HEALING THE HIDDEN WOUND PT. IV
I’m really glad you have chosen to join me for Session Four of our series, “Healing the Hidden Wound.” I trust that our first three sessions have brought you to the point of experiencing the release of hurts that God so desperately wants to set you free from. I want to commend you for your courage in taking those steps, but want to let you know that you have just started the process. You now need to experience God’s healing being applied to every area of your life! That brings us to this session.
You now must release those who have hurt you; those people who have wounded you, you’ve got to release them! You can’t get well as long as you have resentment in your heart. For your sake, for your own sake, you’ve got to let go of the right to get even! I know that’s asking a lot, but you must understand that you only have a certain amount of emotional energy; “X” amount. You’ve got to decide whether you’re going to use your emotional energy to get even, or to get well, because you don’t have enough energy to do both. You now must decide, “Do I want to get well, get healthy, get happy, get whole, or do I want to get even?” I highly recommend that you focus on the “get well”, because I can assure you that even if you could get even with that person, or those people who hurt you, it’s not going to take away your pain! For many years, I was a basketball referee, and I’ve got to tell you that a large number of the fouls that I blew the whistle for, were on players who tried to get even with someone who had already fouled them! You see, most often, the one who causes the original offense gets by unscathed, but the one who tries to exact revenge gets caught! Revenge just doesn’t work, whether it’s in basketball, or in life!
Again, Even if you could get even with that person or those people who hurt you it’s not going to take away your pain. There’s only thing that can take away your pain, and that “thing” is forgiveness. That involves both the offering of forgiveness, as well as the asking for forgiveness. Forgiveness is the only way to get emotionally healthy. You forgive, not because someone deserves it. You say, “They don’t deserve it!” Who said anybody deserved it? Do we deserve God’s forgiveness? No. Forgiveness has nothing to do with fairness, or being deserved; it’s just something that is offered. You forgive for your own sake, because you’ve got to let it go. Romans 12 tells us that we should “Never pay back evil for evil. Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God.” [ We really need to hear that! We don’t do it, we leave it to God!] Why? “For He has said He will repay those who deserve it.” The thing that God wants to say to you is simply this: “Let it go!” You’ve got to let it go; you’ve got to let them off the hook. How do you do that? By forgiveness. Again, I know; “They don’t deserve to be forgiven!” Neither do we for the things we’ve done; in fact, nobody deserves forgiveness. But we do it, because we want to get on with our lives!
The reason why we hold on to the past is we forget that God saw everything that hurt us. Where was God when you were hurting? He was weeping. What happens is when we forget that God sees the pain we go through, we act as if it’s our responsibility to even the score. It is not our responsibility; it is God’s; and He says “You let Me handle it. You let Me balance the books. You don’t avenge yourself. I will take care of it.” Who can do a better job of avenging, you or God? He’s got a lot more things in His arsenal for evening the score; He says, “Either you can try to do it on your own, and fail, or you can let Me do it.” The reason why we hold on to resentments is that we think that if we stop remembering the hurt, the person that inflicted it will get away with it. The reason I’m making this point is that this is wrong thinking! They’re not going to get away with it, because God saw it! God saw it, and God will even the score. So, we can forget it, and get on with our lives!
So what do you do to make this possible? I suggest you do what Jesus Christ did; in I Peter 2, we are told that “When Jesus suffered, He did not threaten to get even, but He left His case on the hands of God.” Even Jesus, who was the Son of God did not blow them away when He could have! When He was on the cross, He could have snapped His fingers, and a multitude of angels would’ve shown up, and annihilated everybody! But He didn’t do it; He left it to God the Father in Heaven. He even said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing. Father, forgive them.” He was saying, “I’m not going to let this make Me bitter. I’m going to forgive them”
You may be wondering, “Why in the world should I forgive the people who hurt me?” Well, in the first place, you’ve been forgiven by God, and in the second place, you’re going to need more forgiveness in the future, and you don’t want to burn the bridge you’ve got to walk over to get into Heaven. In the third place, unforgiveness doesn’t work, you’re only hurting yourself with your resentment. Some of you are allowing people from your past to continue to hurt you in the present, through your memory of them. Friends, people cannot hurt you unless you allow them to continue to hurt you. Your past has passed; it’s over. But if you continue to hold on to it, guess what? Then you continue to hold the resentment, and they continue to hurt you. It never hurts the person you’re resentful against. You’re seething, and they’re going on with their life; they’re not even paying attention to you. They’ve blown it off; they’ve forgotten it!--but it’s making you miserable, and it’s making everybody else around you that you love miserable, too!
I know that this is a difficult concept, but it’s a necessary one. Forgiveness is a matter of freeing yourself, not necessarily someone else! I hope you’ll join me for our next session; my name is Terry, and I thank you for taking this journey with me!