We all have stories of pain and grief. Great hurts that engulf us. Ugly injustices that have ambushed and overthrown us. Persistent, leaden pain. Sometimes, these hurts have been brought into our lives by others. Sometimes it has come at the hands of friends. For others, the agents of hurt have not been known to them. And then sometimes the hurt has come through our own stupidity, lack of judgement, or foolish bravado.
We would like to think that dealing with this pain is as easy as ‘moving on’. Gathering our resolve and getting on with life, not letting these things settle on us. For some, it seems that the pain of life just rolls away like water off a duck’s back. For most, this is not a common experience. Be it rejection, betrayal, abuse, criminal act, or neglect, most carry the hurt for a long time. Maybe for their whole lives. They live with this hurt, as does everyone around them. It impacts on work, relationship, marriage, and pretty much very circle of interaction that we have.
Do you know what to do with all your hurt?
Do you know what to do with all your hurt? Many people do not. Each morning when they roll out of bed, or when they sit with their coffee, or in those moments when the pressure is off, and the mind starts to relax, the pain resurfaces. Like some stray dog, just when you think you have finally gotten rid of it, it returns to dig holes in your garden.
What to do? Is it as easy as managing these situations differently? Should you just fill your life with so much busyness and with so many things to keep the pain away? Is your ticket out of pain and hurt?
Chances are, trying that will leave you doubly bound. You will be stuck in your pain, and bound up in whatever escape you devise, and you will never get out of it.
There is a better way, and that is to forgive.
I know: forgiveness is not well understood. It seems such a slippery thing, and we wonder whether it’s all a bit too easy. Either that, or it seems too hard to do. But here’s the thing, God calls us into it. More: in Jesus he both models and empowers forgiveness.
If it’s true that the pain you carry changed your life, then it’s also true that they way you forgive will change your life even more.
Come with me on a journey, and let’s see how we can do this work of forgiving better.
What do you think is hardest about forgiveness?