Tag Archives: scars

A Closer Walk: Essential Forgiveness vs. Optional Reconciliation

So many wounding’s in this life. For all of us. You cannot go far, even in the innocence of childhood, without feeling the knife. So we need to learn as early as possible forgiveness for the unkind words, rejections, disappointments… and worse.

Tell your storyThe trick as I see it, is remembering enough of your story so you can tell it, without becoming an archivist of injustice.

We begin when we’re young, growing in our expertise, learning to cling to our wounds in righteous and outraged indignation. For some, we carry that pain vociferously, telling any and all about the unfairness of what has been done to us. For others, we carry the pain privately, taciturnly stuffing all of it way down deep, trying to forget the damage done; hoping our wounds will scar over and be silent. By the time we reach our adulthood, most of us have a wide and varied collection of scars—some outward, but mostly, we all wear our scars on the inside.

I wish I could say that “coming to Christ” just magically changes that truth—but it doesn’t. It just changes the way we are to handle it. Belonging to Christ makes forgiving all offenders mandatory.

For me, this was really tough stuff.

woundresser.comYou see, I grew up in a home without forgiveness. It sounds awful to me now (to admit that) but at the time, I just accepted how things were. To transgress, meant you would “wear” the responsibility for what you had done from that day forward. That was the deal. The offense might not be spoken of, but it would always be the pink elephant in the room—always.

Since forgiveness wasn’t modeled, I didn’t “get the value” of the concept, let alone how to carry it off. Yet, God is faithful.  The Bible says, “…when your father and mother forsake you, I the LORD will take you up.” Which is good, because there are life principles to our forgiving that none of us can live without.

ForgivenessFirst and uppermost—is the principle that we are taken prisoner by anyone we refuse to forgive. Consequently, we then become the one who is unforgiven by God.

(Not good.)

Second principle—forgiveness is a process. The deeper the wound the longer the process.

Third—no guarantees of reconciliation. (A completely separate process.) Unfortunately, sometimes our offender will refuse to change or acknowledge their harmful behavior.

Therefore, to be “reconciled with them” is not possible.

Still, we must extend forgiveness.

Reconciliation might or might not happenFinally—we don’t give up until we succeed in forgiving. We are to genuinely ask God to bless our offender.

I once heard a pastor illustrate it this way.

“Forgiving is like climbing a slippery mountain made of glass. For every step forward, you may slide back three or four—but since forgiving isn’t optional—we keep climbing. Difficult, or easy, we keep at it because freedom’s view from the top will always, always, be worth it in the end.”journal

SUCH TRUST

You there… yes, you.

Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?

Your dreaming thrills Me.

(Your heart that forgives, and forgives…)

How I rejoice in you! Ask Me! Ask Me anything… I want to give you all that you desire; all that you are dreaming for others…

How those dreams of yours have changed.

ScarsOnce, they were so small and selfish. (We know.) Ah, but look… behold the beauty! How you long and weep for the pain of others. How you plead for their destinies.

(Oh, I AM so pleased with you!)

Ask Me! I AM here. The windows of heaven are full open! Your requests come at a favorable time… all that is Mine is yours!

You bring Me so much pleasure when you ask for such extreme, impossible things… for only the King of Universes could do for you all that you have asked.

How you honor Me child. Such trust! These requests of yours give Me such joy! Ask again, and again… My hand is open and I AM bending down My ear to hear even the faintest whispers of your heart.

How I love your holy audacity—your childish expectancy!

My, how you bless your Father.

How you give Me joy… here, My beloved… receive! Receive joy from Your Father who is delighted to give you His Kingdom!

(You are My rapture!)

a closer walk

Yes, ask anything, using my name, and I will do it!

John 14:14John 14:14
English: World English Bible - WEB

14 If you will ask anything in my name, I will do it.

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From Devotional: Day by Day with Charles R. Swindoll

WOUNDS AND SCARS by Charles R. Swindoll

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Scripture is a verse containing much emotion: “From the city men groan, and the souls of the wounded cry out” (Job 24:12Job 24:12
English: World English Bible - WEB

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The scene is a busy metropolis. Speed. Movement. Noise. Rows of buildings. All that is obvious, easily seen and heard by the city dweller.

But there is more. Behind and beneath the loud splash of human activity there are invisible aches. Job calls them “groans.” That’s a good word. The Hebrew term enlarges it as it suggests that this groan comes from one who has been wounded. Perhaps that’s the reason Job adds the next line in poetic form, “the souls of the wounded cry out.” In that line, “wounded” comes from a term that means “pierced.” But he is not referring to a physical stabbing, for it is “the soul” that is crying out.

Wounds & ScarsYou may be “groaning” because you have been misunderstood or treated unfairly. The wound is deep because the blow came from one whom you trusted and respected. It’s possible that hurt was brought on by someone’s stabbing remark. People are saying things that simply are not true, but to step in and set the record straight would be unwise or inappropriate. So you stay quiet . . . and bleed. Perhaps a comment was made only in passing, but it pierced you deeply.

Others of you are living with the memories of past sins or failures. Although you have confessed and forsaken those ugly, bitter days, the wound stays red and tender. You wonder if it will ever heal. Although it is unknown to others, you live in the fear of being found out . . . and rejected.

Wounds & Scars Charles Swindoll

Tucked away in a quiet corner of every life are wounds and scars. If they were not there, we would need no Physician. Nor would we need one another.

Hast thou no wound? . . .
No wound, no scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And, pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole: can he have followed far
Who has no wound nor scar? (Amy Carmichael)

Only the Great Physician can turn our ugly wound into a scar of beauty. —Chuck Swindoll


Day by Day with Charles Swindoll

Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc.

