Abuse

Confess to Being the Victim of an Abusive Relationship

Ed, my neighbor next door, hassles me at every opportunity he can find. Yesterday was the first Sunday in 2015, and Ed came over to our house for coffee because it was so cold he was only traveling next door. My neighbor always waits till he has his coffee, before he gets to his mischief.

Yesterday, he said, “You must have had some very big sins to confess if you were willing to drive to church in Yorkton this morning. There was and still is the extreme cold weather warning. You were testing God by traveling the highway in such cold weather when you should have stayed home.”

“It was a serious judgment call, but I drove to work in such cold weather when I was working in Yorkton. It seemed that if I drove to work in such cold weather that I could also drive to church in such cold weather,” I said.

Ed had to tell me that the trips were totally different. When I was working, I needed to drive to Yorkton or I would not get paid. You don’t need to go to church, and there you also have to put something in the offering plate. Once again, my neighbor commented that I must have big sins I need to confess at church. When I said that confessing my sins is important, Ed saw an opening to hassle me some more. He said he needed to confess an abusive relationship that he has been victimized by for years. He assured me that he was very serious and that Ruby his wife would be his witness. I said that if he was serious that he should talk to his church’s pastor or priest. He demanded that I heard his confession because I know he seldom goes to his church. So I said that I would hear it.

My neighbor’s confession wasn’t private or personal, because the abuse he was confessing happens to all of us in Saskatchewan. He said that he has lived in Saskatchewan all his life, and every winter, cold weather has abused him. Over and over, winter has threatened him with frostbite and the possibility of freezing to death. His final point was that God is to blame for abusing him every winter. My advice was that he needed to talk to God about it.

I told my neighbor making a confession is not confessing how someone else has abused you, but confessing before God or another person what you have done wrong to them. Ed said that when we talk about who has done wrong, it is saying what others have done wrong. Why would anyone talk about how they are wrong, maybe no one else noticed? According to Ed, in the case of the winter, the problem is with God for allowing cold weather to abuse people like himself.

Many folks, like Ed, dismiss attending church. They reject the idea that they need to confess their sins against God, others and themselves. The Bible says it this way, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” We who sin confess our sins to find forgiveness before God through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

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Raymond Maher
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