Gifted Adults, Gifted Children, Signs of Giftedness, Characteristics of gifted, IQ tests, IQ scores, SAT scores, ADHD, Intensity
Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

11 Signs You Are a Gifted Adult: Intense, Empathic, Driven…Sound Like You?

Hi Lovely,
Have you ever felt like you are the odd duck? Do any or all of the eleven characteristics describe you?

  • You are your own worst critic even though others appreciate you and see good in you.
  • You are intense when you believe in a cause and you go after it with dogged tenacity.
  • Human injustice and suffering (even, violence on TV) deeply bother you more than they bother others.
  • You have felt like the odd duck, have felt lonely and introverted, even though you like people.
  • You question authority figures and challenge them when needed; hyper-authoritarianism is intolerable to you.
  • You have an interesting sense of humor and often people don’t get your jokes.
  • You get highly emotional (for example, you feel the emotions of sadness and joy deeply).
  • You are driven to create, create, create and are deeply moved by the arts.
  • You often know what people are feeling. You have a heightened empathic perception of emotions in others.
  • You get annoyed at too much useless, shallow, small talk.
  • You are sensitive to non-verbal communications, bright lights, and perhaps some sounds and smells.
If these don’t describe you, what about your child? Someone else you know?

Please note that portions of the above characteristics were found in an article by Dr. Eric Windhorst.* When reading Dr. Windhorst’s article, I couldn’t help but notice that every one of these characteristics apply precisely to some children I know as well as a musically talented friend.

Gifted adults, like gifted children, can experience any of the above characteristics. They don’t realize what they have. Many gifted adults go through life not knowing they are gifted. They lose focus and set aside their gifts when their focus could be used for something good. To be “gifted” doesn’t mean we would win on Jeopardy or that we aced our SAT tests. It doesn’t even mean we have extremely high IQ’s. As children, gifted adults often weren’t recognized as such by their parents. Many of these kids hated school to the core and were bad test takers.

Maybe they were thought of as “too emotional”, “too intense”, “too focused” or just plain “too much!”

This just in: There is nothing “wrong with you!”

Many gifted people develop this sense that there is something wrong with them. They develop a low self esteem and carry that around for life because those around them didn’t understand them. Maybe their families didn’t have the intellectual capacity to understand them. Out of the world’s top mathematicians, eighty percent of them had parents who were not gifted. Giftedness is not always genetic. Maybe they were teased or bullied by peers.

For the gifted person, instead of recognizing what they have, they often adopt the false belief (a lie) that they are horribly flawed. Their perfectionism doesn’t help either! Maybe they were misdiagnosed with a mental disorder when all that was ever “wrong” with them is that they are incredibly gifted and emotionally intelligent dynamos! Many of these gifted individuals develop social anxiety as they view themselves as “different” and don’t know why.

Gifted children, especially, need to know there is nothing “wrong” with them. They need extra hugs and assurance that they are spectacular pieces of art and are in no way flawed. Many of these kids have emotional tantrums of sorrow or rage and have trouble controlling them and returning to baseline. This, too, makes them feel different.

With love and assurance, they will grow up with a healthy self-understanding which will help them to focus on their gifts and view them as a blessing, not a curse.

Gifted adults need to wake up to the fact that there is nothing “wrong” with them! Does this sound like you? Maybe there was something “wrong” with the ones who didn’t “get” you. God knew what he was doing when he made us all a diverse bunch. Maybe we are all wired differently, and that is okay.

If this sounds like you, accept and appreciate your gifts, focus your intensity and use your gifts to make the world a better place for us all!

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
– Psalm 139:14

Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates Netflix

Dr. Eric Windhorst Gifted Adult Characteristics

*Windhorst, Eric Ph.D. 2020. “Gifted Adult Characterisitics.” Accessed November 1, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.ericwindhorst.ca/resources/on_being_gifted/gifted-adult-characteristics/

monochrome photo of couple holding hands
Anxiety Cures Comfort With Suffering Coronavirus 2020 Depression Cures Featured Articles Loving Our Fellow Man Relationships

Depression, Stress, Isolation, Anxiety and Covid-19: Helping and Loving Others During the Coronavirus Pandemic

What does love look like? We all need to receive love. We are meant to give love. Humans are wired for love, connection and community. When it comes to helping and loving others, how are you doing?

