For the last couple of days I have been involved in an ongoing “discussion” on what some call compassion. 

However, what some people see as compassion others I see as giving an eternal break.  I vehemently oppose rather think it best to err on the side of caution when it comes to giving the practicing abuser (of anything, drugs, alcohol, people)  chance after chance after chance to get their act together.

Well…. I suppose I would be more willing to give “multiple chances” if the abuser was an independent person.  For example no spouse and especially no children involved.  There comes a point where it is in the best interest of “third parties” to move on and too be cut free from such a poisonous life style.

I have see all to often persons SAY they will do such and such or even that they love their children but their actions don’t change.  Still violant.  Still abusing.  I can HEAR what they are saying but they are SHOWING me something quite different.  How many times is enough?  How many months are enough?  How many years are enough?  I suppose that answer can only be answered by those dispensing “compassion” (aka, the enabler).

While I firmly believe that each person was created for a specific purpose I do not believe that if that same person decides, through repeated acts of their “free will” to live a self absorbed, self serving life style that they necessarily need to be “rescued” again and again.  In fact in some circles that would be called “enabling”.

I believe that there comes a point where the (proverbial) line has to be drawn in the sand.  If the abuser makes the choice to  cross the (proverbial) line “the next time” then the abuser has made their choice.  So called compassion in these cases are for naught.

There are only so many hours in any given week.  There can be only so much money available.  Each situation has to be evaluated too determine who gets the extra time and money.  Will it be the “serial abuser” or will it be the innocent(s) tied to them?

I, for one, have determined that I will err on the side of the innocent(s).

This (whole saga) reminds me of a story in the Bible where Jesus the Christ (HIMSELF) sends his disciples on a journey.  He tells them not to take anything with them.  They will be cared for by those they tell of the Savior.  Jesus ends His “dispatching orders” with some very condemning words for those who refuse to even listen to the messengers.

You can see the the story below.  I’ve taken it from my PC program QuickVerse 6.0.

Additionally, I have put a link to Sanity’s blog if you care to look at “the battle.”

Sanity’s blog

Those Who Reject the Message

Those who rejected the twelve and their message were rejecting Christ Himself. People today are faced with this choice. They accept or reject. Those not for Christ and open to His message are against Him. There are those who, rejecting the messenger, consider this not rejection of Christ but only rejection of a person. Christ told the twelve that to those who reject you (the messengers) “when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” (verse 5). In Biblical times, the Jews, upon their return to Jewish soil, would shake the dust off their feet as they left Gentile soil as a symbol that they had broken all communion with Gentile people. Therefore, Christ’s instructions to the disciples to “shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them” would be a solemn judgment on the people of the unresponsive town. In this instance, as well as in the parable of the “sower,” we learn that as messengers we have the responsibility to “proclaim,” not to determine whether one is going to be receptive or not.


11 Responses to Abuse

  1. Lindsey says:

    There’s a difference between compassion and idiocy. It’s one thing to treat someone with love, it’s another to do so in a way that allows them to continue in their destructive behaviors. Our church has a “mercy fund” to help people who are hitting rock bottom- but receiving aid is contingent on changing behavior. If the church bails someone out from being evicted, that person has to agree to counseling on finances. If it helps someone pay a fine, they have to agree to be held accountable to changing their behaviors.

    Compassion doesn’t HAVE to been enabling. It can mean helping people to live better lives. I gather you’ve made some poor choices in your life- but didn’t people help you see that you could be better?

    And as for people that abuse their kids- well, no compassion there. You hurt someone who is defenseless, you lose all rights to them. Period.

  2. Amber says:

    Well said Lindsey!

    I totally understand you especially in your situation feeling the way you do about abusers.

    I have grown out of my victim mentality and instead channel that energy and focus on touching people’s lives and making a difference. Maybe it is something I say to them. Maybe God touches my lips to say the one thing they need to hear to get them to stop abusing albeit themselves or others.

    You focus so much on physical abuse, but you forget how mental abuse is every bit as bad and as dangerous. Its scars can’t be seen on the outside.

    I specifically said in my post, that this isn’t a thing where you just forgive and have compassion over and over and over again. You give the people the tools. If they choose to pick them up it is on them. I have then done my part and I move on. God gave me those tools to pass on. Period.

    You really need to rethink this in your life. You need to remember the compassion, empathy, and humanity that has been given to you. The tools others have given to you. Did they have to? Or did they do it because it was the right thing to do and you were in need? Would it not have been easier for them to turn their backs on you and move forward without a backwards glance?

  3. SanityFound says:

    Now you know why I can’t stand religion, that is all I will say, I just can’t stand it. Thanks for this post it was most informative as for my blog post that you shredded, the book is coming on very nicely and have received a number of stories so far. You know my email address if you want to send your story THAT was the whole point.

