Free Therapy

Serious, Do-It-Yourself Healing
Of inner pain, anger or distress from trauma, bereavement, divorce, breakup, abuse, tragedy, etc

Compassionate Help

This Webpage in Russian

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Whether the emotional pain be from bereavement, relationship breakup, post traumatic stress disorder, family disputes, financial disaster, or whatever, the deepest part of a person can seem incurably wounded. You, however, can be among the countless thousands who have discovered the secret to healing.


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If you have suffered rape or sexual interference there is a version of this page just for you:
Do-It-Yourself Healing from Sexual Abuse





This webpage addresses a key factor in healing from:

Bereavement



Inner Pain



Divorce



Anger



Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)



Trauma



Self-harm



Guilt



Resentment



Child Abuse



Low Self-Esteem



Ridicule



Tragedy



Relationship Break Up



Job Loss



Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)



Perfectionism



Anxiety



Insomnia



Domestic Violence



Depression



Grief



Self-condemnation



This webpage also addresses a key factor in healing from the emotional consequences of:

Natural Disasters


Being a Crime Victim



Spiritual Abuse



Disability



Financial Problems



Marital Problems



Serious Illness



Abortion



Disfigurement



Family Disputes



Serious Accidents



Birth Defects



The Actions of One’s Children



Poor Life Choices

Few of those who are heroes in my eyes see themselves in that light. Instead, they are pounded by low self-esteem and condemn themselves mercilessly. If you have endured distress or torment for quite some time, you are most likely worthy not only of deep compassion, but deep admiration. This webpage is not about empathizing with those who are heroically battling inner pain or depression, however. I have other pages where that is the focus. This page grapples with the tough issues on which healing hinges.

Sadly, time does not heal. Time affords us opportunities to find healing, but the mere passing of time accomplishes nothing. Our bodies will heal a minor flesh wound without our conscious intervention, and so in that case it might seem that time heals. Even with the physical, however, a more serious wound will require conscious treatment to avoid dangerous complications. With inner wounds, the pain and distress will still be with you when you are a grandparent, unless you find full healing. There is no need for alarm, however. Healing is available.

Part of what makes us human is having an acute sense of right and wrong and a compelling need to apportion blame. The range of things that can trigger the blame treadmill is enormous. Examples include relationship breakup, job loss, domestic violence, financial reversal, bereavement, trauma, serious illness, birth defects, disability, natural disaster, ridicule, unpopularity, family disputes, crime, tragedy, and on and on we could go.

It turns out that the extent of your healing teeters upon where you put the blame. The usual choices end up tormenting us year after year but there is one that brings the relief we desperately need. Chances are that certain parts of the following will seem of little relevance and yet warrant more of your attention than you expect. Deep down, matters we have rarely concerned ourselves with, or seem fully resolved, are likely to at least occasionally gnaw away at us. Even after significant progress we can often find still deeper levels of peace and healing we wish we had discovered earlier. Let’s explore the common and not so common choices in a passionate search for the option that liberates us into healing and wholeness.


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What Can We Do With The Blame?

1. We could choose to heap the blame and shame upon ourselves

    Note: Most of this section is repeated in part of another of my webpages. So if you have already read Cure for Self-Hate feel free to skip to the next part, but please read the rest of this page because it has many important insights.

What torment this option brings! So many precious lives have been ruined or tragically shortened by unfounded or hideously distorted feelings of guilt and worthlessness. Young men and women of high morals can become so brainwashed into wrongly thinking themselves to be ‘trash’ that they end up needlessly cheapening themselves.

Even if you truly have acted despicably and are highly blameworthy, however, you will still need to get past this and move on. Tormenting yourself helps no one. We will briefly address those who needlessly blame themselves but further on in this webpage you will discover that even if you were as blameworthy as your worst nightmares, your hope would still be boundless. If you really are guilty of appalling atrocities, recovering from your past offenses in a morally and psychologically effective way is as important and as possible for you, as it is for the most innocent of people.

