Spiritual Growth and Emotional Well-Being
LIFE-Living In Freedom EVERYDAY (Part 3)
We have arrived at the halfway point of our emotional healing journey. The first two steps of this journey had unique characteristics (circumstances) that caused our emotions to become damaged and our memories to remain unhealed. It is within this third step that we a) make a conscientious decision; b) understand what forgiveness is and what forgiveness is not; and finally c) accept responsibility for our emotions and behaviors.
First, it is not always easy to make the right choice. But when we have been so spent and there is nothing left within ourselves to hold ourselves together, just remember that it is within our weakest moments that God’s amazing strength prevails. It’s time we trade information about God for a relationship with God. The psalmist said we must not lean to our own understanding, but fully trust in the Lord. Yes, trust has been a major issue in our lives due to life’s hurt, pain, trauma, and ofttimes abuse. But remember Christ is the one who gave His life for us that we might live that victorious overcoming life.
Next, and after we have made the conscientious decision to allow God to take control of our lives, we begin to understand what forgiveness is and what it is not. When someone has done us wrong, it seems like the right response would be not to forgive them because we feel they should pay for the offense. Forgiveness does not mean that we minimize the offense. Forgiveness is not reconciliation. Finally, forgiveness is not forgetting what happened. When we forgive an offense, we set a prisoner free, only to discover that we were that prisoner.
Last, we must accept responsibility for our emotions and behaviors. Looking back we can see how our emotions affected our behaviors. It affected us in such a way that we were unrecognizable to our own selves. We now realize that we need forgiveness just as much as the offender. Not only do we need God’s forgiveness, but we also need to forgive ourselves. This is what accepting responsibility for our emotions and behaviors is all about. It all leads back to forgiveness.
Now that you have conquered these obstacles in part three of this journey, you will begin experiencing a transformation (renewing) of your mind. Continue toward LIFE-Living In Freedom EVERYDAY!
Vickie Hodges is a UPCI licensed minister with 35 years of experience in Early Childhood Education and Brain Development Research. She is the author of LIFE (Living In Freedom EVERYDAY) Recovery Series. Vickie is a trainer, a speaker at
seminars, retreats, conferences, and college campuses. She can be reached at
281-433-4976 (text) or email VickieHodgesSharingLIFE@gmail.com.
Ministry Leadership—Pastor Mark Hughes and Dr. James Hughes of Greater Life Church in Webster, Texas.