Letting go of the past

There are many complex issues in families today that are causing a lot of hurt. Family situations are a major source of real hurt. When the people we love most hurt us, it really stings our hearts. You amy have been stabbed in the back, talked about, cut down, beaten, or even sexually abused. But don't think you are without hope. You can be whole again, and you can restore lost relationships. It all starts with forgiveness.

My mom and I had a really tough time getting along as a I grew up. I felt like she was constantly out to get me, that I was punished worse than my brothers and sisters, and that she deliberately said things to make me feel low. I grew up feeling so much hate toward my mom, and I didn't have any idea how to get rid of it.

After I gave my life to the Lord, He began to deal with me about my mom. I had to change the way I felt toward her. God spoke to my heart that I had to forgive my mom, but I had no idea how. What you are bout to read is exactly the process God took me through to forgive her and believe me, it works! God has the power to heal your memories.

Memorize Scripture

You have to be ready to do warfare if you really want to get rid of your pain. The way you fight this war is with God's Word. The devil has been cramming guilt and condenation down your throat for years. Not it's time to cram some TRUTH in your heart concerning forgiveness.

Find scriptures on forgiveness and write them down on index cards and take them with you everywhere. Meditate on them until you are saying them in your sleep. Matthew 6:14, Mark 11:25, and Luke 6:37 will get you started on your path to forgivenss.

Make a Decision to Forgive

Forgiveness is not a feeling. You will never wake up one day and think, Boy, I fell like forgiving today! Our natural human tendency is to never forgive. The one who hurt you deserve for you to be very angry with him. No one is arguing with that. The whole idea is that you give up your right to strike back.

You cannot wait for God to tell you to forgive; He has already told you that you have to forgive (see Matthew 6:14-15). It doesn't depend on the other person's repentant heart. You must forgive even if he never admits he did anything wrong. And it doesn't matter if you will never see him again. You can forgive him without seeing him. Forgiveness is between you and God.

One you maek the decision to forgive, the heaviness begins to lift off your life! A miracle happens in your heart! Remember Stephen? As he was being stoned, he said, "…'Lord, do not hold this sin against them'…" (Acts 7:60 NIV) Wow! Right in the middle of the stoning, he made a decision to forgive the very men who were killing him. You can decide right in the midst of people persecuting you to let go of it, with Jesus' power.

Fight the Battle in Your Mind

Now you have made the decision and prayed the prayer, but the battle isn't over yet. You will not necessarily feel any overwhelming love for the person you fargave rith away. You may have a tendency to think, I don't feel any differently about the person or about my pain, so I guess I didn't really forgive him. WRONG!

If you made the decision, then you have forgiven. The devil will trey to trick you into feeling condemned and confused. It is important to remember the date and time you prayed and forgave, so you can remind the devil and remind yourself what you chose to do. As you continue to do this, you will begin to feel less and less pain.

One last not: If you have been involved in sexual abuse, you should confide in your pastor or a qualified Christian counselor. It is imperative that you have someone help you work thorugh these forgiveness issues, especially before you get married. It will keep you from many years of grief and marital struggles if you will take the time to do this now.

Your healing can begin today; it all starts with your decision to forgive.

Many teenagers made a similar decision at our Acquire the Fire youth events this past spring. God is desperately looking for a generation that is willing to stand up for Christina values and principles and lead a generation to the truth. It starts as we all decide to forgive those who have hurt us.


President and founder of Teen Mania Ministries