When trials and tribulations shake up our world, including the current crisis with the Ukraine and Russia, some individuals tend to become more loving, and others…less loving. They either respond with empathy and care or selfishness and irritation with others. Sometimes, selfishness is rooted in a lack of love for others. Other times, irritation with others is rooted in trauma, depression, anxiety or other medical problems (for example, thyroid problems adversely affect the brain).

One day, a few weeks ago, I was at the grocery store when I encountered an angry stranger. I was on my way with my shopping cart to another aisle when a man confronted me with an angry face. He was mad that my cart contained an item which he wanted. This has never happened to me, but I understand these are peculiar times.

I smiled at him and told him he could have the item before he reached in my cart, grabbed it and scurried to the check out. Yes, he was inconsiderate. I started to think about it, and realized that we can never know what stress, anxiety and/or depression someone is encountering in his or her private life. Might as well love.

When it comes to helping and loving others, love never fails!

Just as it is easy to think only of oneself during stressful times, it’s also easy during times of crisis to compare. That is, to compare ourselves to others before judging them with our limited information. We might think, “Oh, they don’t have it so bad” or “Oh, their experience looks good…must be nice!” The judgments flow naturally because we are human and it’s easy to compare.

What does love look like? We can all benefit ourselves and others with these basic reminders about love.

Love is patient and kind. Love considers what others might need or want. That is, love considers what would brighten up someone else’s day. Love “suffers long” and copes with others, showing kindness even where it is undeserved.

Love does not envy, boast or brag. Love neither becomes jealous of what another has earned or been gifted, nor does love boast or brag (to make others become jealous, envious or inferior).

Love is neither arrogant nor proud. Love does not think too highly of oneself. Love does not judge rashly because rash and petty judgment comes from pride. It is prideful to think that we – in our limited knowledge – know what others are going through. Nobody can understand another human like God can, and nobody has all the information to judge appropriately. When it comes to knowing people fully, we see the mere tip of the iceberg.

Love is not rude or resentful. Love does not resent others if they are doing well or on a different path. Love thinks before it speaks. Love includes others, not showing discrimination. Love does not make one feel drained, hurt, inferior, used or unaccepted. Love does not steal what belongs to someone else. Rather, love considers others…making them feel accepted, cared for, refreshed, appreciated, affirmed, safe, motivated and encouraged (love also tells the truth with care and kindness, even if the truth is unpleasant).

Wishing you a day of joy, peace and most of all…love. You are loved. How can you take action in the next few days to actively show love in a practical way? Now is a good time to show, give and receive love.

How are you using your time to love others?

Xx Becky

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:7,8

This is my new coaching website!  I would appreciate you if you would simply like and share my post so that others can be helped and comforted during these hard times.  Thank you. 

man and child on pier
Book Reviews Entrepreneurs

15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse: Book Review

This book on time management was helpful because it teaches us to manage our time wisely. Our days are filled with modern alerts and distractions like social media notifications, emails, texts and more “dings.”

Ding!

Some dings are helpful and others are distractions. I loved the practical steps I found within these pages on time management. The author interviewed highly productive individuals (olympic athletes, entrepreneurs, leaders, etc.) and found they have common time management habits.

Since finishing the book, I refuse to knee-jerk react to text messages and emails throughout the day. Rather, I specify times I return texts and emails (unless my response is needed urgently). This requires self-discipline, but it saves time.

I have also vastly cut down on social media time in my quest for better time management. If I do go on Facebook or Instagram, it’s never before my MIT. What’s a MIT?

It’s the most important task in the first two hours of the day.

When it comes to time management, so many of us suffer from “hurry sickness”.

This is what happens when we scurry through the day worrying about time. Better time management helps with hurry sickness.

Others of us suffer from wasting time, letting others determine what happens with our time, and/or procrastinating. It’s a dread to hurry through the day, and wasting time is not ideal. How do you find the balance?

The concept of the MIT is awesome. Do the most important tasks first, even if they are the most dreaded. Then, do other tasks.

