Many years ago, a woman came into my office and confessed to me that her husband was hurting her and her kids physically and verbally. What was more, the husband was also a member of our church, which meant that within days I would sit with him in the same room and address the same issue. God was calling me to help both the abused and the abusive.
Given the widespread numbers on abuse, God will call you to do the same. Maybe your friend shares some concerning details of the fight she had with her boyfriend, and the bruise on her wrist tells the rest of the story. Or your nephew jokes about your brother’s parenting in a way that feels . . . off. Or your roommate starts dating a girl who belittles him in public and checks his phone in private. He worries constantly that he might make her angry. In those moments, when abuse is right in front of us, what should God’s people do?
In the days to come, I want to explore that question as we meditate on a single verse from Isaiah: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:17). Some of God’s greatest work is using his forgiven children to help and heal the hurting. I pray these words enable us to do just that.
Perhaps today, when this devotion is done, you could pray for wisdom and compassion to do what is right in a world filled with the wrongs of abuse.