This book is available on Christian Book Distributors

 

 

Never Losing the Light: Redeemed For Purpose

Do not fear the changes that have come to your life as though something terrible has happened that cannot be redeemed. (1 Pet. 4:121 Pet. 4:12
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12 Beloved, don’t be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you, to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you.

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I can redeem anything! (Ex. 6:6Ex. 6:6
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6 Therefore tell the children of Israel, ‘I am Yahweh, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments:

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Have I not kept my promises to you?

Scars tell your storyWhen you were so broken, and you thought, “This will never be okay; the mess is too big!”

You looked on the ruins about you, and you believed, you were what you saw.

(Didn’t you?)

But I saw what you couldn’t. I saw your future… what you were in the process of becoming.

I wound and I make alive… for process. (Deut. 32:39Deut. 32:39
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39 See now that I, even I, am he, There is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; There is none who can deliver out of my hand.

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(We have spoken of this, remember?)

What you walk through prepares you for what you are believing I can do in your life.

(I know.)

The methods, My methods, almost always catch you unaware, yes?

But, are they not effective in accomplishing our goals? Are you not closer than you have ever been to your dreams? Are you not a better person because of the things you have suffered?

Yes, I wound… but not for sport!

(That is the enemy who plants those thoughts.)

I only wound for: purpose.

My goal is always to draw you away from your ego and self-sufficiency.

My purpose is to bring you to a place of desperation…

Desperate for Me.

Faith Is...

 

“I will give you back your health again and heal your wounds…”

Jeremiah 30:17Jeremiah 30:17
English: World English Bible - WEB

17 For I will restore health to you, and I will heal you of your wounds, says Yahweh; because they have called you an outcast, saying, It is Zion, whom no man seeks after.

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A Closer Walk: The Idolatry of Approval

I never thought of family as an idol.

I mean how could wanting your family’s love and approval be idolatry?

For many years I longed to be loved and accepted by my family—but loved and accepted for myself.

Unfortunately, it was that longing to be myself that created a great many of my family problems.

I was an introvert born into a family of extroverts so instinctively I felt it. I just didn’t fit with everyone else’s idea of how I should behave.

The others in my household were life-of-the-party types—outgoing people-lover’s who hated being alone.

But rather than loving the stage and it’s limelight, and being the center of everyone’s attention, I often craved solitude. I didn’t fear solitude. Actually, I was serenely at peace with my own company. I loved doing simple, quiet things, which was good, for I often found myself in our house alone.

This sent the message,”What’s WRONG with you? You don’t fit with us unless you are willing to become, like us.”

"Going Along" for approval

“Going Along” is often the price to avoid rejection.

I wanted to feel a part of the group, but the price for their acceptance was to increasingly become someone I was not.

While I blamed my family for their pushing and pulling, badgering and bullying, one day I finally realized, they were not my biggest problem I was!

I had traded who I wanted to be for their approval.

finding peaceEven in my adult years, many times I surrendered who God was calling me to be, for the “love and approval” I thought I could not live without.

It took me a long time to face the truth. Paying emotional extortion is not love, it’s slavery.

I began to see that I could vainly attempt to please my family for the rest of my days, and hope for a few grudging crumbs of approval and affection, or I could accept myself exactly the way God had created me to be, and obey His vision for my life.

I knew what “the price” would be.

I’ll confess, I did everything in my power for years to earn my family’s acceptance first… but in the end I think I always knew that their rejection, and the pain that went with it, would be the price for obeying God.

Inevitably, my choice was no choice at all, God would not relinquish His demand to be my FIRST love. (He made me no apologies for it.) And, I knew my choice would be all on me, no matter what I decided. So, I prayed for the courage to let go of my family’s approval.

It has been painful and difficult living with the price of isolation and no family to connect with, but Jesus has always been brutally honest.

With no apology at all He reminded me,

Anyone who wants to my follower must love me far more than he does his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters, yes, more than his own life, otherwise he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26Luke 14:26
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26 “If anyone comes to me, and doesn’t hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he can’t be my disciple.

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SURPRISED?

I see you there mourning for what is lost.

(You think, it’s over, all over.)

Child, Am I over?

Have I abandoned you?

(Sometimes, you feel I have.)

But feelings are not facts; no.

I AM here, right beside you.

(Remember?)

“Shammah,” honey, “Shammah.” I AM beside you in your tears, beside you in your confusion and pain. I don’t leave when things get tough. No, dearest.

Lift your eyes, your lovely tear-filled eyes, to Me. I have comfort for you; encouragement for your fear, and HOPE.

I would say, “Trust Me.” but I see your trust for the moment is buried beneath your grief.

(I know.)

But, Sweet Heart, I have heard your prayers! I know you thought My silence was disdain and disapproval, yes? But to listen, truly listen, you must be silent, yes? I have heard you, never fear.

Forgiving and moving onYour Father has not forsaken you though others have; forgive them. It is the only way.

Leave your family to Me.

Meanwhile, let Me lift that chin of yours because, “Yes, I AM the One who lifts your head.”

Your tears are ever before Me. See… I have kept them all!Comfort yourself child, your answers are on the way. Why, before you were done speaking? I was in motion!

Surprised? (You shouldn’t be.) I AM always listening.

(Love does that you know.)

a closer walk

 

“…Don’t cry any longer, for I have heard your prayers…” Jeremiah 31:16Jeremiah 31:16
English: World English Bible - WEB

16 Thus says Yahweh: Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says Yahweh; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.

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