Joyce Meyer - Pride And Humility
Tonight, I'm speaking about pride and humility. Now, Andrew Murray wrote a book simply called "Humility". And I recommend it. It's a small book but it's very, very, very powerful. People don't really understand how dangerous pride is and how powerful humility is. Now, I'm gonna say it again. We don't really fully realize how dangerous a haughty spirit is and how powerful humility is.
Now, here's just a couple of things he said. Well, first, "There is nothing so dangerous as pride. It's natural to us. It is insidious and yet hidden from our sight". You see, people that have a problem with pride, the last thing they're gonna do is face and admit that they have a problem with pride. That's why it's difficult to sell any kind of resources with the word "Pride" on 'em because people who need them would not want anybody to see them pick it up, lest somebody think they needed it. Pride is behind all lack of love. All indifference to the needs of others and their feelings and their weaknesses. It is the source of all hasty and critical judgments. All manifestations of temper, all touchiness, and irritation, all feelings of bitterness and all unforgiveness come from a spirit of pride.
Now, before I start talking to you about humility, I wanna make it clear that humility is not a weak, wimpy, go around, you know, with some supposed look of humility on your face all the time. To be honest, I think that just is annoying to God. The place to be humble's in your heart and in your mind. And if you have a humble heart and a humble mind, then it's gonna come across in a right godly way. A humble person doesn't think more highly of themselves than they ought to but they don't think lowly of themselves either. They really just don't have themselves on their mind that much. They know who they are in Christ and in him, they're bold and courageous. God has called us to be bold and to be courageous but that doesn't mean to be obnoxious and to walk all over people and to hurt other people.
So true humility will be bold in Christ. And I wanna take a few minutes to talk to you about being bolder and especially being bolder in prayer. We're nothing in ourselves but we're everything in Christ. I can do nothing without him but I can do anything that he wants me to do through him. C'mon now. I can't do it without him but I can do whatever I need to do through him. Can I tell you that you are stronger than you think you are? Get the words "I can't" out of your repertoire of words that you use and don't be going around saying, "It's too hard, I can't".
You can do whatever you need to do in this life if you lean on Christ and trust him to help you, amen? You can be in a very, very difficult situation and you can be there with a smile on your face and you can be there and be a blessing to other people while you are hurting yourself. I think I'm gonna say that again. 'cause see, sometimes we just think if we're in a difficult situation then the whole world has to stop until our problem gets solved. And that's just not true. While you're hurting, God will use you to help somebody else if you'll let him. And that's one of the quickest ways to receive your own healing. While you're hurting, you can be in a very difficult situation and you can be there with a smile on your face and a good attitude and while you're waiting for your breakthrough, you can and should be a blessing to other people. Somebody say, "Amen".
In Ephesians 3:12, the apostle Paul said, "Because of our faith in him, we dare to have the boldness, the courage, and the confidence of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear)". Now here's Paul who says, "I'm the chief of all sinners". But yet he's also saying, "In Christ, because of knowing who we are in him, we can have boldness and access to the throne of God to go boldly before the throne and ask God for radical things in our life that we don't deserve and probably shouldn't have but we can ask him because he's good". Maybe some of you are not asking for enough. I'll tell them: you didn't like it. Maybe some of you are not asking for enough.
You know, several years ago I got this urge one day and I believe we get Holy Ghost urges, amen? Don't push those down. If it's a fleshly urge, push it down, but if it's a Holy Ghost urge, let it come up. Let it come out. And as I was praying one day, I got this urge to pray that God would let me teach the word to every human being on the planet. Just hang on. My mind said, "That is crazy. Nobody can do that". And then the devil said, "And who do you think you are"? The enemy does not want you to pray bold prayers. You ought to pray something so big that you're not even sure God can answer it.
And I guess that's kind of the way I felt about that that day. God, I wanna teach the word to every person on the planet. Well, we're not gettin' 'em all yet but there's a whole bunch. Our program is translated into 85 different languages now. Translated. I don't know how in the world God does it. This is what I do. And he gives us all these wonderful people that make all this other stuff happen and all these wonderful ministry partners around the world. Even, like, other ministries who partner with us in getting these translations and making these things happen.