After reading this book, I have done away with my to-do list and have embraced the calendar instead. I write my tasks in the calendar and do them when that time comes. To-do lists can deceive us as we tend to do and cross out the easiest tasks first. This makes us feel productive! Doesn’t it feel great to cross out tasks on your to-do list? Yeah, I know the feeling. We can convince ourselves that we are accomplished.

Nevertheless, this leaves the priority tasks – the MIT’s – undone! A time management nightmare!

An idea I came up with (independent of this book) is writing projects on index cards. I write my non-urgent projects on index cards and put them in a bag. These are projects that don’t need to be put on the calendar, but that end up weighing on me if left undone for too long (like, organizing the garage or filing papers). These projects generally take about one hour to complete. If I have a spare hour in my day or week, I will pull a card out and do the one-hour project.

This eliminates the foreboding dread leading up to the project (if it’s not a fun one). It also keeps the week exciting. Not to mention, it helps to have the projects out of the brain and onto an index card!

Last but not least, since reading this book, I have learned to say “No” more often. If we don’t manage our time, others will. Time management also has to do with loving people better. If we can better structure our days to finish necessary tasks that must be done, we will have more time to give. Some invitations need a “Yes” more than others.

Ding! Time to check out this book. I loved it!

beach bench boardwalk bridge
Relationships Uncategorized

The spiritual gift of discernment and motivational gifts of the spirit: The supernatural motivation to detect error and speak truth

The Spiritual Gift of Discernment

“Among the gifts of the Spirit, scarcely is one of greater practical usefulness than the gift of discernment. This gift should be highly valued and frankly sought as being almost indispensable in these critical times. This gift [the spiritual gift of discernment] will enable us to distinguish the chaff from the wheat and to divide the manifestations of the flesh from the operations of the Spirit.” 

A.W. Tozer on the indispensable spiritual gift of discernment

What is your spiritual gift? Could it be the spiritual gift of discernment?

This article is written for Christians to educate Christians about their motivational gifts. If you are not a Christian, you are welcome to read if you have an open mind. In fact, it will benefit you to understand spiritual gifts since most of us have Christians in our lives as friends and/or family members.

Whoever you are, knowledge of these gifts will bring more harmony and peace within yourself and within your relationships. Interestingly, according to my web stats, this category (the gift of discernment) has, through the years, been my most-viewed category, attracting the most amount of readers.

Since becoming a Christian, have you noticed a new gift inside of you? Have you wondered why you are experiencing interesting, new motivations? It’s a big deal that you and I understand our gifts and the gifts in others.

There are several spiritual gifts, and they result in entirely new drives.

For instance, someone with the gift of giving will notice that they have a new peculiar desire, a strong motivation, to be generous. The spiritual gifts are not imaginary, they are actually all new motivations. This is why someone who was previously greedy can turn into a giving person.

The thing about spiritual gifts, as with all gifts, is that we don’t choose the ones we receive. They are not something we choose for ourselves. The giver decides who gets what gift, including the spiritual gift of discernment. The gifts are from the grace and goodness of God (they are undeserved). The purpose of the spiritual gifts is to humbly serve God and others. They are gifts of the Holy Spirit which are divinely empowered.

If you have the spiritual gift of discernment, you know all too well that this is an important yet tough gift to carry. Otherwise known as the gift of discerning of spirits, it is perhaps the hardest motivational gift to carry. It is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:10.

The spiritual gift of discernment is a crucial yet sacrificial gift for the common good.

The spiritual gift of discernment often is paired with the gift of prophecy. The two are similar.

What is the gift of prophecy? The gift of prophecy is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 14. It is the gift of communicating (forthtelling) revealed truth, even hard or unpleasant truth (from the Greek origin and meaning of the word, there can also be a foretelling element to this gift). The motivational gifts are also addressed in Romans 12 (another chapter which correlates is Ephesians 4).

Dr. Ed Hinson, D.Phil, D.Min, Th.D. teaches a class on spiritual gifts. Dr. Hindson has lectured at Oxford University, the Harvard Divinity School and numerous evangelical seminaries including Trinity, Dallas, Denver, and Westminster. He explains:

The gift of prophecy is a gift of declaring truth in order to help somebody avoid a path of error.1

He [the one who is motivated by the gift of prophecy] is going to push you to a decision, he’s going to confront the issues in your life – that’s his style!2

Like prophecy, discernment is a truth gift. It’s a verbal gift. It’s crucial that we understand this spiritual gift. If we don’t, we will vastly misunderstand ourselves and those in our social circles who possess this often misunderstood gift. Life became a bit easier once I understood my own gifts. There is an entire population of individuals who don’t know about the gift which motivates their drives and behaviors.

