by Rick Warren
“Still, if you set your heart on God and reach out to him, If you scrub your hands of sin and refuse to entertain evil in your home, You’ll be able to face the world unashamed and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless. You’ll forget your troubles; they’ll be like old, faded photographs.” (Job 11:13-16 MSG)
As long as you focus on someone you resent, that person controls you. You’re worrying about something he or she has already forgotten about.
Long before psychology came along, Job said there are three steps for inner healing:
1. Put your heart right. If you want to be emotionally healed from a hurt, you have to release the offender — whether you feel like it or not. Don’t try to get even. Forgive that person, then release him or her.
2. Reach out to God. You need to invite Christ to come into your life and fill you with his forgiveness. Why? I don’t think you can manufacture enough forgiveness in your life to handle all the hurts you’re going to face, not only those of the past but those you’ll have between now and when you die.
Do you remember the story of Corrie Ten Boom? She hid Jews in her apartment to protect them from the Nazis during World War II. When they were caught, not only were the Jews shipped off to the concentration camps, but Corrie and her family were, too. Everyone in her family was killed in the concentration camps except Corrie, and she endured torture and abuse. She later went back and met the guards who had abused her, and she forgave them. You can’t do that with human forgiveness. You need God’s supernatural power in your life in order to let it go and be able to say, “It wasn’t good. It wasn’t fun. It was bad. But I believe that God can bring good out of the bad, and somehow the rest of my life is going to be the best of my life.”
3. Face the world again. When we’re hurt, we’re tempted to withdraw into a shell, put up a wall, and decide never to let anyone else get close. You’re really only hurting yourself when you do that. Letting what happened to you in the past define your identity is like driving a car looking into the rearview mirror. You’re going to crash. You have to face the future and resume living. It doesn’t matter as much where you’ve been as it does where you’re headed.