One time some friends and I were studying a book about the Christian life, and we came to a section about the way abusers think and act. I said, “Some of you may be able to think of someone you know who fits this description.”
One woman replied that for this study she only wanted to look at herself; she didn’t want to look at anyone else.
Now, I understand that thinking. We need to ask the Lord to show us the sins in our own hearts, and we need to repent of them. Absolutely.
But we also very much need to be able to see and understand other people besides ourselves, because understanding the people in our lives is part of how we can accomplish full maturity.
Don Hennessy, in his book How He Gets into Her Head: The Mind of the Male Intimate Abuser, said,
“The focus of our work with a client is to explore with her the reasons for and the effects of relationship abuse and violence. This is best achieved by drawing her attention to the thinking and the mindset of her abuser. This changes the focus of the woman’s analysis away from self-examination. This focus of self-examination has been instigated and orchestrated by the offender right from the beginning of the relationship.”
The fact is that the continued pattern of self-focus for sin issues can become very unhealthy. It’s okay and even like Jesus to focus some attention on the thinking and mindset of how abusers work, even one’s very own specific abuser.
A few other blog posts on similar topics:
Go here to download your free Guide, How to Enjoy the Bible Again (when you’re ready) After Spiritual Abuse (without feeling guilty or getting triggered out of your mind). You’ll receive access to both print and audio versions of the Guide (audio read by me). I’m praying it will be helpful.