Knowledge is power!

There is a scripture which expresses the importance of understanding our own spiritual gifts and the gifts of others: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed” (1 Corinthians 12:1). “To be uninformed” is from the Greek verb agnoein which means to not know, to be ignorant of, even with the idea of willful ignorance.

If we don’t understand spiritual gifts in ourselves and others, it will lead to false judgments which break unity and damage relationships.

That’s right. Ignorance and misunderstandings of spiritual gifts leads to damaged relationships. Spiritual gifts correlate with relationships, and therapists and caregivers (especially Christian coaches and counselors) should understand the dynamics to better serve others.

I have seen this in action. One person does not understand the others’ spiritual gift and therefore assumes the person must be wrongly motivated. The fact is that we are a diverse bunch. Where did we get this idea that we are supposed to be carbon copies of one another? The same chapter conveys the notion that all the spiritual gifts differ from each other just as an eye differs from an arm. We are all part of the same body.

The Bible likens this to a whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, growing and building itself up in love, as each part does its work. God gives us spiritual gifts as motivational tools so that we can be of service and “edify” others (built up with the truth).

The spiritual gift of discernment is the most misunderstood of the gifts.

It’s that internal, intuitive drive that causes you to discern what is going wrong and fix. Often, those who possess this gift are considered the misfits, the whistleblowers and the “black sheep”. Of course, those in hard-hearted error don’t enjoy being discerned or corrected by a discerner. Not many do!

Even, if it is a gentle correction. Even when they use their gift with love, they are confrontational. Thus, they often ruffle feathers.

Consequently, those with this gift often experience hostility, gaslighting, silencing/stonewalling and spiritual abuse.

Nevertheless, they are excellent BS Detectors and are here for a reason. They can easily detect what goes unnoticed by others.

Those with this gift are like the white blood cells of the body.

We ignore those with this gift at our own peril. This gift is invaluable when it comes to deceitful teachings and/or abusive practices in organizations, cults, religious settings or coercive-control groups. These are the ones that are shunned by hard-hearted, hyper-authoritarian religious gurus or those who are abusing power.

I also liken those who have this gift to those who know there is a giant waterfall downstream and shout at the ones in the boat heading down the river in blissful ignorance. The discerner is not one for small-talk. This person will hold up a sign, metaphorically speaking, with a loud and clear warning, “Hey! Watch out! There is a huge waterfall ahead! You really need to get out of the boat and swim in the other direction!”

What so often happens is those heading downstream pay no attention and the discerner becomes an annoyance that disrupts the “peace”.

I knew a discerner who warned a group of people of something dangerous, before they dismissed the warning entirely. Two years later, every one of them came back and said, “We should have listened.” It was too late, and their kids suffered tremendous harm and trauma that will likely take them a lifetime to overcome.

Those with the gift of discernment can’t stand errors and social injustices like lies, manipulation, and human oppression. They are highly empathic and can detect hypocrisy, false peace and false unity when others don’t.

Do you know a discerner? Like those with the gift of prophecy, they are the seers. They can be lonely because often they see issues long before others do. They are like bomb-sniffing dogs. They detect the invisible. Share this article with them. I find that this population could use an extra hug.

Contrary to the tougher gifts, not many are going to turn away someone with the gifts of giving, encouragement, mercy or service. These gifts are easier to carry and use.

The gift of mercy is a compliment to the gifts of discernment and prophecy.

Years ago, David Backus wrote the following article* about the spiritual gift of discernment and the gifts of the spirit. I originally retrieved the article at the Free Believers Network on April 16, 2016. It is, by far, the best description of the spiritual gift of discernment I have come across.  I asked the author if I could post his article and obtained his permission:

“I can usually spot them. It’s my job as I contribute my portion of the work to the Body of Christ. They are sometimes outcasts. Sometimes they are quiet and introverted. Other times they are more outspoken and abrasive. Either way, they are misunderstood. Usually, if they don’t want to be removed from their local church group, they conform, grudgingly and brood quietly. Many aren’t aware of why.

