Forgiven but Not Healed?

When “Forgiveness” Does Not Bring Healing

By Grantley Morris

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My mission is to comfort hurting people and most certainly not to send anyone on a guilt trip about the vexed issue of forgiving people. If you feel you cannot forgive or that you have forgiven and that it has not helped you find peace, I’m here to support you.

I must begin by comforting those who feel misunderstood, falsely condemned or bewildered because they truly have forgiven and still reel in inner pain.

Despite being a critical key to inner healing, forgiveness is not a cure-all. Sadly, however, it is often mistakenly touted as such by people who are too ignorant to understand all the other factors involved in full healing. This oversimplification can result in much needless confusion and condemnation.

If someone were terrified of spiders, forgiving spiders would not cause his fear to suddenly vanish. That might seem a ridiculous example but people can end up crippled by all sorts of fears because of other people’s cruelty, and forgiving their actions will not, of itself, instantly free them from their fears or other adverse reactions to the trauma they had suffered. Consider a war veteran returning to the safety of home who hits the ground whenever a car backfires, is continually on hyper-alert, suffers nightmares about being bombed, and so on. Forgiving his enemies cannot by itself be expected to heal him of every trace of his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

No matter how much you forgave someone who broke your leg, that leg would still hurt and still need treatment and, even with treatment, still take quite some time to heal. It would not only be utter stupidity for someone to conclude you have not fully forgiven, just because your leg still hurts, to air that opinion would be an act of cruelty. Psychological wounds are just as real as physical wounds; healing from inner pain takes time and treatment, just as much as broken bones. And just as some physical wounds can be superficial and heal quickly but some can leave a person crippled or in pain for years, so it is with inner wounds.

There are links at the end of this webpage to help you with factors in addition to forgiveness that are needed for inner healing. Forgiving others remains important for healing, however, and forgiveness is so complex that most of us mistakenly have the “been there; done that attitude” when we have not enjoyed the full benefits because we are yet to experience the full journey. Let’s explore this.

Forgiving an enemy is a prolonged adventure; a bold experiment in Christlikeness, like a pioneer exploring uncharted realms. The adventurer typically feels iced over by the solitude of the journey and yet the heart-warming reality is that no-one commencing this pilgrimage wanders alone but enters into intimate union with the One who suffered unspeakable agony to secure the forgiveness of his enemies in the hope that his love would transform them into people of honor.

When people who have been deeply hurt assure me that they have fully forgiven, I have my doubts. It’s not that for a moment I question their sincerity. The dilemma plaguing us all is that full forgiveness is such a long, complicated journey to Christlikeness and fulfillment. The inevitable consequence is that after making highly commendable progress we humans typically presume we have finally arrived when we have still have even further to go. Whenever I remind people of this it is not as a putdown but as a source of hope; like telling someone recovering from years of illness who thinks he has reached peak health that he can look forward to eventually feeling even better.

Just because you do not feel angry or bitter toward someone does not mean you are enjoying the benefits of forgiving the person. For example, I point out elsewhere that if someone stole money from you without you realizing it, you might not have the slightest ill-feeling toward him, but you have not even begun forgiving him for his crime. Or how could you claim to have fully forgiven someone who stole $10,000 from you if you refused to admit to yourself that so much money was involved and you forgave him only for stealing $500?

So forgiveness has nothing to do with living in a fantasy world of trying to convince yourself that what happened was not so terrible after all. It is not saying, “What you did does not matter” or “It wasn’t your fault,” or “You couldn’t help it,” or “There were extenuating circumstances.”

Full forgiveness is about facing the cold, hard facts. It cannot commence until fully admitting to yourself the gravity of the offense. But many of us don’t want to go there. We fear that it would be too painful and/or if we fully admitted to ourselves the magnitude of the offense we would find it too hard to forgive.

One would be advised to put it far less bluntly, but for a Christian, forgiving someone is, in effect, telling the person:

    “Your crimes against me are so atrocious and the punishment you deserve is so horrific that I find it almost inconceivable that my debt to divine justice is overwhelmingly greater. Nevertheless, I stand appalled at Jesus’ chilling revelation that this is so. [In Jesus’ parable, our debt to divine justice is more than half a million times greater than what the person who mistreated us owes us.]

