Healing from Deep Offenses

Some hurts can be so deep it leaves you feeling uniquely isolated. Will I ever heal? Is there remediation for my pain? Scripture offers 4 simple applications for the eradication of the 'who' that's hurting you.

Are you hurting? The root of our pain is not a lack or loss of food, clothing, a place to live, finances, a job, nor even our physical or mental health. These losses are all tangible expressions or effects of a greater cause. We hurt because of the ‘who’ that is linked to our poverty or defeat. Who said what? Who did what? Who should have said or should have done what? Who walked away or put you away? Who gave up on, betrayed, or denied you? Take a moment and think about this. Identify your ‘who’ that hurts. The wound can sometimes be so deep that it carries well into your adulthood, too.

So how do we heal from our deep-rooted hurts? What remediation can we find that will, once and for all, eradicate the pains that replays with every failure we experience in life? How do we stop the noise that shouts, “the ‘who’ is to be blamed for all your mistakes, misfortunes, missed opportunities, and miseries”? Sometimes we find fortune and favor but still, we hurt. We might have even forgiven, but we are still hurting. Sometimes the grief overtakes us unawares and we find ourselves wondering if we ever forgave.

As a kid growing up, you were probably taught to forgive but never how to heal yourself. You were probably taught that when you forgive you will heal. But does forgiveness alone truly make the hurt go away? What happens when we forgive someone who does not even know they have hurt us? What happens when we forgive someone who does not care that they had hurt us? What happens when we forgive someone who did not say ‘I’m sorry’? What happens when the apology you are due has perished because your offender is deceased? That's unfinished business. So, how do we begin to truly heal?

1) Remember Jesus

Sometimes we feel our hurt is so deep and perhaps even so unique that no one would understand, and no one can erase the pain. Hebrews 12:2-3 (KJV) encourages us to consider Jesus’ pain: “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” So, to begin your healing, look on Jesus and see what He went through. Why is it so important for us to remember Jesus and not just someone else? It is because of ‘who’ Jesus is; God manifested in the flesh. Jesus is the Just who suffered for the unjust. Christs' suffering does not minimize or disqualify our hurt, but it teaches and reminds us that the Creator understands, cares, and can heal us of every hurt known to man.

2) Choose forgiveness

Yes, forgiveness is a choice. Forgiveness is not a good feeling that comes over you. It is a choice you will have to make. At the lowest point and deepest depths of His sorrows; on calvary, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”, Luke 23:34 (KJV). Do you realize that often people who offend you do not even know that they’ve offended you? Sometimes people do great evil in the name of good. Sometimes people hurt us, and they are not even sorry. Sometimes people offend us, and they are sorry, but they do not know how to say they are sorry. Jesus understood all this quite well. And, although He forgave the hatred of sinful men, His heart was still very much broken. He was hurting. Jesus also taught us that if we do not forgive men their trespasses neither will our heavenly Father forgive our trespasses, Matthew 6:15 (KJV). So, it is critical that we choose to forgive.

3) Don't look back

When you forgive, you will occasionally be presented with the memories of what had or hadn’t happened. Tom Jones said it right, ‘memories don’t leave like people do’. But the apostle Paul has a remedy for that demon of your past. In Philippians 3:13-14 (KJV) he concluded, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Notice that Paul did not tell us to just forget, but he said forgetting, suggesting a continual effort to cast off the past and look to the future. It helps to keep in mind that the past cannot be changed, but it can change your present and future if you let it. As you faithfully submit to God’s instructions in His word, you will find that, with time, you overcome your hurts. But let’s not stop there. This brings us to our fourth endeavor.

4) Help Somebody

We must let our sufferings count for good. Do you know the saying, ‘misery loves company’? I would like to add to that by saying, ‘misery fosters healing’. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (KJV) says, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." A true believer in Christ understands that this life is fleeting. We are just passing through quickly. So, while we are here, it is our duty to help as many people as we can to overcome, especially in the areas that we were once challenged and have overcome. We are still our brothers’ keeper. ‘Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend’, Proverbs 27:17 (KJV). There are a lot of hurting people in our world, so let’s go and help somebody, heal.