There Weren’t Really ANY “Good Times” With an Abuser
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Mat 7:15-21)
I heard an old, worn out falsehood the other day which brought these words of Jesus to mind. A person who insisted on defending a wicked, evil wolf in wool and who accused all the rest of us of being “harsh, unforgiving, and judgmental,” maintained that even though this celebrity “Christian” leader had been found out to be a habitual, unrepentant abuser and sexual predator, we (and here comes the line) “must realize that this does not negate all the excellent and good teaching this man has done all these years and we should still keep using his books and teaching tapes.” The man, this person insisted, “had a lot of ‘good’ in him.”
Jesus says no. In fact, our Lord says is that since this man’s very root is corrupt, ALL his fruit is bad. “… Nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.” Jesus does not say “well, there were some good apples from this guy. You just have to do some sorting and put the bad apples aside.” NO. If that were the case, then all Jesus says here would be negated. The tree would not have to be cut down and burned. NO good fruit. None. Not from such a tree.
So let’s bring this right down to the matter at hand: abusers. Most of us have heard from abusers something like this: “But we had some good times, didn’t we?” Maybe you heard something like that from your abuser when the time came that you were about to part ways from him. Probably in an effort to guilt you and minimize just how outrageous his longstanding sin had been, he makes this declaration that he gave you actually a fair amount of “good” fruit. “Good” times.
Nope. Not. None.
The fact is, and here is the truth that can be a shocker when you first see it, there never, ever was one single “good” time, not one single “good” thing that your abuser gave you. Now, at first, that can be a bit hard to get hold of because we start to think back on times and occasions when it seemed to us that we were experiencing a good time with the abuser or when we seemed to be receiving some good thing from him. Perhaps one Christmas among many miserable ones when everyone had an exceptional “good” time. Or maybe that one date he took you on to that nice restaurant and he was quite charming that evening. “Good” memories, you see.
But what was really going on?
In fact, because of his corrupt, bad and evil heart, the abuser simply cannot produce “good” things. He never did good to us or for us. Never. A bad tree cannot produce good fruit. What was happening then, in reality, in those apparent “good” times? I can tell you. The truth is that the abuser was simply setting you up out of his evil, self-serving motives, for his next attack on you. If you have become familiar with what we call the cycle of abuse, you understand what I mean. There is never a “good” time with an abuser. In fact as it turns out, in all those years, we never had a truly good time as a fruit of his life. It only looked like it, but it turns out to be rotten fruit covered in wax.
It can be difficult at first to comprehend the depths of such evil. These realizations are akin to coming to see that the abuser never loved us. That the person you thought you knew and loved, never actually existed. But once you grasp these truths, you find yourself on the road to real freedom.
The Lord Jesus Christ has perfect goodness in His being. He is the highest model of a good tree bearing good fruit. EVERYTHING He gives us, everything He does toward us, is good. And I suppose that He is the faithful Friend that Proverbs talks about, in contrast to the wicked:
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.