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abuse or persuasion drawing cartoon by david hayward

I can’t count how many times this has been used on me. And when I resisted I was called a weakling. A wimp. A spiritual pussy.

Back in 1997 when we were going through a horrendous church split, largely due to the intrusion of the previous pastor in our affairs, I met with this pastor a few times. He was furious! At one point in a meeting with me in a mall over a cup of coffee, he actually poked his finger hard into my chest and told me Lisa and I needed therapy. What provoked this from him? He asked me, “What is it about me that bothers you so much?” I responded, “I find you very controlling.”

Here’s how I can generally tell the difference between abuse and persuasion: when I am abused I feel like something’s wrong, but I tend to blame myself; and when I am genuinely persuaded I feel that something just went right, and I tend to feel better about myself.

How do you tell the difference?

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