Unforgiveness Blocks Our Healing

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016 in Forgiveness, Healing & Wholeness | 0 comments

Unforgiveness Blocks Our Healing

Former Catholic priest, Francis MacNutt, found that many sins do not block God’s healing power to the same extent as does a lack of forgiveness. In his book, Healing, he said, “I understand better than I used to why Jesus laid such a heavy stress on forgiving enemies when he talked about prayer … He often seems to connect forgiving enemies with our Father answering our prayers.”

1. Unforgiveness imprisons our wounds

When someone sins against us unjustly, we sustain a wound in our heart. We respond to the painful wound by becoming angry and resentful: someone must pay for the pain we experienced, either the person who hurt us or even our self, in order to balance the scales of justice.

We desire to hurt someone, consciously or unconsciously. Consequently our resentment and revenge become deeply entrenched in the wound, causing it to feel even more painful.

Our wounded condition

  • My heart is wounded (smitten like grass & withered away) within me (Psalms 102:4).
  • People weighed down with iniquity … From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it: but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment (Isaiah 1:4-6).
  • Thus says the Lord, ‘Your wound is incurable, and your injury is serious, there is no one to plead your cause; no healing for your sore, no recovery for you’ (Jeremiah 30:12).

Our wounds, now imprisoned, are cut off from the healing presence and love of Jesus Christ. The only way out is to turn to God for healing, repent of the desire to take revenge, and forgive those who wounded or hurt us. The act of repentance enables us to humble ourselves, placing ourselves before God in a receiving position.

2. Unforgiveness binds us to the past

Unforgiveness also binds us to the painful past. Looking back to the unjust wrongs we suffered holds us in bondage to the people, places, or events that hurt us. Like Lot’s wife, we are not free to move forward into the future and live full, satisfying lives. As long as we are carrying strong negative emotions, we are allowing them to rob us now and in the future.

True forgiveness from the heart will release us from the people who wounded us and bound us to our painful past. It will enable us to continue to grow in our ability to embrace life and love in the present.

It is vital that we forgive everyone who has ever hurt us or failed us in some way and forgive ourselves for our own failures and mistakes—if we want our wounds to be healed. The inability to forgive others is a crucial barrier to experiencing the healing presence of Jesus Christ in our wounds.

◊ My husband’s story

Although my husband had made some progress over the years in forgiving his father for not meeting his expectations of him, one day he was finally able to reach a deep level of true forgiveness. Here is his story:

Acutely aware at that time of my own abject failure as a husband, my heart was open and vulnerable, made contrite by my own sad condition. Badly in need of forgiveness for myself, how could I not forgive someone else?

Reflecting on my youth, I feel that my father did not see me or hear me. He seemed not to recognize my existence, accept me, and affirm my life. My antics to get his attention seemed to fall short, and I grew up feeling alone in a family of five siblings. As an adult I blamed my dad for my own failures in life.

In an appointment with God’s healing ambassadors, I was encouraged to forgive various people who had hurt me. When I came to forgive my father, I wept as my remorseful heart gave up its judgment of him. I withdrew all my expectations of my father and released him from my demands upon him. I allowed him to simply be my father; I accepted him just as he is with no strings attached. I forgave my father, and in so doing I was set free!

Shortly thereafter, I encountered God’s healing power in several wounds, like when I nearly died as a toddler and He freed me from the fear of death. And He graced me with a glimpse into the depths of my rotten soul, showed me how dead I was, and brought me back to life.

Our painful memories are often buried deep in our subconscious and require an act of our will to invite the Lord to bring them into the light so we can see them.

 

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