For the last few years, in honor of Easter, I have been reading about the crucifixion of Jesus. I always find some humbling wisdom that can be applied to our daily lives. What jumped out for me this year was how Jesus refused to prove or defend his position to Pilate, Herod and the crowd. He could hear the false charges placed against Him when in Pilate’s judgment hall yet He didn’t defend Himself. Herod commanded Jesus to work a miracle to save Himself, and He could have, yet He refused.
Proving and defending actually give the other person your power. You might argue the point because Jesus was crucified but if He were here right now I’m thinking that He wouldn’t be saying, “Me Too.”
What did He say?
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:35
He did not condone His perpetrators' behavior yet He acknowledged their ignorance and asked for it to be forgiven. I’m not an expert on the Bible but I do not believe that Jesus ever saw Himself as a victim, even during his crucifixion. He didn’t preach, “Victims unite, become perpetrators and attack!” Nor did He say, "Squander your integrity to get ahead." Or "Abuse your position of authority to feel better."
“The solution to a problem cannot be solved at the level of the problem.” ~Albert Einstein
I have felt like a victim in the past too, but I have learned that there is another way to look at it and respond to it. A Course In Miracles states, "In our defenselessness our safety lies."
What if the “Me Too” movement was also utilized to search our own backyards for unknowingly abusive behaviors? Have you ever used coffee as a substitute for sleep? Abuse. Have you ever eaten because you were bored, anxious or depressed? Abuse. Have you ever spent money to avoid feeling down? Abuse. Have you ever said mean things to someone or about someone because they wouldn’t let you take advantage of them? Abuse.
Abuse is using someone or something for a purpose for which it was not intended. You might argue that these acts of abuse are small in comparison to other forms, but abuse is abuse. Abuse should not be case sensitive anymore than integrity should be. If abuse was modeled in your childhood you have likely found your own flair for doing it even if it is by overworking yourself.
Jesus could say, “No, I’ve never been guilty of abuse,” but I’m pretty confident that you couldn’t. He could have cast a stone at Pilate, Herod or the crowd— “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.” John 8:7—but He didn’t. If you could say, “No, I've never been guilty of abuse,” I’m pretty confident you wouldn’t cast a stone either. And if you could say, "I've been on both sides and been humbled and healed," I bet you wouldn't but there is only one way to find out.
Sometimes circumstances on a physical level seem so unfair but on a spiritual level there is always a blessing. I say, "Go for the blessing."
Something to think about.