You’re Not Like Them
A while back I witnessed a car accident. As I was pulling over to check on the drivers, the car that was at fault [car A] drove away. I was already on the phone with the police, so I nonchalantly followed the car to give the license information. The car that was hit [car B] caught up and car A’s driver realized car B was behind him. Car A had another wreck and became inoperable. Car B’s driver ran across the road furious and ready to take car A apart with his bare hands. I was on the phone with 911 and in between the 2 vehicles, shouting at car B’s driver “Stop it! You’re not like them! You’re going to be ok! GO BACK TO YOUR CAR!” He stopped, looked at me, and returned to his car.
Car B’s driver said that when he heard, “You’re not like them!” and “You’re going to be ok!” it cleared his head and he thought to himself, “Yeah, I’m NOT like them” and “I am going to be ok.” I asked if I could pray for him. He said yes. I asked him and his friend with him if they are Christians. Yes again. We prayed. We thanked God for keeping us safe, for ordering our steps, and we gave Him the rest of the situation.
On the day that Jeff’s Abusers Don’t Just Snap post published, I read the story of a Houston, TX woman [Internet Archive link] who died in a fatal collision while trying to run her estranged husband and his girlfriend off the road. I saw some people empathizing with her. And I thought about Jeff’s post and I thought about the car wreck I witnessed and I wanted to tell you something.
You’re not like them. You won’t just snap and try to run over your abuser. Even if you have those thoughts, you don’t have to act on them. God will provide a way of escape from those thoughts of vengeance. Take it. When car B’s driver was about to go all Hulk Smash on car A, God provided a loud voice shouting at him to stop.
You’re not like them. You can reject thoughts of acting out the desire for vengeance in ways that would be sinful (or criminal). The Apostle’s teaching permits us to be angry, while at the same time reminding us do not sin (Eph. 4:26). You don’t have to retaliate. God will show you what to do.
Isaiah 30:21 ESV And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
You’re not like them. You’re going to be okay.
Coda from Barb:
For those who may have tried to retaliate — If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1.9)
But there is an important caveat for those who might be pierced with Satan’s hook of self-condemnation: remember that the abuser and the Pharisaic church will try to portray your boundary setting and your resistance to abuse as sinful — so don’t fall into the trap of confessing ‘sins’ that aren’t actually sinful!
This is a big part of the work on this blog: dispelling the myths about domestic abuse so that victims can disentangle and disconnect themselves from the entrapping hooks of false guilt.
Final note: it is not wise to be on your phone while you are driving. In fact, where I live, it is illegal and you will be fined if you get caught doing it. I know things are different in some other parts of the world, but I’m a protective schoolmarmish person 🙂 and I do not recommend calling the police while you are at the wheel, unless perhaps you have hands-free phone operation in your car.