It's important for people to hear the Gospel of Christ in their own language. Even if English is a second language for them, they need it in their own language because they can relax and receive it that way. So we're on television across the Middle East, Africa, India, Asia, Mongolia. I mean, places that I wouldn't even know how to get to. And the word works in people's lives no matter what language they speak or what culture that they're from. Everybody needs Jesus. So through the internet, through satellites, through television, through radio, through printed material, through books, the Gospel is available to pretty much the whole entire planet now and I'm not foolish enough to think that they're all watching me every day.
I'm not that full of myself but let me tell you one thing: I would rather pray big prayers and get part of it than to pray little prayers and get all of it. C'mon. So I'm challenging you to know you don't deserve it. That's the first qualification to go boldly before God. You know you don't deserve it. "I don't deserve what I'm getting ready to ask you. I don't deserve it and I'm not coming in my name, I'm coming in Jesus' name, and I know that I've done a lot of things wrong but you said that you forgive me and you forget them so I'm not even gonna bother talking to you about my past".
C'mon, stop talking to God about something he forgot about a long time ago. You don't need to be talking to God about your past. You need to talk about your future. How we begin in life is not nearly as important as how we finish. And I had a lousy start but I'm determined to have a good finish. How about you? Okay, now, listen. You have not because you ask not. God's not getting mad at you for asking. The worst thing that can happen if you ask for something you're not supposed to have is you just won't get it, amen? I'm not suggesting to ask him for a bunch of carnal stupid stuff, but start asking God to use you. "Use me, God. Use me to help somebody else".
Hebrews 4:15 and 16 are wonderful scriptures. "We do not have a high priest who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and liabilities and infirmities and the assaults of temptation, but one who has been tempted in every point just like we are, yet without sinning". Whatever you are going through, whatever your temptation might be, Jesus understands it because he also was tempted yet he never sinned. Isn't that awesome? How many of you, I think women are especially like this, you just wanna feel that somebody gets you? That they understand you, you know?
I finally told Dave, "Even if you don't understand, just lie to me and tell me you do". And so now, one of his favorite things is, "I understand," and I just pretend like he does and it makes me happy. Amen? But Jesus understands. And I love that about him. That no matter what I'm going through on my weirdest of most weird days, he understands. He gets you, amen.
Verse 16 says, "Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners), that we might receive mercy for our failures and find grace to help in good time for every need appropriate help, well-timed help, coming just when we need it". When you have not behaved well, don't draw away from Jesus. Run to him. You can't hide from God and, believe it or not, he is great at helping people who don't deserve it. But you have not because you ask not. So start asking. Learn how to pray your way through the day. Don't just pray for yourself but pray for other people too. The righteous are bold as a lion. I love that.
Now, pride is extremely dangerous. And it's defined as to be lifted up, to be high-minded, to indulge in self-esteem or self-confidence and to glory in self-achievement. I hope you noticed how many times the word "Self" is used in that definition. Self, self, self, self, self. The Bible says if we're gonna follow Christ, we need to take up our cross and follow him, forgetting ourselves. That's the cross that we are to carry, is to get ourselves off of our mind. Be Christ-minded and let him flow through us. We die to self and live for him, amen?
Pride and boasting go together. The proud person talks a lot about themselves. And I personally don't wish to have somebody full of pride for a good close friend. And when I meet somebody and all they do is talk about their selves and tell me all about their accomplishments and everything they're doing and it's them, them, them, bleh-beh, bleh-beh, bleh-beh, all the time, I'm just, like, "Really"? That's just not really what I wanna talk about all the time.
Boasting is defined as the practice of quackery. That's what it says. The practice of quackery. Pretending to be something that you're not. See, boasting is just dumb because anything good that we are able to do, it's only because Christ is doing it through us, amen? Pretending to be something that you're not, it's created by high-mindedness, thinking that you know when you don't. Whoo! "Well, let me tell you what I know". "Well, let me tell you what I know". "Well, I know". "Well, let me tell you what I know". You know what? We don't know anything until we know that we don't know. I love what the apostle Paul said, "I'm determined to know nothing among you but Christ and him crucified".
And God wants us to have knowledge but we don't need to go around trying to tell the whole world what we know. Thinking we're something that we're not. Other familiar words are haughty, puffed up, vainglorious. We might just simply say that a person that's proud in a wrong way is full of themselves. Now, I'm proud of my children and, to be honest, I'm proud of the work that's been accomplished in this ministry. But I remind myself on a regular basis that it is certainly God and not me. I am not foolish enough to think that I could ever, in any possible way, pull this off. And I am very grateful that you showed up in this building tonight and I believe that God brought you, amen? And I thank God every time there's people in the seats because I had days when there weren't many.