    When my eyes can eventually pierce the murk of my hypocrisy and the shock finally wears off, I know I will spend eternity basking in the extravagance of God’s love in bearing in his very person the full devastating magnitude of the punishment my sins deserve. Let me celebrate my undeserved pardon – the ecstasy of my escape from the endless horror my sins deserve – by forgiving you as freely and fully as I have been forgiven.”

Those last words are critical to our whole capacity to forgive: “ . . . as freely and fully as I have been forgiven.” This, of course, is very scriptural:

    Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

    Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

    (Emphasis mine.).

I am reminded of this Scripture:

    1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

What inspires and empowers Christians to love and forgive is the thrilling awareness of how stupendously God loves and forgives them. Should, however, you have difficulty grasping the full extent to which God freely and fully forgives, holding nothing against you, it will markedly sap your motivation. If you lack this certainty, fire yourself up by reading Forgiving Yourself Made Easy: Wondrous Peace for the Guilt-Ridden Conscience and the pages it leads to. When you are hard on yourself or you imagine God is hard on you, it is not easy to be soft toward others.

The alternative reason for lacking motivation to forgive someone, however, is to be so drunk with pride and hypocrisy as to imagine that our sin against God is more excusable and worthy of forgiveness than that person’s hideous sin against us. This delusion is terrifyingly serious because the same Jesus who was so tender with those crushed by awareness of their sinfulness, raged in fury at those who considered themselves better than other people.

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Suppose Jerry explodes in anger in front of you, spewing out venom about this “rich guy” who had cheated him out of $2,800. Jerry insists that this “no-good scum” should be thrown in jail. He is adamant about involving the police and doing everything in his power to destroy the man’s reputation.

What Jerry does not realize is that this “rich guy” is a close friend of yours who had suffered financial reversal after financial reversal and then fell into devastatingly serious debt over medical expenses trying to keep alive his dying child. Things grew increasingly desperate until, seeing no alternative, he turned to loan sharks. Had you known, you would have given him money but he already owed you much and he was just too embarrassed to ask for even more. Things continued to deteriorate until finally the loan shark’s thugs, after mercilessly beating him, gave him twenty-four hours to come up with the money before they finished him off. That’s what drove him to steal $2,800 from Jerry.

Fifteen years ago, Jerry used to work for you and had embezzled you out of $125,000 before you finally discovered it. Petrified of the long jail term he faced, Jerry begged you not to go to the police; promising to pay you in full, but you knew his promise was empty words. Having gambled away the entire sum, there was no way he could pay you back. Seeing the terror and desperation on his face, you relented and not only kept quiet about his crime but totally released him from the debt. Jerry overcame his gambling problem and went on to become a highly respected businessman, with no one but you knowing his sordid past.

This is how it is with us (Matthew 18:22-35). We have been grievously sinned against and cannot conceive of any pressures that could have forced anyone to act so atrociously. Nevertheless, no matter how ignorant we might be of the inner turmoil affecting the person who hurt us, he/she was still wrong and fully deserves punishment. Our shame, however, is that we have been faking our respectability for so long that we have ended up believing our own hypocrisy and actually think ourselves better than the person who so seriously wronged us. We are so self-obsessed that we are acutely aware of how deeply we have been hurt and remain oblivious to how much more than that our sins have devastated God; betraying his trust, offending his holiness and sending his tender heart – sensitized to inconceivable extremes by infinite love – reeling in agony.

We find all the excuses in the world for our inexcusable acts. We are brilliant at minimizing our own wrongdoing and seeing with 20/20 accuracy the gravity of what we have suffered. Yes, the Holy One loves us despite us being so despicable, but he is Judge of the entire world and it is required of any judge to be totally impartial. God would have to be corrupt to love you without caring about how you treat those who have hurt you. To be righteous, the Judge of all humanity must be as merciful toward them as he has been toward you.

Hypocrisy is having the audacity to want the Holy Judge to defile himself with double standards. It is expecting God to treat our enemies by a different standard to how he treats us. Our hypocrisy, however, will never turn God into a hypocrite.

I have seen resentment written this way: re-sent-ment. To send back what was sent to you makes you as guilty as the other person, thus rendering you worthy of the same divine judgment.

In the enormity of his love, the Judge has made it possible by Christ’s sacrifice for us to choose whether we will be judged by grace or by what our sins deserve. We choose how our eternal fate is determined by deciding whether we will treat our enemies by grace or by what their sins deserve.

    Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    Matthew 7:2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

    James 2:13  . . . judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. . . .

    (For other scriptures, see God will treat us like we treat others)

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Justice demands “an eye for an eye.” Unforgiveness tells the offender, “I refuse to release you from your debt to justice.” In fact, when we don’t forgive we become so obsessed with the payment that we condemn ourselves to misery, effectively telling ourselves, “I refuse to be happy until I see that person pay in full.” In effect, we keep endlessly tormenting ourselves with the thought, “He/she owes me . . . He/she owes me . . . He/she owes me . . .” And what buries us even deeper into infuriating hopelessness and despondency is the nagging awareness that it is like demanding blood from a stone. Even if the offender desperately wanted to put things right, there is usually nothing he/she can do to adequately compensate us for what we have suffered.

Our fixation on what we are owed, keeps us feeling miserably deprived and dependent upon the offender – feeling that unless he/she does something or something happens to him/her, we can never be happy.

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is escaping this degrading cycle of despair and dependency. Forgiveness is to be free at last; victoriously declaring, “My happiness is no longer chained to what the offender does or suffers. He/she owes me nothing. To the last drop of sweat and blood, the horrendous penalty that atrocious sin deserves has already been paid in full by Jesus’ agonizing death. Moreover, I look in breathless anticipation to the mind-bogglingly supernatural way the Almighty will turn this evil around for my good and will spend eternity lavishing me with never-ending compensations.” Instead of languishing over our relentless sense of loss, we are able to lift high our heads and celebrate the victory. Feeling enriched, this new attitude transforms us, empowering us with all that it takes to truly move on with life and become the spiritual high achievers we are divinely destined to be.

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The Quest for Matchless Beauty

I’ve heard “experts” hoping to coax people to forgive by claiming that forgiveness is not for the offender’s sake but for one’s own sake. But how could people with such a mean-spirited, self-centered attitude that they need such motivation ever hope to escape the mud of self-preoccupation enough to stop wallowing in their own problems?

It is true that bitterness makes ugly and undesirable someone who would otherwise be attractive. And it is true that a bitter person usually hurts himself significantly more than the one who is not forgiven. Nevertheless, forgiving others ushers in far loftier things than that.

Of all the benefits of forgiveness, the greatest is in becoming more like Christ – and Christ was never self-seeking. If “What’s in it for me?” was never a consideration for Jesus, no one can claim to be his follower without longing to be equally uncontaminated by such a mindset. With the greatest of all forgivers as our Inspiration and Empowerment we must seek to rid ourselves of such ugliness.

Godliness is its own reward. What greater honor can there possibly be than to grow more like God? Weep for those who, like a moth with a suicidal attraction to fire, know no better than to crave what is fake and superficial. Fleeting human fame and fleshly beauty are as tacky wrapping paper concealing maggots, relative to the never-ending beauty and grace of Christlikeness.

Forgiving our enemies walks hand in hand with healing from the inner wounds those enemies inflicted. Nevertheless, there is more to healing than just forgiving. Just as we can unknowingly side-step full forgiveness by living in denial of the real magnitude of the offence, so inner healing eludes those refusing to face full-on the ghosts and the pain of the past.

By putting us on the same side as God, forgiving others releases the Healing Lord deep into our hurting pasts – provided we trust him enough to invite him in. No matter how much he longs to help, a surgeon respects people by not operating on them without their consent. Likewise, our Soul Surgeon respects us by mustering the divine power required to restrain his supernaturally intense yearning to help; forcing himself to wait until we finally agree to yield to his healing intervention.

No matter how much I forgive someone for physically wounding me, I will continue to be in pain until the wound heals. Forgiving someone is no excuse for not seeing a doctor. So it is with inner wounds: forgiving someone is no excuse for not seeing a counselor.

Above all, we must remember that as essential as forgiveness is for healing, the goal of forgiveness is not healing but something infinitely more precious: Christlikeness.

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Easier Than it Seems?

Years of supporting people as they resolve painful issues has taught me that forgiveness is often more complex than I had imagined. Nevertheless, it would be doing you a grave disservice to overemphasize the complexities.

If mistakenly supposing we have arrived will stop us from progressing, we can be equally hindered by overestimating the distance to go. We can wrongly think the journey is so daunting that we give up.