Often they get accused of being unteachable or unsubmissive to authority and being headstrong. The problem is, many times even they don’t recognize why or what they have. Usually these people’s hearts get crushed early on in the institutional church system.

I am speaking, of course, of those with the spiritual gift of discernment. This specific gift doesn’t get a lot of limelight and exploitation like the more powerful gifts. It is usually a threat to most pastors and it is more difficult to manipulate and control.

This [those with the spiritual gift of discernment] is one of the biggest population of people in churches that get their share of spiritual and religious abuse.

Either they conform to the all-knowing constraints of their pastors, or they get swept under the carpet, or booted out. Their warnings about error taking hold in the church often go ignored and usually such people aren’t given a position of leadership or to even speak in the average church setting.

I like to call the gift of discernment the twin gift of prophecy. People who are prophets or who work closely with prophets possess this gift as well. It complements and tempers the prophetic gift nicely.

The discerner is the watchman in the late hours of the night. They constantly scan the horizon for possible danger. They watch closely and carefully with a highly critical mind, for anything that might damage or lead the church away from the truth of the things of God.

If I were to liken the discerner to a part of the body of Christ it would be the immune system. They are the body’s defense system against viral lies that would infiltrate His people.

Unfortunately, due to religious pride, financial corruption and desire for power and control, religious abuse, or even the more passive aggressive church communities have rejected this crucial part of the body, rendering it vulnerable to the lies of the enemy.

Usually discerners don’t get along well with the pastor who doesn’t understand the gift and insists on running the show. They also don’t get along well with the “be nice and don’t judge” mentality of the average church attender. Often, discerners get accused of being judgmental, overly critical, or even arrogant.

I would offer comfort here though, there is an entire book of the Bible dedicated to the discerner. It is most often overlooked and poorly understood. It is one of my favorites, the book of 1 John. I take deep comfort in this book and other passages in the Bible which reaffirm this gift in me.

To the pastor or the observant church member, I say this. Look for the ones who usually are considered and labeled rebels.

They don’t fit in, they don’t play nice with the status quo.

They sometimes have a chip on their shoulder, they usually complain about the way things are and can tend to be overly critical. Look for the loner who is in the group, but never at complete harmony with it. Also look for the one who drives you crazy with their being “unteachable” and “unsubmissive.” Chances are, they have the gift of discernment, even if it is undeveloped and not brought under the control of the Holy Spirit and His Love.

To the Discerner: If this blog describes you, make sure you are submerged in love for people. Use your gift based on love. My gift of discernment became the most effective when I learned that God is love, and I asked God for the gift of seeing the world, especially the Church through His eyes.

As with all spiritual gifts, it needs to spring out of God’s flame of love for others deep inside of you. Fall deeply in love with people before operating in this gift. When you love people, you will never go wrong. And things can go awry when love is withheld and selfish motives are the root.”

*I obtained the author’s permission. Please do not copy.

  1. Hinson, Ed., D.Phil, D.Min, Th.D. BCOU: 102 Using Your Spiritual Gifts in Counseling (Introduction to Biblical Counseling). American Association of Christian Counselors. Light University. 12:38 minute mark.
  2. Ibid., 35:43 – 36:30 minute mark. Emphasis in brackets added.
built structure against sunset sky
Coercive-Control Groups Guest Authors Mind Control Toxic Relationships Trauma Healing Unsafe Group Warning Signs

Why I Won’t Attend any Church Without Clear Policies on Handling Abuse – Testing the Spirits

Thank you, Jennifer, for creating this article about your experience at Calvary Chapel. Church abuse is horrific. If you are like the countless individuals who have experienced church abuse at Calvary Chapel, you know that it can feel bewildering. Church abuse is no joke. It’s the worst kind. It is good to be a voice for the suffering.

In Calvary Chapel, there is a code of silence which brings shame for speaking out. There is an entire wasteland of individuals who are traumatized.

C.S. Lewis said of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst. Spiritual abuse is insidiously damaging.

To be abused by a religious leader is the most confusing experience because the victim has become disarmed due to the religious facade.