And let me tell you something, those days are good for all of us. It's good for all of us to go through lean years and to not get what we want because it helps us to appreciate what we have when God does open the windows of heaven and begin to pour out those blessings. The sin that satan committed was the sin of pride. He was originally an angel of worship. His body was made of musical instruments. And he was an awesome, amazing, beautiful creature. But in Isaiah 14, beginning in verse 12, we're reminded of the fall of satan. "How have you fallen from heaven, o light-bringer and daystar, son of the morning! How have you been cut down to the ground, you who weakened and laid low the nations, o you blasphemous, satanic king of Babylon! You said in your heart".
Now I want you to notice how many times the term "I will" is in here, "I will ascend to heaven: I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will make myself like the Most High". Ooh! And this was God's answer, "You shall be brought down to hades". So when we lift ourselves up, God is very capable of bringing us down. He invites us to humble ourselves under his mighty hand, but if we don't, he will do it for us. And that is probably one of the most painful things that we can go through emotionally, is to be all full of ourselves and have to have God show us that we're nothing without him.
Now, our society today is full of a lot of "I wills" and a lot of people think they don't need God. And that is so sad to me because God is so wonderful. He is so absolutely totally amazing and wonderful, I just don't get it why anybody would not wanna have a relationship with such a good God as he is. I mean, I really mean, I just don't get it. I don't understand. Because when you have a relationship with God, not religion, but a relationship with God and I think, to be honest, that bad experiences with religion is part of why so many people don't want anything to do with God. Jesus did not die so you could have a religion or so I could have a religion. Don't be so proud of, "Well, I'm catholic," or "I'm Lutheran," "I'm Baptist," "I'm Methodist," "I'm Pentecostal". Please don't be offended but God don't give a rip. Amen?
Do you believe in Jesus, that he died for your sins? That he rose from the dead? That he paid for your sins, that through him you can have a brand new life. Do you believe that God is good? Well, you see, I guess a lot of people in the world don't believe that and the bottom line is, is I've often wondered sometimes, I read this someplace, I wonder how many people who claim that they're atheist, if they thought they could keep doing exactly what they're doing and still have a relationship with God and the promise of going to heaven, I wonder how many would become believers then.
See, the reason why people don't wanna have a relationship with God is they wanna do all these things that aren't right according to the word but they're all ruining them and destroying them. We need to pray for people in the world today and for a great harvest to come in and we need to get out in the world and be shining lights. Give people an example of something to want. Show them what a relationship with Jesus is really like, amen?
How many of you have just a dream and a vision for your life? You wanna do something great? Okay, well, how many of you just get frustrated with how long it takes? Well, I understand. Boy, do I understand. I started teaching a home Bible study 40 years ago. The first one had about 12 people in it and then it grew to about 25, and I taught that for 5 years. And then in the middle of that, we added another one so the last 2-1/2 years I taught two home Bible studies, home groups.
And I mean, I could preach. I could preach pretty much like I can right now. And I was locked up in my living room with 25 people. I had to quit my full time job to prepare for ministry, was desperately needy financially. Didn't get anything for teaching the people, of course. And those were proving years in my life and we all need them. The worst thing that can happen is to promote to a high place a new convert. The Bible says they will become, "Be clouded in their mind and stupefied with pride". That's what the amplified, they will become stupefied with pride.
So, don't think just because you have a talent that you should be promoted into a place because character is much more important than talent. If all people want to do is just display their talent then they'll have to go out and do it in the world. But if you want to serve God with your gifts and your talents, then there has to come a maturing. If you're sitting out there looking at the worship leader in your church a little bit ticked off because they didn't choose you thinking, "I could sing circles around her," that's exactly why she's up there and you're not.
I used to watch people preach on TV and I would just think, "I can preach better than they can. I don't know why I'm stuck here in this living room with these 25 people. I could preach circles around them". Well, that's exactly why I was still with the 25 people, not because I couldn't preach, but because I had a haughty attitude.
Come on. Well, I'm telling ya what, I look back now and I am so thankful that God made me wait, and made me wait, and made me wait, and made me wait, and that he tested me, and tested me, and worked with me. I'm so glad because I believe if you wait for God's right timing, then you can be in for the long haul but if you get promoted too early, you're gonna go off like a firecracker and fizzle right out. Amen?
