The Freedom of Forgiveness

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What steps can you take to bring about healing and restoration when you have been hurt?

[Forgive] one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

David has always said I (Teresa) am a person who could easily forgive. I have always believed that to be true, but I didn't realize that I didn't complete the process of forgiveness.

In the Greek, the word for forgiveness means "to release." Before, when I forgave I released the person and the action, but I failed to release my pain. I forgave, but I still felt hurt later. I wasn't dealing with the pain associated with the hurt. Forgiveness means dealing with the person, the action, and the emotion behind the action.

It's been difficult, but I've discovered that I need to share my pain with the Lord. It's not enough just to "gut it out" and forgive my offender. The Lord wants to heal the hurt that I've endured, and that requires that I share it with Him. He wants me to tell Him about my disappointment and let Him comfort me. He wants me to talk with Him about my rejection so that He can remind me that His own received Him not, so He understands how deeply I hurt.

Once I have taken my hurts to Jesus and let Him comfort me, it's often time to take my pain to David. If David has hurt me, I must carefully communicate to him the hurt. My only responsibility is to lovingly share my hurt with the one who hurt me. Then it's the Holy Spirit's work to prompt confession or change.

If David has not been a part of my hurt, it's still crucial that I take my hurts to him. There is unique healing that comes when I share my hurt and allow David to comfort me. It is his caring words, prompted by the God of comfort, that allow me to truly forgive.

What steps should you take to bring about healing and restoration when you have been hurt?

Father, help me to completely release my pain and forgive my offenders.

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