Last week I mentioned a term I had recently learned about and gave a very brief simplified summary definition of it. I wanted to elaborate on the issue a little bit.
As Christians, we need to evaluate everything by the Word of God and we ought to be willing to acknowledge criticism and evaluate it’s validity by God’s Word and His Spirit and we should also allow God’s Word to test and measure the validity of any criticism we give to others.
The Holy Spirit is not nebulous in His conviction, nor does He ever use conviction to hurt us. One of the greatest truths of the gospel is that because of the work of Jesus on the cross, anyone who puts their trust in what He has done has a GOD WHO IS FOR US. Jesus took the condemnation our sins deserved and we stand fully accepted in the Lord. In Him we have our identity as a joint heir of Jesus Christ.
Wikipedia gives the following definition of gaslighting. Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.
Gaslighting is a form of abuse that does not reflect in anyway the heart and character and commands of Jesus. Jesus calls us to love one another and to always desire the good of our neighbor (or friend, family member, or a particular social group). Ephesians 4:29 says that a Christian should “let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ” (emphasis added)
Church family, I would encourage you to stay sensitive to any form of abuse – especially the abuse of power towards the vulnerable and step in if you suspect it. Also, if you are experiencing or think you may be experiencing, sexual abuse or emotional abuse or physical abuse (of any kind), then please know that we as a church at Springs of Grace want to help you and will value your story because we know that you are an image bearer of God created for His love and joy. Don’t feel like you have to walk alone. We want to be there with you as your brothers and sisters in Christ.