Deuteronomy chapter 8, I would say saved me but I know Jesus saved me, but boy, did I get some understanding from Deuteronomy chapter 8. It is such a marvelous chapter in the Bible. Verse 2 and 3, "And you shall earnestly remember all the way which the Lord your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and to prove you, to know what was in your mind and heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and he allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that he might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God".
So, God had all these Israelites trapped out in the wilderness. And they had no way to take care of themselves, and they had to depend on God and he led them the long, hard way. He didn't lead them the easy way. He led them the long, hard way but he had a purpose and that was to bring them into a place where he could bless them beyond anything that they could possibly imagine. And I want to encourage you tonight, don't you give up on God. Don't run away from God because the way is hard, or you don't understand, or it's taking too long. You serve God with your whole heart and the day will come, the day will come, payday is coming. Amen?
Hebrews 11:6, "Without faith it's impossible to please God and those that come to him must believe that he is and that he is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him". If you diligently seek God, your reward is on the way. And instead of being angry because you're not getting what you want when you want it, like I used to a lot, thank God that his timing is perfect and let him know that you know when you're ready, that God will open the windows of heaven and promote you to the place that he wants you to be in. Verse 7, "For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills: a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates".
And, you know, that's not how we relate to today but you get the point. I don't want fig trees and pomegranates but there's a lot of other things I want. "And a land in which you shall eat food without shortage and lack nothing in it: a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper". Now, here it gets to the important part. "And when you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for all the good land which he has given you. And beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments, his precepts, and his statutes which I command you, lest when you have eaten and are full, and have built goodly homes and live in them, when everything you have is multiplied".
Verse 14, "Then your minds and hearts be lifted up and you forget the Lord your God". And let's just look at a couple more verses in here. Verse 17, "And beware lest you say in your mind and heart, my power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth. But you shall earnestly remember that it is the Lord your God, who has given you the power to get wealth, that he might establish his covenant in the earth today".
Other great scriptures for our nation. This nation did not become what it was because we were great but because we served a great God. Amen? A light to the other nations and now people make fun of us. They think we're ridiculous. There was a time when our enemies were afraid of us. That's not the case anymore and it's for no reason other than people are turning their back on God.
And I want to tell ya what, we are part of the remnant that God has that can still glorify His name and we are very privileged and very blessed to be alive in this day. It's the worst of times and the best of times, and I believe that we can have a great harvest but it's gonna take all of us getting out in the world and letting our light shine. That means we have to get ourselves off of our mind and what we want and need, and why we're not getting everything we want, and get up every day and say, "God, what can I do for you today? What can I do for you today"? And I hope that this is breaking through and you're understanding.
Now, pride also, interestingly enough, prevents God from helping us because God can only help the humble. James 4:6, "But he gives us more and more grace". Aren't you grateful for grace? "Power of the holy spirit". So, grace is not just undeserved favor, but it's the power of the holy spirit that makes things happen in my life that I could not make happen. The apostle Paul said, "I am what I am by the grace of God". And he said, "I worked harder than all of you, yet it wasn't even me really doing the work. It was the grace God in me doing the work".
And I can just tell ya, I look at my calendar for a year and I'm like, I have no idea how I did all that. No idea. I said to somebody tonight, I said, "Well, I've only got 15 more teachings to do this year". And if I thought, oh, 15, I gotta come up with 15 messages. But you know what? God will do it. And God will do whatever you need him to do if you lean on him and put your trust in him. And many of you are dealing with a lot of different situations than I am. Maybe you're working at a job where you're not treated right. God will give you the grace to be there and represent him. Maybe you're in a family situation where you're the only believer, put a smile on your face and be glad that God's got you in a place where you can be an example to somebody. We need to stop feeling sorry for ourselves because we're not comfortable all the time.
Come on, you guys over here smile. Smile at me. Isn't it true? Isn't it better to get up in the morning and think, "I can do whatever I need to do today through Christ who is my strength, I am gonna make this a great day"? Isn't that much better than waking up and thinking, "Oh my God, I dread the day. I just don't think I can do this". You know, your attitude is yours and that's one thing nobody can take away from you and if you want to have a good one, nobody can keep you from it. "He gives us more and more grace (power of the holy spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why he says, God sets himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace continually to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it)".