The reality is that we can fairly easily keep progressing on the road to full forgiveness. For example, even if our heart is not in it, we can force ourselves to “pray for those who mistreat us” (Luke 6:28) whenever the memory of their misdeeds afflict us. Even if we do nothing else, this brings God into the frame and will slowly soften us.

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To all but the most spiritually experienced readers, the truth I am about to expound will seem so off the planet that I am reluctant to touch it, lest in the eyes of many it undermines the credibility of this entire webpage. That would be a tragedy because those most likely to be incredulous are the very people who most need the rest of this webpage. Nevertheless, you have a right to know the truth of God’s Word, no matter how impossible it might seem.

Take a long, hard look at the following Scripture, asking yourself if you can truly believe the words, “all things:”

    Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Does the Almighty really have the power to do that?

Is there really truth in the oft-repeated observation that whatever does not kill us makes us stronger?

Consider Joseph: sold into slavery by his brothers, then betrayed by Potiphar’s wife and incarcerated as a rapist, then forgotten by the court official whose dream he had kindly interpreted. All those acts of treachery might have seemed one meaningless disaster after another and yet he held on, forgiving his brothers and others until he could triumphantly tell them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good . . .” (Genesis 50:20).

Yes, there was evil in the hearts of those who mistreated Joseph, and the Holy One has no partnership with evil. Nevertheless, the All-Powerful One who tells us to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21) never asks of us what he does not do himself. In the lives of those who love him he totally defeats evil by turning it into good.

Remember the book of Esther in which Haman plotted the destruction of all Jews and yet it ended with their enemies being wiped out everywhere from India to Egypt (Esther 8:9 ff).

Can you truly believe Jesus?

    Matthew 5:9-11 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

    Luke 6:22-23 Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. . . .

    (Emphasis mine.)

The apostle Paul reeled under more cruelty than perhaps a hundred average people put together would suffer in a lifetime. Was Paul delusional when, in the very letter in which he listed all his whippings, stonings and so on, (2 Corinthians 11:23-28) he wrote the following?

    2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Was James for real?

    James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

What about Peter?

    1 Peter 4:12-14 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

You are far too precious to God for him to let your suffering be a useless waste. As extreme conditions turn carbon into diamonds, the Almighty applies his astounding abilities to ensure the extremes you have suffered produce things of immense value in your life.

What would you be willing to go through in order to be able to “live happily ever after” [about fifty years, max] in marital bliss? If you cannot imagine being with God as better than the best marriage, the problem is not with God but with your imagination and your lack of intimacy with him. How much would you endure to gain a billion dollars? How much would you sacrifice for the sake of a loved one? We should love God even more, not merely because the Bible tells us to (Mark 12:30; Luke 14:26) but because no one else is as lovable, nor loves us nor has done anywhere near as much for us.

If women by the millions consider it worth the agony of childbirth to hold a baby who ends up growing and leaving home; if adventurers endure astounding hardship and suffering for the fleeting honor of being acclaimed a great achiever and hero; if athletes embrace years of pain and sacrifice because they believe Olympic gold makes it all worthwhile, how many years of joy and worldwide honor would it take to make it worth what you have suffered at the hands of some heartless person? A thousand? Ten thousand? Well, a hundred thousand years make not the slightest dent in eternity and a great forgiver is acclaimed a spiritual hero worthy of endless honor not only by contemporaries but by every generation, and not just by humans but by angels and God himself.

What made the great apostle so sure that eternal glory “far outweighs” the worst injustices anyone can suffer in a lifetime? He unravels the mystery in that same letter: he was granted a glimpse of heaven (2 Corinthians 12).

If we suffer with the Lord of glory, not only shall we live for all eternity with the most exciting Person in the entire universe, the glorious King of kings, we shall reign with him (Scriptures). Who can conceive of the breath-taking implications hidden in that word “reign”?

The Bible regards King Balak hiring Balaam to curse the Israelites as a grave threat to the nation. We must not get sidetracked by delving into a discussion of the supernatural power of certain blessings and curses. I’ll simply point out that God takes this incident with extreme seriousness, with not just four chapters devoted to detailing the events but the Almighty refers to it at least eight more times throughout his Word (Numbers 31:14-16; Deuteronomy 23:4-5; Joshua 24:9-10; Nehemiah 13:2; Micah 6:5; 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11; Revelation 2:14). Some people’s blessings and curses have little effect but Balaam’s were very different.