Let’s for the moment, however, look at some common reasons for people being mistakenly convinced that something is their fault.

    * Hindsight is Unrealistic

    An obvious factor in self-blame is that hindsight empowers us to see with far greater clarity than was possible at the time. What is obvious afterwards, is seldom so obvious before events unfold. What at the time seemed a remote possibility looks certain after it happens. It is common when grieving the loss of a loved one, for example, to blame ourselves for things that were at the time largely beyond our control and/or ability to predict.

    In real life, a person is often caught off guard and when things escalate he or she is paralyzed by shock.

    If you had suffered previous traumas that had certain similarities to a later predicament, instead of those experiences making you wiser, they could actually deaden your ability to avoid the situation, due to the crippling psychological force known as learned helplessness. The tauma of having once been subjected to a situation in which resistance was useless or achieved nothing (a child being overpowered or outwitted by an adult, for example) programs us to expect that in a similar situation, resistance will again be useless. This is explained far more convincingly in a link at the end of this page, but we need to move on.

    * The Dangers of Low Self-Esteem

    Another factor triggering self-blame is that it is common for people who are hurting to have been relentlessly brainwashed in their most impressionable years that they are “hopeless” or “bad” or “can’t do a thing right” or are “not as capable as their brother or sister.” These lies eventually come to be accepted as truth by the victims of these putdowns. Tragically, these lies often begin in people’s most impressionable years, breaking their self-esteem to the point where they settle for abusive partners, who further erode their self-esteem.

    Once our self-image hardens, we filter all new information to conform to our self-image. So when people say positive things about us, we disbelieve them or it hardly registers with us that the words were ever spoken, whereas we latch on to every negative comment as confirmation of our mistaken beliefs about ourselves.

    It is not uncommon to unconsciously surround ourselves with people who reinforce our poor self-image and to feel uncomfortable around more positive and/or well-respected or esteemed people. It is astounding, for example, how many daughters of alcoholics end up marrying alcoholics, despite promising themselves they would never do so. Even though we can only reform ourselves, never someone else, often these people marry alcoholics because they feel a strong compulsion to prove they can reform an alcoholic, since they see their father’s continued alcoholism as proof that they had failed. Of course, by entering such a marriage, they are setting themselves up for more pain and more experiences that they will mistakenly interpret as confirmation that they are “failures.”

    Perhaps because he was not the first father she had known, a friend of mine regarded her step-father’s alcoholism as her mother’s responsibility and so felt no pressure to marry an alcoholic. However, her father’s actions caused her to feel unloved. This led her to marry the first man who would have her, since she presumed that no one else ever would. Her thirty-eight years of marriage were unhappy, largely because she had chosen to marry someone who was not good at communicating his love and she kept interpreting his every word and action to line up with her conviction that she was unlovable.

    I know someone whose mother has the psychological disorder of narcissism and is impossible to please. It seems more than coincidence that, until my friend grew in self-esteem, she kept ending up in jobs in which the boss was a female who was as impossible to please as her mother. In one job, her boss made enemies of everyone. In another, the boss surrounded herself with women whose spirit was broken because they came from abuse backgrounds and kept putting them down. My friend was only vaguely aware that her motivation in her job choices was to prove herself capable of winning the approval of someone like her mother, since she had failed to do this as a child. She picked jobs with bosses so much like her mother, however, that no one could ever win their approval. So my friend kept being put down, with the result that all her life experiences seemed to confirm her false self-image.

    The ways we can perpetuate a false self-image are almost endless, and men are just as susceptible as women. For example, I always assumed I was too undesirable for any woman to ever date me and I was never proved wrong because I was so sure that every woman would reject me that I never dared ask anyone for a date.

    For someone with low self-esteem, blaming oneself can feel so right that the person might not even bother to rationally examine the matter.

    Rebuilding one’s self-image can be as challenging as rebuilding a bombed house, and to break the habit of continually thinking negatively about ourselves can be as difficult as it is for a heavy smoker to quit smoking. At the end of this page is a valuable link about how to complete the challenging task, but it is best to leave it until completing this page.

