Have you ever opened up a jewelry box to get out a necklace and found a tangled mess of chains, watches, and bracelets? This is the way our memories and emotions can get when we’ve experienced hurt from a friend.
We have all been in that occasional bad relationship or had hurt feelings from a spouse, friend, or family member. You may have even been in an abusive relationship. These feelings can run deep with memories that replay over and over in our minds.
Marooning us in time, they make us unable to move on and can serve as triggers in other relationships. Clinging to resentment, pain, offense, and bitterness can become shackles that bind us and hold us captive, making it impossible to function as God designed us.
There is a way out. It is called forgiveness.
First, let me tell you what forgiveness is not. It is not condoning wrong or evil, it is not blindly trusting, and it is not returning to an abusive relationship. On the other hand, it is letting go of debt, leaving that person in the hands of God, and being free of all that keeps us captive. This is the way to healing! Being able to forgive is removing ourselves from the Judge’s seat. The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:14-15 ESV, if we forgive what has been done to us, then God will forgive us for everything we have done as well.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Like the tangle of chains in the jewelry box, unforgiveness entangles our hearts, souls, and minds, and memories with the person who has offended, hurt or traumatized us. But God, by our forgiveness of others, will untangle us and give us freedom.God, by our forgiveness of others, will untangle us and give us freedom. @DPavlantos #VineWords #Forgiveness Click To Tweet
Through this freedom, we can now receive healing for our hearts, souls, and memories. God is the only one who can separate our pain from our memories. Ask Him and He will do it. Once he does, there is healing!
Psalm 147:3 ESV says,
He [The Lord] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Please share a time when you forgave an offender even when the person did not deserve to be forgiven. What does this teach you about the forgiveness Jesus gave mankind that we did not deserve?
Heavenly Father, When You taught us to pray, You told us to say, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” You have forgiven me of many things, and You ask me to forgive those who have hurt or wounded me. Lord, right now I ask You to forgive me for my unforgiveness and heal my heart. I give You those who have offended and wounded me (Name names here). I ask that You bless them, change their hearts, and bring healing to them as well. You are a good, loving Father who does not treat me as my sins deserve. Thank You for healing and restoration. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2019: Finding Healing from Unhealthy Relationships: Author Stephanie Pavlantos: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
Stephanie Pavlantos is passionate about getting people into God’s Word. She is working on a Bible study entitled Jewels of Hebrews. She and her husband, Mike, have been married for 26 years and have three college students, Matthew, Alexandria, and Michael. She is a published writer for Refresh Bible study magazine, Charisma magazine, and Christian Broadcasting Network.
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