  4. passionatereader says:

    Check out the new memoir In Our House, Marala Scott and Tre’ Parker http://www.inourhousebook.com as it deals with this very issue in a prolific way. It gives a lot of warning signs and ways to avoid abuse. It is a powerful read.

  5. Goodness! Obviously some things happened after I left that post.

    Children are the most helpless among us. Thankfully they are resilient – resilient enough to survive, to cope with hell, but often not resilient enough to overcome the physical and emotional torture they have experienced.

    My father used to cry wolf all the time; he milked that ‘single dad’ thing for all it was worth and people just kept bailing him out. And he just kept abusing us.

    Often people have to hit rock bottom before they can sustainably, permanently change their ways. Offering help once or twice is fine, but past that? Like Lindsey said, it’s idiotic.

    Maybe this time is different, maybe it isn’t. But she is a grown woman who made her choices, while her children are the victims without voices.

    I’ve always felt that sometimes compassion is NOT helping. The point of being here, living our lives, is to not be ‘comfortable’. I love my father, I always have, but do we have a typical father/daughter relationship? No. His actions eliminated that possibility a long time ago. Having compassion doesn’t mean helping, nor does it mean trying to make everything the way it was.

  6. Joy says:

    Boy, did I miss something too??? Hhhmmmm.

    I feel that for someone to decide when “enough is enough” is completely up to them and what the “abuse” is. It’s one thing for a parent to physically or emotionally abuse a child but as an adult with no children present, it’s got to be up to them if they are living their life on their own with no monetary support from anyone.

    I fell totally and completely in love with a gambler. He never raised a hand to me and loved me and would never have hurt me in any way, other than gambling. He would spend his entire paycheck gambling and would then blame me for buying shaving cream when I could use something else or he’d forget about me when he was with his “machines.” It took me 5 years of this before I said enough is enough.

    I get the feeling there is more here than meets the eye.

  7. mssc54 says:

    To Everyone; I agree with you all… especially with Joy’s last sentence. :]

  8. Laura (LS) says:

    I am one of the enablers. My husband is an alcoholic – recovering now. But I often sat during the worst of his binges and asked myself, “when is enough, enough? HOW do I know? Is THIS the time that I decide to get me and my son out?” I was in a situation where I felt like I couldn’t just up and leave. I had no money of my own, no job. We live hours away from family. I had no way to support myself, let alone my very young son.

    I know now that the real reasons I never left were shame and fear. Shame that I’d let our lives spiral so far out of control (see how the enabler blames herself?). Fear that nobody would understand the position I was in and offer to help me.

    What I didn’t know was that my family, at least, knew what was going on. Oh, they didn’t know the extent, but they knew that he was an alcoholic. And they would have helped me. It was an insult to them to think that they wouldn’t have.

    And now that our lives have come to a screaming halt, I have to learn to live the life as an Ex-Victim. I will no longer be the enabler. And it’s a difficult path to walk – learning to NOT do every little thing that needs to be done. Learning to let HIM take the fall now and again.

    True, he never physically abused me, but the emotional scars are there, and they’re deep. I still don’t know if our marriage will survive this. But it’s something that must be taken one day at a time, and also, something that nobody can *really* understand. Because each situation is unique.

    I don’t really know you, Mssc, but you mentioned up there that there’s a difference between “compassion” and “enabling”. You are absolutely correct. Most people would see me as compassionate. I AM compassionate, to friends and family, to my son, to strangers. But when it came to my husband, I am an enabler all the way. Sometimes there is a very fine line. And it’s very, very difficult to understand, sometimes most when you’re the one who is compassionate/enabling.

  9. supermom says:

    I just think that if the abuser’s actions directly hurts others, there should be no second chance. If it’s an sexual abuser…sorry, no way that innocent abused individual should have to get hurt again. If it’s physical or emotional abuse, maybe once. If it’s abuse of substance, then I suppose if it doesn’t hurt OTHERS then that person could get more chances BUT only if that person is willing to work on getting help.

  10. laughlivemedia says:

    I am learning too when is “enough, enough” I know God will never say enough to me. But I also know when people are placed around you and you feel a heart towards them. We love them no matter what and Prayer for them in intersession for them. You speak blessing to them and What i find is Going back to the Sermon of the Mont. More specific Beatitudes.
    All I know is God died on the cross for our sins and He loved us even before then. Also hate the sin not the person and love them for God loved you First.

  11. marlajayne says:

    No lengthy involved post here…just a vision of Christ walking from village to village helping people ONCE. I might be wrong since I’m no Biblical scholar, and yet I’ve read story after story of how He healed the sick, gave the blind their sight, stopped the bleeding of the woman who touched his robe, cured the lepers, fed the thousands, and so on…and then he sent them on their own. Not even Christ took care of every single hurting, hungry, suffering person (at least not in the ways we’re discussing and at that time), but He did show compassion without “taking them to raise.”

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