Skip to main content

When asking forgiveness is manipulation

My ex’s family had a favorite quote:  “It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.”
I was thinking about this today after going round and round and round with my ex about something that he did (that pertained to the children) without asking me first.  It was something important.  Like, potentially life-changing.  And all I received from him was a text that said, “hey… I did this… I called these people and set up these appointments… so you know…hope you’re okay with that.”
And no, I was not okay with that.  I told him no and he proceeded to push and prod and argue and try to convince and be all manipulatively charming with his, “can you help me understand why…?”
And dealing with him is absolutely exhausting.  I easily fall back into old patterns of the abused spouse.  I get exhausted, I say fine whatever, I become passively pissed, I shut down.  My husband has to remind me that I’m allowed to have boundaries and peeeaaaccceee.
What’s so ironic is that this church-going family (also in church leadership for many years) used this motto to manipulate so many people around them because they were charming and sweet and asked for forgiveness when the people they manipulated were pissed.
A (seemingly narcissistic) blogger and entrepreneur wrote this:
“I have always believed in the saying, ‘It’s better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission.’ It’s a way of life. It’s not about abusing situations but about knowing when to push the boundaries. It’s about knowing that the overwhelming number of people in life are naysayers and ‘no sayers’ and sometimes you gotta just roll the dice and say WTF.”
Nice.  No dude, it is about abusing situations.  It’s about abusing people.  It’s about crossing boundaries, even non-verbally established boundaries, so that you can get whatever you want from someone else.  
It’s not the douchy businessman that likes this motto.  Over the years, I heard this from  leaders in the church.  Sitting around the church leadership meeting listening to the “elders” considering what would happen if they just implementing some new plan without first asking the congregation.  We’ll just ask forgiveness.  That’s what Jesus would want.  And they will have to give it or their prayers will not be heard by the Father in Heaven.
I mean, really.
What are you thoughts on this?  Have you been wounded or manipulated by this kind of nonsensical logic?
until soon,


Popular posts from this blog

What it means when a narcissistic pastor says, "I love the church"

I ran across this article while going through a rough place in my life.  It had profound meaning for me in dealing with some of the individuals in my life that have narcissistic traits. The article highlights the fact that when a narcissist says, “I love you,” he really means that he loves the way that you (fill in the blank): take care of his needs, focus your energy on him, submit, etc. Individuals that have been in relationships with narcissists often admit to feeling crazy, not recognizing the abuse while it was occurring, and to keeping secrets to cover for his abuse, infidelity, etc.  I wonder if this is what many people are recognizing in the #exevangelical movement.  Because as I was going through this article again, I began to realize that many of the narcissistic traits could be applied to the many pastors and men in church leadership that I have known through the years. Being in church ministry for twelve years, I became proficient at silence and lies to cover the behavior…

To "speak the truth in love" does not mean "reprimand"

"...speaking the truth in love..." Ephesians 4:15
Notice the "dot, dot, dot," before and after that phrase?  But how many times have you heard it as a full sentence?  Speak the Truth in love.  As a full sentence, it loses all context.  And how often is this phrase used as an excuse to reprimand another "in love" and tell them about their multitude of sins?
The New Living Translation has a completely different take on this phrase.  It states, "we will hold to the truth in love."  Now, that changes it a bit, doesn't it?  That makes the action about me and not about me acting on another.  
In context, Ephesians 4 is talking about the Body of Christ and how we must work to grow up and mature in the Lord.  "Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe..."  The work is for each of us to grow up and cling to the Lord's love.  
And what Truth are we clinging to?  It is the truth that we are d…

I visited a Mosque. And went to church.

Today, our local International Rescue Committee organization hosted a solidarity event at the Islamic Society of Wichita while their members were gathering for Friday prayers.  We stood outside, held signs, and let them know that we are with them.  That we are forthem.

But before the event I met my new friend, Ratna, for a tour and some lunch in the well-worn gym.  I was running a little early so I sat by myself on the concrete fountain in front of the building.
It was a beautiful day.  The sun was warming me.  I could smell the food cooking.  A suburban in the parking lot said, "Girl Scout Cookies For Sale!" written in white shoe polish on the dark windows.

Pretty soon, Ratna pulled up in her minivan, tagged along behind by her 5-year-old son with his bright blue iPad and headphones.  He was watching a Pokemon cartoon and was humming along to the songs.  Skipping as he went.  Ratna smiled, hugged me, and led me inside for a tour of their worship space.

It was a beautiful b…