You Can’t Do God Wrong

I meet people who are struggling with “God” all the time. Some of these people are so broken and in pain and suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and have decided to reject God because of the suffering they’ve endured in His name.

Stop defining God by religious activity. Not that there is anything wrong with religious activity, in and of itself, unless it is performed in the absence of Love.

God is Love and without Love there is nothing. Do not choose to opt out of Love because you suffered at the hands of men serving religion.

If you love, God is there. If you live and breathe, God is there. If you hate, God is there. If you’ve ceased to live, God is there, for there is God’s Love is everywhere, all the time. God will never leave you, or any thing. God is there, 24/7, limitless, eternal, and if you believe this, if you can have an understanding of God’s limitlessness, God is more. God is more than you could ever conceive of.

I’ve known the most scholarly students of God, who know more than I could ever comprehend of God and He is so much more. You cannot define God, but you can seek God and there is no dishonor in attempting to knowing God in the best way you can.

Do we miss the mark? Certainly, for any of us are only doing the best we can with what we have, but if you have all the knowledge of God, all the power of persuasion and miracles, all the words and best intentions, and have not love, you could do better.

It’s easy to sit back in your religious easy chair and judge others for doing God wrong, but you, any of us, cannot do it wrong.

If you’ve been wronged, hurt, victimized by those who are trying to learn everything they can about God, serving God the best way they can with the information they have at the time, God is there, and when it seems like there is no love there, God is there, in you.

When it seems like all is lost, and feels like there is no God, God is there. God will never leave or forsake you. People, on the other hand, are fallible and can do things which are void of love, but God’s love is still there.

The problem with people who stop learning, growing, and expanding, is that they think they’ve arrived at their Godly knowledge destination, and maybe they have, but God is greater.

Whatever you (and I’m including myself, here) think God is, God is infinitely more.

People can let you down, talk behind your back, betray you, stab you in the back, and victimize you, but God will only love you.

Please, do not blame God for the actions of others, who may have acted in His name. Some of the worst events in history were atrocities performed in the name of God, but just because someone claimed God’s anointing, doesn’t supersede God’s love. Just because a person claims to be acting on the behalf of God, doesn’t make it so.

So, the ownness is on you. You are loved, you are love, and without God, anything that is would cease to be.

You may have been told that there is only one way to be one with God. This is true, but people get bogged down by the definition of the “one way,” when in reality, there is no way to do God wrong, but we could have done or could do God better.

You can seek God, continue to learn and grow in any way you see fit, and if someone challenges you in your pursuit of God, bless them, for they are only doing the best we can. Could we do it better? Yes, any of us could, no matter where we are in our spiritual journey.

Know this,

You Can’t Do God Wrong

All any of us can do is the best we can with what we have, and you are allowed and encouraged to maintain your relationship with God in whatever way suits you best at any time. You could try to not create the separation of exclusivity and allow others to find their own way, blessing them all the way.

And above all,

Love

Love. That’s who God is

And so much more.

Religious or Spiritual Abuse Recovery

There is hope for victims of religious or spiritual abuse. It is not uncommon for someone who has suffered at the hands of a religious organization, leader, spiritual mentor or counselor to recoil from the event in a negative way.

recovery from religious or spiritual abuse

Of course this type of abuse can take many forms… The abuse could be psychological or emotional in nature or physiological including everything from physical abuse to (thankfully more rare) sexual indiscretions. Primary psychological assaults include the loss of individuality or self-worth in an attempt to promote single-mindedness and ease of group management, loss of personal rights, intimidation and dominance.

Spiritual and religious organizations’ leadership rosters are often infiltrated by sociopathic or psychopathic individuals who are driven to exercise control over others whom they see as lesser or subservient. In the event that you have had the unfortunate encounter with such an overbearing individual; you must know that he or she may not be an adequate representation of the group or organization that he or she represents.

What happens if you ask questions or question authority? In a spiritually abusive environment one may experience ridicule for asking questions and you may sense an increasingly hostile response with threats of excommunication or threats of eternal consequences.

An extremely exclusive organization may promote isolation from outsiders, cutting ties to non-believers promoting an “Us vs. Them,” attitude. Other signs you might be subjected to potential spiritual abuse may include multiple markers indicating levels of spirituality (and/or entitlement), penalties for non-compliance and financial exploitation.

You may have been the victim of religious or spiritual abuse if:

  1. A religious organization or spiritual leader
    1. Defrauds via deception
    2. Manipulates
    3. Exercises forms of mind control
    4. Emotionally exploits
    5. Psychologically abuses
  2. A spiritually-based group that
    1. Has a dual reality (insiders vs. outsiders)
    2. Secret rites or insider’s only, “truths”
    3. Critically denounces outsiders
    4. Expresses dire consequences for non-members
    5. Enforces compliance
  3. An organization that
    1. Denounces criticism
    2. Maintains a false public image
    3. Requires donation of one’s personal belongings
    4. Claims to have ultimate “enlightenment”
    5. Practices an elitist perspective

risk of spiritual exploitation

Protecting one’s self from dangerous, compromising or litigious circumstances is completely normal and necessary for self preservation, yet our defensive response is in the form of overcompensation. It’s not uncommon for a victim of this kind of abuse to turn their backs totally on all things of a spiritual nature.

Believing in a higher power can be one of the most empowering forces in your life; to completely reject the entire concept based on a single episodic experience, could have a devastating effect one’s overall quality of life.

Regardless of the excessive intensity of your experience, you can be among the many survivors of religious or spiritual abuse, with your faith firmly intact. Although you may have isolated yourself from all things spiritual in order to put a stop to the abuse, you can reclaim your spirituality in a positive and life-affirming way.

Whether you are struggling with these issues from occurrences of this kind of abuse in the past, or if you are concerned about victimization that may be taking place in the present, there is hope for you to realize a continued spiritual life, free from bondage or pain as a result of the person(s), group or organization who may have, or may be exploiting you, either indirectly or maliciously.

Unresolved spiritual abuse can have continued negative impact on one’s life harboring resentment, lack of trust, difficulty in inter-personal relationships; blocking personal achievement, abundance, happiness and preventing you from achieving your highest and best.

You can heal from your abusive past so that you can go on with your life no longer being a victim. Take charge of your life, embrace your spiritual healing and don’t let this experience from experiencing all the best things this life has to offer and start your healing process today.

As you peel back the layers of your experience, you may discover this has prepared you for your ability to reach out to other victims as a mentor to help them deal with the same challenges you have survived.