I saw these words on the sign of an SPCA building. “Neglect is Abuse.” And it struck me just how profound those words are. Of course the intention was focused on animals…but what about us humans?
Neglectful isn’t a word we usually use to describe ourselves, people, or our society in this day and age. In fact, the opposite is usually what we hear, the ME generation, self-indulgent…spoiled….immediate gratification…everybody gets a trophy for playing…welfare or socialistic state. But think about it. Are we really paying attention, I mean real attention, to our own inner needs, struggles, or God placed longings?
Few perform this honest self-assessment, but when you assess, do you then go about addressing what you find in the most healthy, fulfilling, and life-giving way. Not self-assessing or then not significantly and thoroughly addressing what you find, is neglect.
Neglect is prevalent in our society. We neglect ourselves, we neglect those we love, we neglect those in need…but most importantly, we neglect our Lord. You see, God is the answer for struggles that derail us…obstacles holding us back….wounds that aren’t healed…patterns we struggle to break….emotions that rule us. By neglecting God, we are going to continue to also neglect ourselves and others.
Today, stop and think about areas in your life you are neglecting…pushing under the carpet…avoiding or suppressing…or hoping nobody notices. Think about struggles you have identified, but have had trouble correcting or freeing yourself from their burden. Now trade the word abuse for neglect. In the dictionary, neglect is a synonym for abuse. Just maybe this simple switching of words will help us to neglect less; to take care of ourselves in the true sense as God called us to do. Put on the armor of God and attack those strongholds specifically today.
Dear Father in heaven, I come to you with a guilty heart. I have been guilty of neglecting You. Forgive me, Father. I have been guilty of neglecting those I love and that I have a responsibility to care for. Replacing the word abuse for neglect makes it all seem so much worse. I ask Your forgiveness for the abuse of my body. Help me this day and forever to be aware of those who need my care and attention. Also, help those who I have abused to forgive me. I pray, Lord, that You working through me will end my neglect of others. I realize now with a sad heart that others too have neglected me, so help me forgive them, Lord, as You forgive me. Help them also be aware that neglect is abuse. I pray in the name of the one was abused for my ultimate nurturing, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message
1 Timothy 4:14
Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it.
Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst”.