Freedom in Forgiveness

We have all been hurt by different organizations (christian and non-christian), church’s, and people. We live in a world that sin runs rampant, so it is pretty inevitable that we will get hurt, and that we will do some of the hurting too.

Every person we meet is broken. Some haven’t worked through that brokenness yet, some have, and some are still working through brokenness or finding new areas of brokenness. Like I said, sin runs rampant.

Hallelujah for the coming of our LORD when sin no longer will run rampant and all will be perfect and glorious in the presence of God!

If any of you know me personally, or have followed my blogs before, you know that the past couple of years have been difficult for me, with some hurt. It has been quite a journey of walking through that and finding healing/freedom from it. I feel like I am finally at a place where I truly have been healed and set free from all of that.

So here are some things that I have learned over the past couple of years:
Part of the issue with getting hurt, is that we hold onto it. We hold onto what has been done to us because, ‘how dare that person treat me that way’, they love Jesus, and so do I. ‘I don’t deserve that.’ Well in fact, we do deserve it (Romans 3:10, 12). But that’s not the point I want to get across.

I had this realization today while driving to church; forgiveness is championing the one’s who have hurt you. Recently, I’ve been able to see how God has in fact healed my heart from hurt, and a lot of that is by how I have defended and championed those who have hurt me in the past, even the church as a whole.

Yes, even when working for a church, the church can still hurt you. I’ve worked for/in the church/ministry for just over 10 years. When working in a church and with leadership, I often tend to be the person to hear a lot of complaining and concerns about leadership and the way the church does things. Do I like hearing these things, no. Do I sometimes think it is necessary, yes. I would rather people share their concerns with me than anyone else apart from leadership in the church because I know I can handle it and can challenge how they view things, and have also been in their shoes.

We all want things to do be done a certain way, or people to think like we do and care about the same things that we do, but what good would it be if God’s people all thought the same way, and did things all the same way? I’ve walked through hard church times where the church was split because of differing opinions of how our Church should function. We need that tension of differing views. It can be a good tension to figure out what we value most, where we need be challenged, and if we are willing to let go of our own pride for the sake of a brother or sister or ultimately and most importantly for the sake of the Gospel and Jesus.
One thing I have found in hearing these concerns…is that I have become a defender of my Church and my leadership. I have had to lay aside my own hurt, for the sake of the Gospel and what God is doing through us. I have had to lay my hurt aside for the other hurt people too, so that I don’t make their hurt worse or let them stay there. It is gossip when we start talking about all the things that we don’t like within an organization or with people- especially if we don’t plan on confronting them in love or giving suggestions or even hearing out why things are done a certain way. We often don’t give the benefit of the doubt, or trust that people love Jesus as much as we do, but we have to. If you aren’t able to trust specific people right away, then trust God, who orchestrates everything and is much more jealous for His people and Church than you are, and is much more able to change people and turn them His way.

For a while I championed or defended because I needed to, but recently I have found that I desire to defend. I feel called to be one of the many defender’s of the church and of leadership, and to help those who have been or are hurt, to walk through their hurt. I have found the freedom that is found in forgiving others, and the redemption and restoration that happens in that, and also the JOY in that, is incomparable. And I look forward for those of you who are working through hurt, to find that freedom. It won’t be easy, it won’t be quick, it will hurt, but God is good.

All you have to do is seek God. Pray for the ones who hurt you. And in praying for them, remember that they really are just like you, trying to be like Christ but wrestling against sin, and have been hurt also. Practice defending those who hurt you or offended you. Find the good, the Jesus in them, the things that they do really well and encourage those attributes in them. Pray also for your healing. Allow the Holy Spirit to do His mighty work in you, and be submissive to Him. He will lead and guide you. He never fails.

Matthew 6:14-15
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.

Mark 11:25
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Colossians 3:12-14
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,  bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.



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