The Secret to True Healing…

You may be wondering why there is so much deep rooted pain in your life, this pain can take many different forms from Alcoholism or drug addiction to sexual immorality, gambling, violent outbursts or even physical sickness. There are countless ways in which the pain from our past can intrude upon our present… and never in a positive way.

UNLESS we heal those past wounds.

It doesn’t matter if you were abused physically, sexually or emotionally, it doesn’t matter how badly you were abused or for how long. It doesn’t matter if YOU were the one abusing someone else or doing bad things in your past (who among us is innocent?) none of these things matter.

The only one thing that matters, is how do we recover from our past? How do we heal the wounds given to us by other people, or given by us? How do we move forward and not be hindered by the past? How do we break free of the spiritual, physical or emotional bondage our past has us trapped in?

There is only one way, and here it is. FORGIVENESS.

You see until we truly forgive those who have hurt us, or forgive ourselves for our actions we will NEVER heal from those wounds. We might be able to suppress them, push down those feelings by sheer will power or through chemical dependency of one sort or another… but mark my words. The hurts and pains will resurface in your life. There is nothing short of total FORGIVENESS that will prevent this from happening.

So what does it mean to truly forgive? When God forgives us of our sin, he doesn’t even remember our transgressions (Hebrews 8:12)… not because God is forgetful, but because he chooses to forget. This is the example God has given us on how to forgive. For humans, it’s much more of a struggle to forget the wrongs that have been done to us… especially when it comes to abuse from our childhood. Sometimes those memories are the most vivid of all.

So how do we forgive?

There is one way that has worked for me, and I am no expert, I am just offering you my life as an example. What I found when I went through Celebrate Recover (a Christ-centered 12 step recovery program) was that the person I had to forgive the most, was myself. For years I hated the man I had become and the things I had done to hurt others. It wasn’t until I was able to fully forgive myself and learn to love myself as God loves me that I could truly heal the wounds of my past.

So how did I forgive myself? By realizing that Jesus forgave me over 2,000 years ago when he laid himself down on that cross. You see Jesus DIED to forgive my sins… not just mine but yours too, and not just yours but all those people that hurt you in the past. He DIED for us all… and if we were worth DYING for, then who are we to hold hatred in our hearts towards those that God loves the most?

You are worthy of forgiveness, I am worthy, our perpetrators are worthy… and not only are we all worthy, but Jesus paid the greatest price of all for us. That’s how important it is to forgive others and ourselves.

Whatever troubles you are facing and no matter how deeply hurt you are, when it comes to your past it is time to leave it behind. You have probably heard the phrase “You cannot move forward by looking in the rear view mirror”. Once you discover true forgiveness in your life, the prison door will open and Jesus will shatter the chains of bondage in your life, setting you free to live a life of peace. But as in all things, you have a choice to make.

Continue to harbor the anger, hurt and pain or truly forgive and experience peace and joy. I will be praying that you make the right choice.

Stay Strong & Stand Tall

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Filling That Void

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Many times in life we find ourselves searching for something. This search can take many forms and take us many places. Maybe we seek enlightenment or a simple adrenaline rush. Perhaps we feel a need or thirst that we just cannot quench.

What is the cause or source of this void in our life? From a Biblical perspective and more specifically Christianity the answer is Jesus Christ. This void is what God instilled within all of us that would cause us to seek Him out. Sadly what most people do is try to fill this void with something, ANYTHING except God… from possessions, drugs and sex to false idols and other worldly desires.

If you cheat on your spouse for a few moments of pleasure, how does that really fulfill you in life? If you shoot drugs into your veins for that momentary high, how does that really fulfill you? Certainly you will feel that pleasure or that high and it will feel good, but those feelings are fleeting and what are you left with? Guilt, shame, emptiness, broken marriages, shattered lives?

More importantly, if you can rationally understand the consequences of your actions before you take them, and predict how much destruction will be brought to your life… why would you still take those actions? Back to the example of the cheating spouse, you know that cheating could have very severe consequences… a broken marriage, lost trust, possible divorce… not to mention all the people this affair could affect in very negative way. So what could possibly motivate you to move forward with it? Why do you get lost in that brief moment of pleasure?

So far I have asked a lot of questions, now let me attempt to provide some answers. As I already stated we have a built-in desire to seek God, this has been in us since the dawn of man. Long before the Bible or Jesus Christ walked the earth people yearned for God and would seek something to fill that void in their life. The ONLY way you will find true fulfillment and fill that void is to develop a relationship with the one who put it there. Every day you have to strive for righteousness and live according the example Jesus Christ provided us.

In simpler terms, live a Godly life and always do what is right. This sounds SO easy, but actually is incredibly difficult for most people… but why? For me, and I do talk from experience, it boils down to your closeness with God. If you are having daily conversations with God (in prayer and scripture) and with every breath and action drawing closer to Him… you will find it much easier to avoid the temptations of a fallen world. If you step away from God and walk with the world, those same temptations will take hold and you will find yourself on the edge of making a huge mistake that could be very costly.

There is another very important aspect to Godliness, and that is discernment through the Holy Spirit. Imagine for a moment you are a Super Hero, and actually you don’t have to imagine it… for if you have the Holy Spirit, you have God within you and what could be more “Super” than that! But I digress, you are a super hero and one of your powers is a “Danger Sense”. Just like Spider-Man you are able to avoid dangers by noticing them BEFORE they can affect you in a negative way. This would be a pretty cool super power right? Well I think so, and guess what? That is exactly what the Holy Spirit gives you… the ability to discern SIN. As a non-believer most people don’t even accept that Sin is real, let alone that they partake in it. But as a follower of Jesus Christ you gain an incredible sense of what Sin IS, how dangerous it can be in your life and as you grow stronger in Christ how to avoid it all together.

But here is the reality, if you want to have access to this great power of the Holy Spirit you HAVE to STRIVE for that relationship with Jesus Christ. Just like you can walk away from God, you can also diminish the influence of the Holy Spirit in your life.

This will NOT be an easy road to travel, especially if you are a new believer in Christ. Living a life of righteousness can be the most challenging task you have ever attempted, but the rewards are like no other. Imagine being blameless in all things, imagine living every day knowing you have done no wrong, imagine how those in your life would be affected by this new life you live.

Please do not misunderstand me, I am not claiming you can lead a SIN-FREE life, as that is only possible by one man in Jesus Christ. What I am claiming is that you can lead a blameless and righteous life, and when you do it will be the greatest life you could ever imagine.

Stay Strong & Stand Tall

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