    * An Attempt to Feel in Control

    If the real offender were not you but someone emotionally important to you or someone you are dependent upon – a lover or family member, for example – the thought of concluding that that person is wrong or depraved can be so devastating that you find it easier to blame yourself than blame the offender. Wives who are economically and/or emotionally dependent upon an abusive husband, might rather believe it is their fault than try to cope with feeling trapped. To give another example, children desperately need the security of knowing that their parents are good, trustworthy people who will protect, comfort and nurture them. This need can be so intense that they will choose to believe they were at fault rather than face the terrifying reality that they are exposed to continual danger that is utterly beyond their control.

    * The High Status of the Offender

    If an offender is someone highly respected, such as a community leader, the pressure can be immense to doubt one’s own judgment, rather than doubt the abuser’s integrity. If the person is esteemed as a spiritual authority, it might seem so unthinkable that he could be wrong that his opinions are regarded as being more trustworthy than one’s own conscience or biblical interpretation. Spiritual abuse then becomes a distinct possibility.

    * If Your Distress Originated During Childhood . . .

    If you were a child when the offense occurred, additional forces come into play, although they still influence us even as adults. Children are programmed (and perhaps even have an inbuilt tendency) to respect and believe adults or much older children. Often their very survival – as well as their rapid development – hinges on it. In what only adults can recognize as a life-or-death situation, it is essential for children to obey immediately. Little children can learn and mature at the required rate only by unquestioning acceptance of what adults teach them. So when adults (or older children) do wrong, children not only lack the maturity and intellectual ability to see through the lie, they have a strong, natural urge to trust and obey.

    Adults can cruelly manipulate the emotions of their victims until tender consciences are shattered by an overwhelming burden of false guilt. If an adult insists upon secrecy, it not only inflames the conviction that something shamefully wrong is occurring, it forces victims to keep their emotions dangerously bottled up.

      * Scrupulosity

    No one’s conscience is perfect. Even St Paul saw his conscience as fallible (1 Corinthians 4:4). Certain medical or mental conditions and/or spiritual attacks, however, render a person’s conscience exceptionally unreliable, causing them to feel excessively condemned over minor lapses, or things they have no control over. Anxiety disorders, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, are a common example of conditions that can play havoc with a person’s conscience without the person having the slightest idea of the link.

Regardless of how justified our guilt feelings are, however, once self-blame starts, we soon find ourselves imprisoned by a guilt-ridden cycle of self-loathing that simply gets harder and harder to break free from, as the years grind on. The most saintly person on the planet has regrets, but once we view ourselves as unforgivable, motivation to keep doing the right thing usually vanishes in a swamp of hopelessness.

It is only natural to act out our self-image, no matter how contrary to reality that self-image is. Many of us are tempted to magnify our own guilt and underrate the guilt of ‘respectable’ people. The reality, however, is that – except for Jesus – the best of earth’s inhabitants has at some time or another done inexcusable things. Trying to pretend we have never done the inexcusable is like trying to ignore cancer. We can’t simply ignore reasons for blaming ourselves for at least some avoidable things we have done. We must somehow find a highly legitimate way to forgive ourselves. Keep reading, and you will find the answers you need.

We have listed powerful psychological forces that pressure us to falsely blame ourselves. To delve into them any further, however, would probably be counterproductive. It would most likely only cause us to shift the blame. Despite initially seeming like welcome relief, shifting the blame ends up like moving a red hot iron from burning our back to burning our stomach. What we most need – and this webpage is providing it – is an overview to see where the blame game leads.

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2. We could blame other people

The person whose action actually hurt us is the obvious target, but other possibilities are people whom we feel should have provided more protection.