So, here's how it goes, "God, help me". That's the way that prayer works. "Help me". I mean, years and years ago, and I still remember this. I mean, it's been I don't know 25 years ago. The ministry was up and running but very small. And I was running all over creation preaching to anything and everything that would listen. And oh my gosh, I worked so hard. It's a wonder I'm not dead just from the way I worked back then. And I remember I had about a whole year in my life where I just walked around, "God, help me. God, you gotta help me".
I finally got to the point where I thought, I don't even know what I need help about. I just know I need help. I mean, I was just so acutely aware that if God didn't help me, I was just so far over my head. How many of you feel like you're over your head a lot of times in life and you just don't know what to do? Greatest prayer to pray, "God help me. Help me, God, help me. Help me. Help me, God. Lord, help me".
Now, there's another scripture 1 Peter 5:5 and this is really long in the amplified Bible. But we're gonna put it up on the screen for you 'cause I want us to take a minute and look at this. "Likewise, you who are younger and of lesser rank, be subject to the elders (the ministers and the spiritual guides of the church), giving them due respect and yielding to their counsel. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility". We're gonna talk about how to put on humility before we leave tonight. "As the garb of a servant, so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you," humility is a covering, "Have freedom from pride and arrogance toward one another. For God sets himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, and the boastful), and he opposes, frustrates, and defeats them, but he gives grace to the humble".
Now, many times when we're trying to make something happen ourself in our own strength and it doesn't work out, we try to rebuke the devil, and there are times when the enemy does attack us but everything that's uncomfortable doesn't come from the devil. Sometimes we're uncomfortable because God's not letting us have what we want because we're going about trying to get it the wrong way. We're trying to make it happen ourselves instead of going to him and leaning on him and telling him, "Look, I don't even want it if it's not you but if it is your will, you're the only one that can make it happen so I'm just saying right now, I'm nothing without you. I lean entirely on you, and here I am. If you can do anything, do it, but if you can't do it, I sure can't".
Is anybody getting the revelation you might need to change some of your praying? Man, I'll tell ya, how much do you pray and seek God for humility? I mean, seriously. When's the last time you just got before God and really prayed for God to humble you? I mean, I had a season of prayer like that 2 or 3 weeks ago and it scared me. It's a little scary and it should be when you pray like that because the problem with pride is it hides. You don't know you got it. And so asking God to reveal it is a little bit of a scary ordeal but Andrew Murray says this, he said that humility is the greatest of all the virtues but it will not come to us without special seasons of seeking, and praying, and studying in that area.
Now, you know, I know this is the Friday night crowd and sometimes on Friday night, we just get, you know, well, you just get all kinds of people, people that didn't know what else to do and they came or whatever. Maybe this is a little too deep for some of you but let me just make it simple for you. If you don't get anything else out of this tonight, if it's over your head, just leave here with the attitude, "I can't do anything without God's help. I am nothing without God. I'm nothing without God. And I need to make sure that I am not mistreating people because I am no better than anybody else". That's a good place to start.
So, if you don't get anything else, remember those couple of sentences. You know, you're a great person but you're no better than anybody else and neither am i. Amen? Just 'cause I'm on the platform tonight does not impress God. He put me up here but he's not impressed by me being up here because he loves all of us equally and all we can each one do is what God graces us and gifts us to do. I wish I could sing like Phil but I can't because God didn't give me that gift. I'd love to be able to play four or five musical instruments, but God didn't give me that gift.
Matter of fact, I'd like it if I could do it all. I'd love to be able to come up here and preach, and sing, and play and just be a one-man show. I'd like that. But God knows how I am and he knows how you are, and he knows what you can handle and still give him the glory. And we better pray that he doesn't give us anymore than we can handle and still give him the glory because if we get into pride, he's gonna have to bring us down. I don't want anymore money than I can handle and glorify God. I don't want anymore power than I can handle and glorify God. I don't want anymore popularity that can I handle and still glorify God. Don't want anything that you can't have and keep God first in your life. I'm having fun tonight.
Here's a few statements from Andrew Murray. "Humility is a place of entire dependence on God. The lack of humility is the sufficient explanation for every lack and failure. Humility has never had the place of supreme importance that belongs to it," and I added, "Except in the life of Jesus". He's our example. "There's nothing so dangerous as pride. It's natural to us. It is insidious and hidden from our sight. Meekness and lowliness were distinguishing Marks of the true disciples of Christ".
