Lenten Devotional – Tue, April 2nd

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By: Maggie Leonard

2 Corinthians 5:16-21

Reflection—v. 18 ‘God, who reconciled us’

It has been said that those who are abused can become the abusers. I’ve certainly seen evidence of that. Such transgressions might look relatively mundane—if someone talks to me with a harsh tone, I often respond in-kind, regardless of my previous mood. But sometimes that exchange is weightier. Many women understand the dynamics of abusive relationships. We especially might focus on the realities of finding oneself in an abusive romantic relationship. But imagine if you suddenly realize, heart-broken, that you were abused for so long that you forgot that love looked another way. You’re afraid that you’ve become the abuser because you also did emotionally abusive things to your kids and other loved ones in your life. You wonder if they will ever be able to forgive you. You hate that you did this, too. It just seemed normal for you at the time. Awareness is the first step. When that negative exchange is finally broken, it often changes everything. God does that for us. God breaks that cycle of abuse and harshness, seeking reconciliation instead of vengeance. God does not meet harshness with harshness, abuse with abuse, but rather seeks to make a new thing and right our relationships.

Prayer: Reconciling God, intervene to break cycles of violence and bring new life and wholeness to us all.