Blaming people other than oneself is attractive, not only because others might undeniably deserve severe punishment, but also because blaming them sometimes seems the only way to help relieve the crushing weight of guilt (whether justified or not) upon ourselves. The problem, however, is that blaming others causes resentment and bitterness to keep infecting a hurting person’s inner wound, thus preventing healing.

It’s as though someone broke your hand. This makes you so mad that every day as you pass that person’s photo hanging on the wall, you punch it with your broken hand. The release of pent up anger might feel good, but the constant punching prolongs your agony by preventing your hand from ever healing. It turns out that a desire to see someone else suffer ends up perpetuating our own suffering.

The devastating thing is that resentment is addictive. Like a junkie, we focus so much on the temporary relief that resentment offers that we hardly realize that it inflames the downer that follows, and so the agonizing cycle continues.

To decide to make the ending of your torment dependent upon how much the offender ends up regretting what he/she did, is to decide to perpetuate your torture. It needlessly reduces your life to an on-going tragedy by permanently gluing your destiny to the person who hurt you. To make your peace and happiness dependent upon what your enemy does or what happens to him/her is to empower the person (even if he/she is now dead). It is to surrender control of your life and needlessly make yourself a victim again.

Isn’t it time to stop being your enemy’s plaything? Wouldn’t it be good to stop giving him/her control over your emotions and well-being? Don’t you long to take back that control and truly live again?

And here is another dilemma: what if what drove the offender to act so despicably is that he/she suffered enormously at the hands of someone else? For example, sex offenders often end up that way because they themselves were victims of child sex abuse. You might consider it inexcusable that anyone would end up causing someone to suffer, no matter how messed up they were by what was done to them and no matter how much they are reeling in never-ending inner pain and confusion. Nevertheless, is it right for you to consider yourself morally superior to such a person if you, too, have wanted another person to suffer as a result of what you have suffered? (In your case, the person you have wanted to suffer might be the offender, but it is still wanting someone to suffer because of what you have suffered.) Maybe you are too filled with rage to see that at present.

Despite our fanciful notions, it is unlikely that we could ever see anyone suffer so profoundly as to satisfy our lust for revenge. Moreover, as people keep discovering to their dismay, it is our pain that drives the desire for revenge and, except for Jesus, no one else’s pain can lessen our own pain. So the tragedy is that if we get stuck on the revenge path, in fifty years’ time we will still be no closer to a resolution.

I often hike in wilderness areas infested with snakes so venomous that without specialized medical treatment I might have only a couple of hours to live after being bitten. Suppose a snake bit me, then slid out of sight. I would be a fool to squander precious time angrily trying to find the snake and execute my vengeance on it. First priority must be to get medical attention.

It is critical for your own survival to focus on healing, not revenge.

Nevertheless, the offender’s actions could still be inexcusable. We are rightly infuriated at the thought of forgiving an offender, if it means what most of us think it means. Forgiveness carries no hint that the offense does not matter or it is minor, or that the victim is to blame. On the contrary, to forgive is to acknowledge that the offender is at fault. If it were not the offender’s fault, or he/she could not help it, or the offense were somehow excusable, there could be no forgiveness because there would be nothing to forgive.

For as long as we are dominated by the longing to see someone suffer, that person has succeeded in dragging us down to his despicable level. He hurt us. Now we want him to hurt. We degrade ourselves by entering the slimy world of hate. We needlessly stagger through life as a defeated person, floundering in the same moral mud in which our tormentor lives.

Regardless of how it manifests, resentment enslaves and corrupts its victims. Pathetically, people blinded by anger or hate usually feel morally superior to other people who are likewise blinded by anger or hate. Bitter people are beautiful people turned ugly. Thankfully the process is reversible, once we discover the liberating power of letting go of resentment.

We move from victim to victor only when we break free from resentment’s death-grip.

What the offender did could be blameworthy and deserving of the severest punishment. What you suffered must be avenged, and yet the irony is that if you seek revenge, you are keeping yourself from healing. This dilemma must be resolved, but how?

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3. We could blame God

Again, this option brings a degree of comfort, because it draws our attention away from ourselves, but it keeps the wound open and festering.

