Planting Seeds for New Life
In the discussion about forgiveness, numerous aspects of forgiveness have been covered. First, the statement that forgiveness is not an option and how the Word of God actually shows that God requires us to do so. The previous articles stated as to how that can be done, why it must be done, and the results of the completion of forgiveness to others. This 3rd part is being written to address yet another aspect of forgiveness; those who have gone through abject cruelty at some point either in their life as a child or at the hands of another in their adult life or both.
There are many kinds of cruelty in the world and many stories have been written and or heard about abuse and the devastation it placed upon its victims. The reactions or results of abuse can be as different or varied as the individuals involved. But the general result is that the soul suffers a kind of death within itself. The suffering of the soul can even impede learning and emotional development throughout a person’s life; especially if the abuse was perpetrated at a very young age. This aspect of abuse is mentioned in this series of articles because of the deeply rooted damage that occurs with the abuse making forgiveness seemingly insurmountable as well as the many difficulties that crop up in the victim’s ability to handle themselves in relationships later in life. It is usually later in life that an abused child begins to realize where his emotional pain and difficulties stem from in current relationships.
This now brings us to the aspect of forgiveness. Anyone who has suffered tragically at the hands of another, whether as a child or as an adult, has what can feel like a monumental chore to do to be able to obey God’s Word in the area of forgiveness. As it was stated in the first article of this series, forgiveness is a choice and has nothing to do with how one feels about it. But, having said that forgiveness can be a very different journey for the heart of one who has suffered so much and so deeply. The whole process for forgiving someone for a tragic hurt can take more time, much prayer, and even counseling by a Christian-based professional or by a pastor. While Christian-based counseling can certainly be helpful, much greater emphasis should be placed in the direction of prayer groups under the guidance of a pastor and/or healing minister as well. The Word calls for believers to be transformed in the renewing of their minds ( Romans 12:2 ).
It is precisely the renewing of the mind that is so needed for the ability to let go and forgive someone for a tragedy against one’s soul, body, or spirit as well as for the healing to be able to take place. What a believer does when they use the scriptures in this way (think on these things…Phillippians 4:8) is to take a beautiful step forward into the arms of Christ to receive His response to it. A believer can actually sense the presence of a very loving merciful God in the person of Jesus through the power of His Holy Spirit. There can be thoughts and feelings of risk for this step forward (choice) given the past experiences of tragic abuse. But spending time in the Word and in prayer is to spend time with Jesus, Himself, and in time the believer begins to realize that indeed a transformation has taken place. This realization gives way to a sense of freedom, release, sweet joys unspeakable, and a newfound awareness of the passion of a loving God for each of His children.