Take the first step towards forgiveness and emotional healing
Updated: Feb 26
How many people are hurting! We get betrayed, physically hurt, stolen from, tormented, mentally and emotionally abused, put down and we go on with a painful memory. I’ve spoken with elderly people who are still bitter about a hurtful event that happened 50 years earlier in their lives.
Even though the problems were not of our own making, there is no reason for those problems to take over an entire life.
We can’t change what happened to us. We can’t undo the damage but we can ask for God’s help and we can begin again. Here are the 4 steps that I found helped me.
1. We need determination to make the first move and leave the past in the past. "I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal" (Phil. 3:13-14 Phillips). I ask God to be with me and to help me bravely move forward.
2. I forgive those who have wronged me so that those people no longer own any space in my head. I forgive them just as I want Jesus to forgive me (Ephesians 4:32). I find praying for people (and I know this is really hard!) helps me see them as ordinary people with their own problems. I keep praying for them to be forgiven, even seventy times seven, until the pain inside me has gone (Matt. 18:21-22). Forgiveness is for you, as much as it is for them. It doesn’t condone their behaviour but it allows you to move on.
3. I stop thinking about the evil that those people have done to me. The minute my mind wants to remember I consciously stifle the memory so that in time the memory fades. “Without wood a fire goes out” (Prov. 26:20 NIV). Eventually, the anguish will die.
4. I look to tomorrow and the good things ahead for me. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11 NIV).
Dear Lord. Please help me to forgive as You have forgiven me. Set me free of the pain that I have endured and keep my spirit sweet. Thank you for helping me to let go and move forward. Keep my mind on You. In the name of Jesus I ask all of these things. Amen.