This can result in emotional and psychological trauma. The truth is that there is a current epidemic of religious abuse victims.

It is interesting that many who are speaking up are pastors’ wives and kids. They are valuable witnesses because they are able to see behind the curtain.

Calvary Chapel leaders thrive in an environment of zero pastoral accountability. It’s a ripe breeding ground for abuse to go unchecked.

This is the basis of Chuck Smith’s teachings: The pastor is not even accountable to the board of directors (you can find this teaching in his book called Calvary Chapel Distinctives).

I can’t tell you how many times I have come across good people who have suffered trauma at the hands of Calvary Chapel leadership. Cardinal Care Group’s most popular post is about Calvary Chapel abuse.

Some of the abuse antics at Calvary Chapel are gaslighting, mandated shunning and stamping. Stamping occurs when they label victims as DP’s – divisive persons. It’s the scarlet letter given to those who dare to ask a question or raise a concern. This is what is done in Scientology with the label of SP.

Those with the spiritual gift of discernment are rarely welcome at Calvary Chapels.

Action Steps: Speak up for the abused, and share this article if it has helped you. We wish you peace and blessings as you help this marginalized and abused population who suffer church abuse in silence. Check out Jennifer’s article below…

As someone who spent 20 years in Calvary Chapel, this topic is especially important to me.  I am the daughter of a Calvary Chapel Pastor. My husband and I both attended a CC Bible College. I served as a worship leader at a CC church plant for about 5 years. During most of that time, it never crossed my mind to ask questions about how my church might handle concerns over a pastor’s conduct. Then I experienced interactions with a pastor whose behavior made me extremely uncomfortable...If your church leaders say they have safeguards in place, but they can’t show you where these safeguards are described in the bylaws, that should be a red flag…” READ MORE…

Why I Won’t Attend any Church Without Clear Policies on Handling Abuse – Testing the Spirits

Why I Won’t Attend any Church Without Clear Policies on Handling Abuse – Testing the Spirits
Calvary Chapel Spiritual Abuse
Betrayal Trauma Healing Featured Articles Help Your Client With Spiritual Abuse Trauma Toxic Relationships Unsafe Group Warning Signs

Narcissistic and Spiritual Abuse: How to Feel Safe with Others Again After Spiritual Abuse — Our Unseen Hope

Spiritual abuse, otherwise known as clergy abuse or religious abuse, is a great evil and social injustice. Spiritual abuse is a common tactic of the narcissistic pastor. Spiritual abuse from a narcissist is simply the worst. In addition to abusing others physically, emotionally and/or psychologically, the abuse has a definite spiritual element.

I enjoyed reading this article below from a fellow writer on how to feel safe after spiritual abuse.

The spiritual element complicates everything and can result in complex trauma.

With other forms of abuse, one may still feel safe with God and their faith. He or she may get relief when turning to God, faith and church for comfort and support. With spiritual abuse, this is most often not the case!

Why? Victims come to think that God is like their abuser. This can be particularly hard on anyone, even mature Christians. Rationally, if they know God is good and loving, their traumatized emotional brain may say something different. Spiritual trauma takes over.

Spiritual abuse is unique and complicated. Interestingly, the Bible warns of spiritually abusive pastors in a few places including 3 John 1:9 and Romans 16:17.

It is a shame we find abuse in churches (whether they are evangelical, Mormon or some other denomination). The use of mandated shunning is also highly problematic and is a human rights violation. Author and Retired Licensed Therapist Bonnie Zieman discusses religious abuse and human rights violations in her book, Shunned: A Survival Guide.

Spiritual abuse from a narcissist church leader of a tax-exempt religious organization or 501c3 is an insidious evil and the ultimate social injustice.

Spiritual abuse can be subtle or aggressive. Personal and societal effects are the same. Since I have written about destructive cults for nearly a decade, I have realized that it is downright flabbergasting the amount of abuse that 501c3’s and non-profit religious organizations can get away with in the name of religion. The IRS guideline “Tax Guide For Churches and Religious Organizations” makes clear that compromises in human rights and public policy jeopardizes the organizations’s tax-exempt status.