    Numbers 22:6 Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the country. For I know that those you bless are blessed, and those you curse are cursed.

That might boggle your mind but let’s just accept it for now and zero in on what this historic event has to teach us that is of vital importance to our current discussion.

Balaam was hired to spiritually cripple the nation. It would have given the Moabites military preeminence, allowing them to slaughter countless thousands of Israelites. And even without the military implications, the spiritual nature of the curse could have devastated the entire nation for generations. But God turned this evil plot on its head so that the nation ended up blessed and empowered. Here’s a condensed version:

    Numbers 23:7-8,10-12,20-24; Then Balaam uttered his oracle: “Balak brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains. ‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel.’

    How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the LORD has not denounced? . . . Who can count the dust of Jacob or number the fourth part of Israel? [i.e. they will be fruitful and multiply.] Let me die the death of the righteous [i.e. the Israelites] , and may my end be like theirs!”

    Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but you have done nothing but bless them!”

    He answered, “Must I not speak what the LORD puts in my mouth?  . . . I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it. No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel. The LORD their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them. God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’ The people rise like a lioness; they rouse themselves like a lion that does not rest till he devours his prey and drinks the blood of his victims.”

    Numbers 24:10 Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam. He struck his hands together and said to him, “I summoned you to curse my enemies, but you have blessed them these three times. . . .”

The malicious attack they had no control over could do nothing but prosper them. Nevertheless, disaster rained upon the Israelites. What hurt them horrifically – 24,000 ended up dead – was being seduced into sin by Balaam’s cunning scheme to use pagan women to get Israelites to willingly corrupt themselves (Numbers 25:1-9; 31:14-16; Revelation 2:14).

I didn’t want us side-tracked because what God wants to reveal to us by this incident is not the power of curses but that God protects his people. Us refusing to be Godlike is the only thing that can stymie God’s plans to turn vicious attacks into blessing.

Yes, in the short-term it often seems that evil triumphs but, with God on our side, our enemies can ultimately only end up blessing us, just like dumping repulsive manure on flower beds causes them to bloom like never before. The only one who can end up permanently hurting us is ourselves, by refusing to act according to God’s ways.

For years I kept telling a dear friend of mine that all the appalling sex abuse she had suffered from her neighbor as a child and all the deeply scarring parental abuse inflicted on her and the horror upon horror she suffered as an adult would end up achieving so much good in her life that the rewards would not only totally eclipse her decades of agony but so greatly outweigh them that she would consider it well worth all her suffering. I told her it would make her a woman of deep compassion and wisdom, empowering her to be used of God to transform the lives of countless people to whom the average Christian acts as a Job’s comforter, merely adding to their torment. There will be people praising and honoring both her and God for all eternity for all the good flowing from her intense suffering. I said all the decades of beastly cruelty inflicted on her would end up strengthening her and deepening her walk with God so immensely that she would end up forever praising God for it all.

For years she kept thinking I was crazy to say that. Now, however, she is indeed beginning to see so much good flowing from all the atrocities she had suffered that the rewards and joyous fulfillment I assured her would be hers are no longer some far-fetched theory but a fact of life.

If we are called to follow the One who prayed, “Father, forgive them,” while they drove nails through his hands and feet, let’s remember that Jesus’ journey took him to such victory, glory, honor and rich, eternal fellowship with us that it was for the joy that it would produce that Jesus endured his betrayal and torture (Hebrews 12:2).

Sadly, despite paying lip service to “in all things God works for the good of those who love him . . .” few of us believe God’s determination to devote his infinite power to transforming every attack against us, his beloved, into something that ends up richly blessing us. To our puny minds it seems impossible that good could eventuate from the evil we have suffered. So rather than believe God, we think it really must be impossible. But it isn’t. The only thing that can stop this inevitability is if we sabotage God’s plans to bless us by refusing to do things God’s way, such as refusing to forgive those who have hurt us.

God’s truth is so astounding that it rattles us to the core and few of us can muster the faith to believe it until we eventually begin to see it unfolding in our lives. Nevertheless, if you keep on with God, here is the truth that will eventually be worked out in everyone’s life:

    Wait long enough for God to do his work and you will discover that the greatest hurt anyone can cause merely ends up furthering your own good. In the final analysis, it is only the hurt you cause yourself by not forgiving that ends up hurting you.