You know, Peter had a problem with pride and he had to be humbled but then after that, he came out bold, man, 3,000 people saved in one day. Ask God to deal with you. Pray that if you have a haughty spirit or in any way you're mistreating people. And some of you may think, "Well, I sure don't have a problem with pride. I've got a problem with thinking I'm nothing". Well, you need to know who you are in Christ, that's for sure. But I believe that true humility is knowing what you're not but also knowing who you are in Christ. Let me read this one again. "Pride is behind all lack of love, all indifference to the needs of others, their feelings, their weaknesses, it's the source of all hasty judgments, all manifestations of temper and touchiness and irritation and all feelings of bitterness and all unforgiveness".
If you're mad at somebody and you won't forgive them, it's only because of pride. It's easy for us to forget how much God has to forgive us for. Okay, I know we're having meat tonight. We're not having dessert tonight. We're having meat. You can go get yourself an ice cream cone when this is over but I'm only throwing out big chunks of meat. Okay now, here's a good one. This, I have something at the end of this that's just for the men. Okay now, this first part's for all of us though. "The seemingly insignificant things of daily life are the important things and they are the tests of eternity because they prove what the spirit of man is whether pride or humility that possess us. It is in our unguarded moments that we really show who we are".
Now, I'm still not to the thing for the guys yet but this is still for everybody. It's not how we behave in church that shows our true nature, it's how we behave at home behind closed doors when we think nobody's looking. Now, here's one for the guys. How do you behave when somebody pulls out in front of you on the highway? "Well, it's gotta be a woman". Oh, I tell you I get so aggravated when Dave says, "It must be a woman". That is an attitude problem. Amen? Why must it be a woman because the driver is not driving right? Dave is so patient and sweet but I tell you what, he could grow a little when it comes to being merciful to people who don't do everything right on the highway. But if he accidentally pulls out in front of somebody, and they start honking the horn and making dirty signs at him. He's like, "Well for crying out, buddy, give me a break".
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Ginger: A question for you that's a very personal one today, from Barb, in Arkansas. She says, "Coming from your past situation, I thought you may know the answer to this question. Why am I angrier with the person who didn't protect me than with the abuser? And how can I overcome this"?
Joyce: Well, I think for me, like, you kind of instinctively know if somebody is, say, sexually abusing you that they must have a problem. I didn't realize that as a child but later, I did. But, he had something wrong with him. You know, I mean, he even told me, eventually, he said, "I really could not control myself". So, he was really controlled by an evil spirit in that area. But, my mother, not helping me is something that I'll never understand, except that she just had a weak... It's kind of interesting because growing up I never really blamed her. It was kind of like, I understood. But, my mom, bless her heart, she was not an easy person to try to take care of. And as she got older, I did, in obedience to God, take care of her for a lot of years. And I think it was actually, even harder for me then than it was when I was young because she would say things to me like, "Well, you should do that for me, I'm your mother". But then, I would think, "But you never really were, you didn't really do what was right". And so, I think the, "Why" is just that it really is almost more unjust. You know, I mean, if my father had a demonic problem and you know, he had incest in his family so, that's not excusing what he did because what he did was absolutely terrible, but I get it. To me, it was worse that my mother knew it. I mean, I still think, "How could a mother know that and just let it continue"? I don't know. I don't have the answer for that. Except to say that fear, I mean, it shows you how strong fear is and that she was afraid. She was afraid she couldn't take care of me and my brother. She was afraid, you know, my dad was violent, maybe she was afraid of being beaten up. I don't know. My mom always had almost what I would call a love-hate relationship with my dad. She hated him but she was kind of like addicted to him too. It was like she didn't feel like that she could live life without him. All I know, is no matter what somebody has done to you, the best favor you can possibly do yourself is to forgive 'em. You don't even have to understand it. Just forgive 'em. You're not doing them a favor when you forgive 'em, you're doing yourself a favor because if you harbor unforgiveness, you're just allowing them to continue to hurt you.
Ginger: So, stop trying to figure it out, that's the heart of it.
Joyce: Stop trying to figure it out, just forgive and go on. God is a God of justice. Maybe you didn't have justice in the past, but if you turn your life over to God, he ultimately will bring justice one way or the other.