevented me from righteousness, peace, and joy that Romans 14:17 declares is the kingdom. God the Father sent Jesus so we could have and enjoy "the kingdom."

    I was bitter about my past and had a chip on my shoulder, which caused me to have the attitude that everyone owed me preferential treatment. I was full of self-pity, especially if things did not go my way. I was controlling, manipulative, fearful, insecure, and harsh. I was just plain hard to get along with and often downright obnoxious. I was judgmental, suspicious, and very negative.

    I experienced a lot of guilt and condemnation. I had a shame-based nature; therefore, everything I attempted was poisoned. Since I did not like who I was, I spent many years trying to be like someone else—I am sure you are getting the picture that I was quite a mess.

    Now, what I am getting ready to say is important. I WAS BORN AGAIN AND ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN CHURCH LIFE. We attended church regularly and did church work. Our lives revolved around the church, but I was not getting victory over my problems. In fact, the really sad part was that I did not even understand that I had a problem. I thought everyone else had a problem; and if they would change, I would be happy.

    In 1976 1 received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 speaks of receiving the power to be witnesses. Notice it does not say to do witnessing, but to be witnesses. The Bible says we are to be living epistles read of all men, light in a dark world, and the salt of the earth. Doing is a different thing than being. I had my outside polished up, but my inner life was a wreck. Quite often the inner turmoil exploded, and then everybody could see I was not quite what I appeared to be.

    The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in my life gave me a real love for God's Word and an ability to understand the Word like never before. Second Corinthians 3:18 (paraphrased) says that as we look into the Word of God, it is like looking into a mirror; and we are transformed into His image from glory to glory.

    I have been changing ever since. I have changed, and changed, and changed; and I am still changing. Most of those problems are completely gone and the rest only flare up occasionally. I even look differently—I look younger, happier, and more peaceful.

    Second Corinthians 5:17 (paraphrased) says if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things are made new. But that really does not mean everything from the past just vanishes. The Amplified Bible brings it out this way, "Behold, the fresh and new has come!" In other words, without Jesus there is no hope of newness of life; the past always affects the future without the power of God to overcome it. But even with Jesus, it is not automatic. When the fresh and new comes, there is opportunity; but we must give the Word of God an exalted place in our lives. We must face the truth as revealed to us in His Word, and then the truth will set us free if it is acted upon.

    I want to encourage you! Keep pressing on. You will keep changing if you stay in the Word. Philippians 1:6 (paraphrased) says He that has begun a good work in you is well able to bring it to completion. Hebrews 12:2 (paraphrased) says look to Jesus who is the author and the finisher of our faith.

    Now I am enjoying kingdom living: "Righteousness, peace, and joy." And no matter what your past has been or how many problems you have, God will do a miracle for you. He will change you into the image of Jesus Christ and give you a new life worth living.


Erin said...

Hm. Much of her experience resonates with me. I've yet to find the peace I need. But I remain hopeful.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

It's good to read the stories of those who have been able to talk about it.