Abusers Tell us What our Thoughts and Motives Are – But They Don’t Know
For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11)
The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy. (Proverbs 14:10)
I can still hear it. “Pastor, I know why you did that.” “Jeff, you always do that because….”. Every single one of the abusers who have targeted me over the years have used this kind of tactic. And for a long time I believed them at least to some degree. “Yes, maybe my motive was bad? Maybe that was what I was thinking? Or was it?”
Abusers come to this evil tactic naturally. As children of the devil, they are accusers. One very effective means of controlling people is to announce to them that you are able to read their minds, to see into the very recesses of their hearts. That you know better than they themselves do what they are thinking and what their intentions are. Of course the thing is preposterous as the Scriptures above say. No matter how well we know someone, we are not capable of fully discerning their inner being.
Now, when abuser claims to read your mind and your motives, he is making this claim in order to accuse you. Notice he never uses this “ability” to compliment, but to destroy. What he allegedly sees in your mind and heart, he insists, is not good. “You did this for selfish reasons.” “You were only thinking of yourself.” “You were lying.” “You were lusting.” “You weren’t even thinking.” “You wanted the glory for yourself…” and on it goes.
This has become a very clear red flag sign of an abuser to me. Whenever I hear someone using this kind of tactic, I know I am at minimum dealing with an unsafe person.
When we are targeted with this kind of attack often enough, we begin to doubt our ability to even perceive and trust our own conclusions. This then is all designed to force us back under the power of the wicked because, they claim, they DO KNOW the truth. They say they can read us like a book. They say they want to “help us understand” what our thoughts and motives really are.
God’s Word says the thing is a big scam. NO ONE knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of the person. Furthermore, even my own inner self person doesn’t fully know myself! It takes the Spirit of the Lord in me to show me what is in me, whether good or bad. And it is to Him alone we look:
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalms 139:23-24)