A normal experience in life (unfortunately) is to be hurt by others, either deliberately or accidentally. The hurt might include physical pain, but it always involves soul-pain. The soul-pain may be short lived, or it might be a long term pain due to an actual injury or wounding of the soul.
It has been said that “time heals all wounds,” but this is misleading if time is considered to be the only element in the healing process. While the healing process may take place over a period of time, there is a critical element that must be highlighted.
“Forgiveness heals all wounds” would be much more accurate, if a simple and short statement is being sought to describe the healing process.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…”
~ James 5:16
Confession to each other and prayer for each other implies that forgiveness has been established. Only then can healing taking place. This principle of ‘Forgiveness First, Then Healing,’ is illustrated throughout scripture in both the Divine-with-Human relationship and the Human-with-Human relationship. For example:
“if My people… will humble themselves and pray… I will forgive their sin (Forgiveness First) and will heal their land (Then Healing).”
~ 2 Chronicles 7:14
Too often we unwittingly want to wait until we are healed [and don’t feel the soul-pain anymore] before we will consider forgiving the person who hurt us. This is contrary to the truth that actually does bring healing: ‘Forgiveness First, Then Healing.’
“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Ro. 5:8) so that He could offer to us healing for our body, soul, and spirit. Likewise, while those who hurt us are still hurting us, we should begin our internal struggle of “dying to ourselves” so we can reach the place of being able to give them total forgiveness, even if we have to do it “seventy-seven times” (NIV) or “seventy times seven” times (NKJV, Matt. 18:22).
Our unforgiveness of them is just as deliberate an act as would be our forgiveness of them. Our ongoing act of unforgiveness is tantamount to us rubbing salt and poison into our own wounds which they initially inflicted in us. In studying the scriptures regarding forgiveness and unforgiveness, I am convinced that our act of unforgiveness is worse in the eyes of God than any injurious sin another person has committed against us.
Forgiveness of others is not easy because we hold so strongly to a general principle of giving only what is deserved, like: wages for work, applause for good entertainment, or a bonus for an extra effort. However, the very definition and nature of forgiveness is that it is NEVER deserved, but is ALWAYS required.
#PastorsTip #James5 #Forgiveness #Healing #Unforgiven #2Chronicles7 #Soul #Pain #Injury