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Fitting the Pieces

God’s blessings flow into our lives at the rate that we let them flow out to our enemies. Unforgiveness is a dead weight keeping us from the heights at which we would otherwise soar.

Overcoming evil with good, loving our enemies, turning the other cheek and blessing those who curse us is spiritual heroism. It is taking up our cross and following Jesus on the road to glory; remembering that it was for the joy set before him our crucified Lord endured (Hebrews 12:1-2). Forgiving is the way of joy because it is the way of love – not the fickle, flimsy puff of emotion that inflates hopes and fizzles into disappointment, but anyone taking this journey is bathed in the indestructible dependability of love that is tougher than diamonds and gentler than the sweetest caress; the unwaning, inexhaustible, supernaturally powered love of the Eternal Lord whose tenderness is as boundless as his faithfulness.

Forgiveness is a spiritual pilgrimage crammed with so many unexpected twists and turns and traps that we can’t make it without divine guidance and empowering. This webpage has touched on just a few of the complications, and the links below reveal still others and provide considerable help.

It hurts to forgive. It hurts even more not to forgive. And pain is so intensely personal that it is isolating. How many people have snapped at someone claiming to know how a hurting person feels? And yet, with God, the tables are turned. Superficial friends share superficial feelings; deep friends share their deepest feelings. This is why the apostle Paul yearned for the privilege of knowing intimately the most exciting Person in the universe and “the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10).

No matter how impossible and lonely the adventure of forgiveness can feel, the all-knowing Lord truly understands, the God of love feels your pain as his very own, the God of infinite wisdom is eager to guide, and the all-powerful One is keen to place the humanly impossible within your grasp. All he asks is that we not assume we have already arrived or that we know it all but that we keep seeking him so that we might not just share his joy and revel in the intimacy of companionship with the most beautiful and exciting Person in the universe but that we might end up more like him.

More Help with Forgiveness

Other Factors in Healing from Past Hurts

Each link will lead you to more links, but please note the web address of this webpage so that you can keep returning for further valuable links. Here’s a short webpage to get one started: Courage to Heal from Inner Pain but please come back here for more.

God is our healer and to keep him at a distance will severely limit his healing in our lives and yet this is what we will do if we fear that God is harsh or the cause of suffering. For much comfort and help with these issues, please see all the links on:

How Much Does God Love Me? Receiving your personal Revelation of God’s Love

God & Suffering: Understanding the Goodness of God

Another helpful webpage on this topic is Afraid of God

It is critical for healing to face the reality and depth of our past suffering. Too often we think we are honoring God by burying memories or ignoring them hurts, when we are actually acting like the Israelites failing to enter the Promised Land through fear of giants. For help with this, see Positive Confession? Or Living in Denial

Looking at this from angle, we can mistakenly think it unchristian to get in touch with our feelings and truly grieve. This belief has the superficial appearance of being spiritual but it is actually unbiblical and contrary to God’s ways. For help with this, see Real Christians Grieve

It likewise makes superficial sense to presume that it is unspiritual to seek the help of a counselor or therapist. The Almighty needs the help of no-one. Nevertheless, over and over God in his Word reveals that he prefers to work through people. God, Counselors & Inner Healing: Divine Healing of Inner Pain explores this important matter. Here’s one of many enticing quotes from that page:

    Whenever the God of infinite intelligence acts, expect to be mystified. A common mistake when guessing how the Almighty will move is to presume it will be stunningly quick and dramatic, and when it isn’t, we are left scratching our heads.

When it comes to seeking medical treatment, such as anti-depressants, it seems even more unspiritual. For surprising reasons why this is not so, see The Use of Medicine and Doctors: A Christian Perspective and Medical Treatment of Mental Illness: A Christian View

For help with healing from specific afflictions, see:

For Much More Help with Forgiveness:

Personalized support
Grantley Morris:

© 2011, 2015 Grantley Morris. May be freely copied in whole or in part provided: it is not altered; this entire paragraph is included; readers are not charged and it is not used in a webpage. Many more compassionate, inspiring, sometimes hilarious writings available free online at  Freely you have received, freely give. For use outside these limits, consult the author.

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