Just as by a cruel trick of the mind, innocent victims of domestic violence can feel justified in blaming themselves, we can feel justified in blaming God. Such feelings can be strong and yet are as tragically out of touch with reality as a dangerously skinny victim of anorexia nervosa feeling convinced that she is fat.

Here’s a tiny story to highlight in a few words the tragedy that keeps so many of us from discovering the key to healing.

    A kind, soft-hearted doctor is particularly fond of a little patient of hers. All that the little child can focus on, however, is the vaccinations the doctor gave her and the painful stitches in her cuts. To her childish mind, that caring, tender-hearted doctor is not a healer but a torturer. One day the child is strolling along the sidewalk when suddenly she sees the doctor approaching. In her panic she flees across the road and is hit by a car, breaking her leg. Of course, the first on the scene is that dreaded doctor.

    In time, her physical pain is overshadowed by the shame of walking with a severe limp. It scars her whole life, making her unpopular at school, later interfering with her marriage prospects, her career opportunities, her self image, and countless other aspects of her life.

    All of this inflames her hatred of doctors. She spends her life avoiding them and so never discovers that simple surgery would have totally cured her limp.

Like that little child, a misunderstanding causes far too many of us to waste our lives resenting and avoiding God. What makes resentment against God so tragic is that if there truly is a caring, supernatural God, then he, like no therapist in the world, would understand and feel your pain and be able to bring you healing.

The God you thought you hated isn’t real. The real God, as contrasted with the monster your imagination might have created, is tender, compassionate, and understanding. This is not an easy concept to grasp, living as we do in a world that is violently opposed to his ways of love and justice.

Blaming God keeps you from the one Person who fully understands your anguish, who offers perfect comfort, and is able to bring supernatural healing. Resenting God is ultimately as self-destructive as suicide, and as counterproductive as a drowning person fighting off his rescuer.

Hating yourself is a dead end. Hating another person keeps you in pain. And hating God is just another variation on hating another person. In fact, resenting people can be as spiritually suicidal as resenting God. Both forms of resentment build a wall between you and your Healer.


Monkeys are easily trapped by placing food behind a small opening. When they slip their hand in and grab the food, their hand becomes a fist that is bigger than the opening. Refusing to let go, they remain firmly caught until seized by hunters.

For as long as we make a fist at someone (even at ourselves, or at God) we, too, are trapped. While we hold on to our bitterness, we are unable to leave our painful past behind and get on with life. There is just one other option. It’s now time to explore it.

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4. We could find the ULTIMATE scapegoat

For an adequate resolution, someone must take the blame, and yet our dilemma is that blaming keeps us bitter. It keeps us locked into the past and reliving it over and over and over. Like spitting into the wind, the blame game keeps flying back at us; soiling us and increasing our discomfort and annoyance. What we have suffered is so horrific that whoever we choose to blame can never suffer enough to bring us peace. Blaming is like a fistfight that will never end until we decide to stop the fight, and for as long as we keep fighting, we’ll keep getting still more hurt and wounded.

But the blame has to land somewhere. Something awful has occurred. For justice to be done and your honor restored, someone should suffer big-time. But who could suffer enough to bring you peace?

Were we to indulge in wishful thinking, we might say we need a willing scapegoat – someone who could miraculously absorb all blame, and suffer so horrifically and adequately for the offense as to pay the full debt to justice finally and fully extinguish all blame, rendering you fully vindicated, and spotlessly pure.

Of course, this is ridiculous. Or is it?

The term scapegoat actually comes from the Bible. I think you’ll be surprised how much insight this ancient practice gives us into the ultimate resolution of the blame dilemma we face.

Under the Old Covenant, two goats were chosen to atone for sin. These animals were, of course, utterly innocent of any human sin, and yet the sins of the entire nation were symbolically placed on them. One of them was sacrificed, paying the ultimate price for the nation’s sins – sins that were essentially average and yet in the final analysis took no less than the death penalty for the blame to be completely eliminated. One goat – called the scapegoat – stayed alive and, after the death of the other one, was allowed to escape into the desert, symbolically taking the sins away from the people, never to be seen again.

