"'Why Me?' Comfort for the Victimized" by David Powlison. A Review
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Forty-four pages of grit and goodness! That's the best way to describe this booklet by David Powlison, executive director of Christian Counseling and Education Foundation and senior editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling! Powlison writes this manuscript for those who have truly been vandalized and victimized by others. He doesn't lessen their anguish or make light of their angst. What he does do is walk the reader through Psalm 10, showing how to use the Psalm, the ways this Psalm draws us to Christ, and propels us to trust the good God, since faith "finds God in suffering, producing endurance, love, and hope" (23). Christian sufferers (the raped, abused, falsely accused, abandoned, etc.) should read this with open hearts, open journals, and ready pens. You will want to jot down notes as you become familiar with this God-given song.
In the first part of the pamphlet Powlison shows how this holy hymn guides a person to boldly lay before God the violence and vehemence someone has shoved into their life and slammed into their heart! As he puts it, "You are meant to cry out, "Unfair! Outrageous!" and to feel the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Evil terrifies and intimidates the innocent and weak" (15). The author also exhibits the ways this Psalm restrains us from the temptation to vindictiveness: how not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good (Romans 12.21). Powlison speaks with empathy to the grieving, ground-up heart. In the last portion of this précis, the author gives a few short exercises so that the reader can immediately employ what they've learned.
If you're asking yourself whether you should you get a copy for yourself or not, take this short quiz: have you had your heart bashed in by a spouse (verbally, emotionally, financially, spiritually, physically)? Have you had your childhood mangled by a molester? Have you had the integrity and peace-of-mind of your person pillaged ? Have you had your deeper emotional or economic loyalties forcefully betrayed? If you can answer "yes" to any of these questions, and similar ones, then you need to grab a copy quickly. And if you have a loved one who has experienced any of these situations, then for your own sake and theirs pick up one as soon as feasibly possible. I highly recommend this booklet.
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