“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The disciples had just asked Jesus to teach them to pray. They must have been thunderstruck when he said those words. Jesus told them to ask the Father to forgive them in the same way that they forgive others who trespass against us.
You might very well say, “But wait, you mean my being forgiven hinges upon whether I have forgiven people who have hurt me?”
Forgiving those who have hurt us is one of the most difficult acts we humans need to learn. Being able to forgive begins to happen as a by-product of an ongoing healing process. That process includes being able to let go of feelings – whatever they are – feelings of hurt, resentment and hatred, to bitterness, anger, and the desire for revenge, to shame and the determination not to be vulnerable anymore.
Forgiveness is difficult. To be able to forgive does involve a stage of healing,...
In the Gospel of John Chapter 4:7-15, we read the story of Jesus at the well when a Samaritan woman comes to draw water. Jesus asks her for a drink.
The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?” Jesus said to her, “Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him...
I’m thinking my way through some steps to healing from spiritual abuse. How do we heal from such atrocities? Is it totally the Lord who swoops in and performs an outright miracle? He certainly could. Perhaps he does in some cases.
But is that how our healing always takes place? Or can we play a part in our healing? What does the process look like? Are there steps to go through? The following list is not meant to be comprehensive. And they’re not in any particular order. It’s simply what I’m thinking about today. See what you think.