But we need more than symbols. We need the real thing.

So far, this seems irrelevant, but please stay with me for a moment until you begin to see how it could point to the answer you have been seeking. First, some background: animal sacrifices, though hopelessly inadequate to resolve our guilt problems, were divinely instituted to point prophetically to the ultimate sacrifice. The sacrifice to end all sacrifices would have to be human, since it is humans who are blameworthy. But to end all blame, the perfect sacrificial victim would, like the goats, have to be utterly blameless. Unless he had absolute moral perfection – like no other human the world has ever seen – he would be suffering merely for his own imperfections, not for what has shattered us. This ultimate sacrifice is the One of whom John the Baptist said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.’

That two goats were needed to atone for the nation’s sins – one dying and then the other released alive – points to the death and the subsequent resurrection of Jesus, both of which were needed to resolve utterly the guilt of humanity’s offenses. Just as Jesus rose to a new life, so he has the power to give us a new life, after fully extinguishing all blame and shame.

This remains bizarre and irrelevant to your pain unless there actually is a supernatural God who loves you so intensely that humanity’s only true Innocent took upon himself all the blame, letting himself be tormented to death so that you could have his peace and purity and rise with him to a new life that begins here and now.

Studying ancient history at university proved to me the historical certainty of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. I went on to major in psychology and it was while studying that subject that I became convinced of the unique power of Jesus to do what psychology could never attain. So certain am I that this is the most powerful way of freeing people from serious afflictions, that instead of pursuing psychology after graduation, I determined to devote my life to helping people discover the supernatural power to heal and transform lives that only the eternal Son of God could achieve.

Jesus wants to take upon himself all the guilt, all the horror, and all the shame you have suffered or ever deserve. He wants every trace of filth to be dumped on him until it destroys him – which it did – because in destroying him, its power to touch you is also destroyed.

‘But Jesus had nothing to do with what I suffered,’ you object, ‘He was innocent.’ Yes, Jesus was innocent. In fact, the intensity of his innocence and purity is like white that causes every other thing that we ever thought was white to show up as gray. Relative to him, the purest of virgins, or the kindest, most saintly person is sin-stained. And yet, Christ was stripped naked, publicly exposed, humiliated, savagely beaten and his body cruelly violated until finally he died. He did that for you and me.

At first thought it seems inconceivable that an innocent man allowing himself to be tortured to death could heal someone nearly two thousand years later. You deserve an explanation. There are three difficulties in trying to explain the most significant event in all human history, however.

First, explanations are lifeless. Sitting through a lecture about the psychology of being in love, for instance, is very different to being hit by a tidal wave of head-over-heels love. The realm of God consists not of talk, but power (1 Corinthians 4:20). We need a life-changing connection to the infinite power of Almighty God, not some quaint philosophy or feel-good story.

The second difficulty is that Jesus and what he has accomplished is so unique that there is nothing in our experience that can provide an adequate comparison.

Third, even a summary of an attempted explanation would be so long as to test your patience. I want to rush you to the benefits. I touch just a few highlights in The key to supernatural healing.


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The Benefits

In his cold, rational assessment of the atrocities he had committed earlier in his life, one of Christianity’s most revered holy people – the apostle Paul – concluded that he was the greatest of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). Nevertheless, he discovered the secret of a squeaky clean conscience. This rendered him spiritually invincible, in that he was resistant to temptations to judge others harshly, because he saw himself as having been equally as worthy of hell as those who tortured him and tried to kill him. He never had to try to defend his past because he knew he was as bad as anyone could get, and yet he enjoyed the wonder of knowing his conscience was as pure as crystal. What Paul enjoyed is available to everyone who realizes he/she deserves hell and that Jesus died to personally absorb all blame for the offenses that have touched us and to give us Jesus’ innocence.

