Years ago in my little town, there was a restaurant that was known not for the quality of its
food (above average), the ambiance of its surroundings (cheap chic), or the professionalism of its staff (non-existent). It was famous, and wildly successful, for the way it abused its clientele.
From one week to the next, customers never knew what they would be charged for — at the manager’s whim, butter pads cost 15 cents extra, and then they didn’t. Coffee refills were endless — oh no, that was last week; now it’s one refill, grudgingly allotted.
One customer, who frequented the place daily for more than 25 years, ordered two slices of toast every morning, sometimes being charged for butter and jam, other times just for the jam. Because the toast consisted of yesterday’s leftovers, every day’s breakfast looked different: one day her “two” slices of toast was one piece, cut in half. Frequently it was burnt.
To get it, she had to listen closely, because the staff yelled out, “Hey, Emily! Your toast is ready!”
Such was the business model, and judging by the way the mismatched tables and rickety chairs were filled to capacity, people loved it. The worse they were treated, the more they flocked in.
I can’t help but think of many churches when I remember this restaurant, now mercifully closed, and while I saw, and avoided, the flaws in the restaurant, I confess to spending all too long being abused on a spiritual level.
Please read the rest at Thriving on Spiritual Abuse, at my column, Commonsense Christianity at BeliefNet. As you know, I am unable to reprint the entire article, and I am grateful when you click through and finish the whole thing.
I wrote my book, The Misfit Christian, for believers and seekers who feel out of place in their church or religious community. Oddly, rather than being spiritual failures, these people are generally dissatisfied because they are strong seekers of the truth, and when they can’t find it, they get frustrated.
Does this describe you? Please consider reading my book, The Misfit Christian. If you’re put off because you don’t know who I am, then please read the introduction, provided free at the Look Inside section on the Amazon page.
I have never held back that I am a nobody in the world’s eyes, an ordinary person with no Christian Lettered Credentials behind my name. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t learned much from the Big Guys, and they certainly don’t seem particularly willing to learn from, or listen to, us little people.
This article is linked to Serving Joyfully, 3D Lessons, Children Are a Blessing, Graced Simplicity, I Choose Joy, Jenny Mullinix, Shine Blog Hop, All Things with a Purpose, A Look at the Book, Friday Flash Blog, A little dash of diva, Love Bakes Good Cakes, Weekend Wind down, Fellowship Friday, Family Fun, Christian Mom Blogger, Essential Things, Missional woman, A Mama’s Story, Moms the Word, Thoughtful Spot, Motivation Monday