Many who were abused by pastors need years of trauma help to recover. Our medical workers, doctors and government-licensed psychologists are the repair shops where the victims of the tax privileged abuser end up.

Baffling!

Spiritual abuse from a narcissist can be impossible to detect at first, like many toxic relationships. Plus, those who experience this tend to have shame due to the amount of trauma experienced. Trauma causes misplaced shame.

There are many reports of spiritual abuse from a narcissist from previous Calvary Chapel pastors and members.

Dr. Darrell Puls wrote an article at AACC years ago. This article offered solace and comfort as it normalized what sufferers are experiencing. I cannot find the article right now and it might have been removed. I will provide his PDF document below for you to download.

If you are or have experienced this, self-compassion and self-care is crucial. Know that you are not alone. We are in a narcissistic and spiritual abuse epidemic. Expressive writing helps to sort out thoughts of toxic relationships.

I enjoyed reading about the following journey. Please click on the link. Thank you to Our Unseen Hope for sharing your story as to bring comfort and hope to others!

God is most like the people who love us well.

How to Feel Safe with Others Again After Spiritual Abuse — Our Unseen Hope
Relationships Toxic Relationships

The Spiritual Gift of Love and the Christian Teaching On Loving Enemies

Many in Christian circles talk about having a spiritual gift. The greatest spiritual gift is the spiritual gift of love. It doesn’t matter what kind of spiritual gift we have. If we lack love, or “charity”, none of our other gifts matter. The spiritual gift of love takes into consideration the wellbeing of others (this goes along with the golden rule).

Nobody is perfect. We all can fail at loving perfectly. Love is humble and able to apologize about mistakes, though. An inability to apologize and a tendency to stonewall are not signs of love and strength. They are signs of narcissism. Loving enemies is only possible with God’s type of empowerment and love.

Loving enemies is other-worldly! The greatest spiritual gift is the spiritual gift of love.

We can all love others more; none of us are perfect. It’s a good goal to have and a good gift to use. How can you show love to someone in your life who needs it? Who in your life doesn’t deserve it, but needs your love? Is there a difficult person in your life? Do you think about how the other person feels?

Part of using the gift of love is also loving and respecting ourselves enough to say “No” to bullies, abusive groups and certain situations. There have been many times in my life when I have experienced highly toxic relationships and damaging situations. I approached these situations with love, but many situations in life cannot be fixed. In many cases, letting some relationships expire is part of showing love to ourselves!

In many situations, we must be careful. We must remember that loving others, including enemies, also involves wisdom (see Romans 12:9). We can forgive, but we also learn a lesson. We can love from afar, but we will never get close enough for some to abuse us again. We can’t let our forgiveness become foolishness or our love to make us an object for abuse. When we love, we must remember that we, too, have value!

I once was, unfortunately, part of an unsafe, cultic religious group in the Calvary Chapel movement. I left when I realized they were teaching the public about Jesus and God’s love but willfully hating others. In fact, they were experts at abusing others in God’s name; it was part of their secret dogmas, practices and behaviors. It was a coercive-control group. As it is, many religious groups are about elitism and self at the expense of humility and serving others.

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

– Philippians 2:3-4

Today’s short inspiration on the spiritual gift and power of love/loving enemies is from Jason:

You never know how deep of an impact love and humility will have on someone. Since I’ve known the Lord, I’ve seen the power that intentional love has on people. I’ve personally seen love and humility change people and situations – nine out of ten times. I can’t put words on the depths this love and humility has impacted many situations I’ve run into in life.

It is, unfortunately, not a common experience in people’s lives today. Just by praying and being open to God’s leading (in showing love and humility) grew me a ton.

Look at Jesus’s own words in his “Sermon on the Mount”:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors, do they not do the same?”

– Matthew 5:43-46

The Bible says that even the wicked can love the lovable. It takes a seasoned follower of Christ to love the unlovable. Even 1 Corinthians 13, which is considered “The Chapter of Love”, describes those who are not seasoned in love as immature children.

Grow in love and embrace the humility it takes to love your enemies. You will break down huge barriers when you do, and you will have more influence. After all, this life should be about eternal souls, not our own egos.

– Jason S. from Phoenix, Arizona; Founder of United In Spirit

“Love never fails…When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”

– 1 Corinthians 13:8,11