Jesus always takes the side of those who refuse to look down on others, but instead focus on their own need for forgiveness. Here’s just one example. Jesus said:

    Luke 18:10-14 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
    “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
    “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Through Christ, anyone can be made spotlessly innocent in the eyes of humanity’s holy Judge, no matter how sordid, perverse or horrific his or her past has been. From the perspective of the perfection of God’s standards, a divinely forgiven mass murderer is infinitely more righteous than anyone who has not come to Christ for cleansing, even if that Christless person feels spotlessly clean and seems the most saintly person on the planet.

The uniqueness of Jesus and his suffering makes possible a spiritual exchange whereby he takes from you every speck of humiliation and failure and sin, and puts it on himself. In exchange you take upon yourself Christ’s moral perfection. He gets your sin and shame and God’s anger – that’s what killed him – and you get his holiness and honor and God’s smile of approval.

Reeling under the horror of something highly regrettable, it is natural to feel compelled to keep replaying the events over and over in one’s mind, endlessly interrogating oneself, trying to ascertain the extent of one’s guilt or innocence. What if I hadn’t done that? Or what if I had done this? Nagging doubts persist, and so the dreaded cycle grinds on and on.

The great relief that Christ brings is that he has so powerfully dealt with real guilt that even if people plagued with unbearable false guilt were actually a thousand times more evil than they imagine, Christ would still long to purify them and make them as if they had never sinned.

Irrespective of whether the guilt is real or just a nightmare, God longs for you to enjoy the exquisite peace of knowing that through spiritual union with Christ, you have the exquisitely flawless purity of God himself. One of the things that makes this purity so liberating is that we no longer have to agonize over humanly unanswerable questions, trying to determine the degree of our real or imagined guilt in past events. The matter can finally rest in peace. It was buried when Christ was buried. His death ended the matter. Whatever our share of the guilt really is (from zero to a hundred percent), Christ fully absorbed it within himself. It died when he died. Our innocence is restored the moment we trust Jesus to bring about the spiritual exchange of our imperfections for his holiness and our shame for the eternal honor that is his.

Every valid reason for questions about guilt churning through your mind was laid to rest when Jesus’ mutilated corpse was placed in the tomb. And you gain a brand new and holy life when by faith you identify with the crucified Lord who in holiness burst through the tomb to live forevermore.

The extent to which we feel the need to blame ourselves or someone else, indicates how much we are needlessly tormenting ourselves by holding on to the pain; refusing to let the supernatural God resolve the matter.

Our need to assign blame, also measures how much we have yet to fully absorb the fact that Jesus died for the sins of the entire world.

To truly believe that Jesus died for the sins of the world, is to believe he took the full blame – having paid the ultimate price of the death penalty – for every sin that has ever been committed. You will therefore believe there is no blame left over to assign to anyone. By his horrific torture he bore full punishment for it all.

To limit our understanding of what Jesus’ suffering achieved is to strangle the source of our very life, both now and eternally. On the other hand, allowing the full implications to explode within us is the most liberating experience any human can have.

Suppose a woman let doctors treat some of her ailments but refused to let them examine the lump that will kill her if left untreated. That is like letting Jesus treat some of our problems, but insisting on dealing with the critical blame issue ourselves. In the final analysis, to stop blaming and let Jesus take all the blame is the only workable option.

Forgiving someone who has hurt us does not mean shifting blame from the other party to ourselves or trying to minimize the horrific gravity of the offense. That would not facilitate healing. Christian forgiving transfers all blame to the cross. We find it so hard to let go and entrust the blame and justice issues to Jesus. Nevertheless, our peace and healing hinges on us letting go and letting Jesus bear that blame so that it ends up dead and buried with him and you can rise with him to a new life.

Moreover, as a consequence of Christ taking our shame, we become spiritually united with Almighty God. That opens up amazing possibilities, even miracles.

By miracles I mean sudden, dramatic healing of emotional wounds, rather than a more gradual recovery. Whether it is sudden or slow, the healing is still from God and almost always the slow healing does us the most good spiritually.

If miracles could be guaranteed, they would be labeled natural events, not miracles, even though the same God is as much behind the painting of this evening’s sunset as he is behind the most spectacular, instantaneous inner healing. I cannot guarantee the speed of healing. Nevertheless, there is mind-boggling power in prayers to the God of the universe, through Jesus (the only One by whom anyone can gain access to the God of gods).

The overview so far provided is too brief to make much sense, but see if the following expresses your feelings.

    Like so many other people, I’ve wrestled with the issue of blame, and nothing I’ve tried has brought me peace. I need a new approach.

    I need a revelation of how real and powerful Jesus is and how him suffering undeserved pain, shame and blame can bring me supernatural healing.

    Of course, God is not human, and yet having had my trust violated by a human has made it hard for me to love and trust anyone – even God. Cold logic might say there is no reason to fear that God might act like a sinful, fallible human, but what I’ve suffered seems so overwhelming that it clouds my perception of everything.

    Living, as I do, in a world crammed with people who pretend to love, just to get their selfish way – or even well-meaning people who unintentionally end up hurting others – it is hard to believe that God is so different. If, however, he is morally perfect, and filled with genuine love untainted by the slightest trace of human selfishness, then he truly is trustworthy. If God has infinite knowledge and wisdom, he must understand me even better than I understand myself. And if he really is love – not lust – then he will be patient and understanding as I try to reach out to him.

    To be healed and freed from the oppressive burden of blame, I need to stop blaming myself and/or blaming others and/or blaming God. But this seems beyond me. I need divine help. And blame must go somewhere. Grave offenses have occurred. Justice must be done.

    If God is truly good and a God of justice, then satisfying the need for justice must be an even bigger issue with him than with me – and it is huge with me. At the same time, being both faultlessly good and loving, he must want offenders to change and long to forgive them. Meeting all these requirements is simply too much for any human. I need God’s help to trust him to do it – and do it well. I need to hand all blame over to Jesus, not because he deserves blame but because if he somehow died for the sins of the entire world, he must want to take this burden from me.

Every journey must start somewhere. And we can’t attempt this one alone. We need divine help. Involving God is comforting, not the slightest scary, but it can seem scary because few of us realize how gentle and understanding God is.

There’s a simple way to ease you into this. If you agree with the last section of colored text, you can turn it into a down-to-earth prayer by reading it (aloud or inwardly) to God. To make it even easier, I have made that section into a prayer by reproducing it with minor changes and a couple more thoughts. For this prayer, click here.


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Essential Reading

The following links are so valuable that it is suggested you save the web address to this page lest you get lost following the links and lose this list.

If you tend to:

What Jesus Achieved by Dying in our Place Why Jesus’ Death is the Key to Emotional Healing

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Not to be sold. © Copyright 1997, 1999, 2006, 2008, 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; if used in a webpage, the new page is significantly different to this one. Many more compassionate, inspiring, sometimes hilarious writings available free online at www.net-burst.net  Freely you have received, freely give.
For use outside these limits, consult the author.

E-mail Grantley Morris: healing@net-burst.net

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This webpage addresses a key factor in healing from:

Bereavement



Inner Pain



Divorce



Anger



Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)



Trauma



Self-harm



Guilt



Resentment



Child Abuse



Low Self-Esteem



Ridicule



Tragedy



Relationship Break Up



Job Loss



Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)



Perfectionism



Anxiety



Insomnia



Domestic Violence



Depression



Grief



Self-condemnation



This webpage also addresses a key factor in healing from the emotional consequences of:

Natural Disasters


Being a Crime Victim



Spiritual Abuse



Disability



Financial Problems



Marital Problems



Serious Illness



Abortion



Disfigurement



Family Disputes



Serious Accidents



Birth Defects



The Actions of One’s Children



Poor Life Choices