An open letter to the leaders who cast us aside

Originally published on Give Her Wings

This letter is for those in church leadership who cast us aside when we needed you the most.  For those in leadership who were duped by those who used you the way in which they used us. For those leaders whose spiritual abuse left us broken and doubting.

You see, you were fooled into believing whatever story they wanted to spin. A pawn in their disturbing game of  control and manipulation. Without a second thought, you listened to their stories, accepted every tear, and acknowledged their “I’m sorry” as genuine repentance.

You chose to distance yourself from reality, the darkness covering our home.  You avoided the opportunity to investigate further into the truth, to invest more deeply in the lives affected, but instead, chose the bliss of ignorance and the ease of assumption.  You were swayed by gossip and lies, and you ignored the warning of Scripture not to judge a matter without hearing all parties (Proverbs 18:13). You foolishly assigned blame apart from the facts.  Apart from knowledge.  Apart from relationship.

For some, as leaders, your pride stood in the way of pursuing the truth.  A need to protect your persona and the image of a building prohibited you from doing the difficult stuff.  From failing to investigate the truth from fiction or taking the necessary steps to defend those lost within such a dark situation, your lack of concern left us broken and crushed while doubting our faith.

For those leaders who dismissed us as being excessive in our sensitivity or reluctant to submit to the headship of our husband, this letter is for you.  For those who accused of us doing something that caused the abuse or by telling us we needed to have more sex with our spouse, this too is for you.  And for those who repeatedly told us, “Your spouse is not the enemy.  Do not allow the real enemy to destroy your family,” your words only served to aid the abuser in destroying us in even greater ways.

Understand, we were fully aware of the true enemy and to this day because of shared children, we still face our enemy on a daily basis.  You see, for us, our spouse was and remains the enemy.  He was a man being used by the true enemy to oppress, berate, demean and abuse.  Our spouse spoke the name of Jesus to those he needed to impress, but his actions, the actions we witnessed, confirmed otherwise.

For us, it took time to wrap our heads around the truth of our situation.  For us, all we could hear were your accusing words informing us we were the problem.  No matter how many prayers we prayed, questions we asked, counseling sessions we attended, we were not fighting hard enough or praying loud enough.  You left us burdened by the weight of our heartache and believing we were the cause.

As if the despair we felt for our decaying family was not enough, you heaped sorrow upon our suffering while drenching our open wounds with feelings of guilt and shame.  And then you handed our abuser the match leaving him to devour what was left of our broken spirits.

But God!  You see, He steps in when others walk away.  Truthfully, He never leaves, but instead, because of those thundering opinions around us, we often lose track of His voice.  However, rest assured, when He speaks, He calms the storm and reminds us exactly who is in charge and who wrote The Book.

He reminds us that abusers live in a consistent pattern of sin which according to scripture, means they are not a Christian.  Instead, a true Christian is one who struggles with sin, yet hates it and pursues forgiveness from God.  This is not the way of our abuser.  Numerous passages speak to this truth.  Here are a few.Psalm 50:16-22John 13:34-35Romans 8:3-9.

For those in leadership, the ones who have been given charge over the sheep, to each pastor and elder who walked hand in hand professing to the do the work of God, hear our voices as we beg of you, please educate yourself.

With that said, if you as leaders are striving to accomplish what God has called you to, please, do not demand that we return to our abuser.  As a shepherd, your job becomes that of protecting your sheep, especially the weak ones, which means not sending us back to the wolf.  And by all means, refrain from using Matthew 18 as a way to manipulate us into doing it your way.  More often than not, this passage lacks relevancy to our situation for the reason that our abuser is not a Christian.  See 1 John 3:6-10.

So it is not hard to figure out who are the children of God and who are the children of the diabolical one: those who lack right standing and those who don’t show love for one another do not belong to God.

1 John 3:10

As the Body of Christ, it should be your mission to protect those who have been harmed by abuse.  1 Corinthians 12 speaks of the Body of Christ saying that if one member of the body hurts, all members hurt.  The church should be a safe haven for victims and not a place of safe hiding for the evilness of the prowling wolf leaving the broken sheep to scatter.

As leadership you should understand the strategy of the wolf.  His gameplay of fake repentance.  The tears he will shed, the walks to the altar at the conclusion of a service for all to see.  He will play you. 

However, until you witness true repentance, repentance that involves claiming his actions instead of blaming his victim or minimizing his own actions, requesting genuine spiritual accountability, seeking out the service of a true professional in the psychiatric field, you should stay away.

Now understand, we as survivors realize God can change anyone.  That there are men who have repented and now walk with Jesus. Nevertheless, we need you to understand this, a man must be willing to submit to God and allow God to transform his heart.  A simple prayer asking for forgiveness through streaming tears, which we have witnessed thousands of times, does not confirm that change.

In conclusion, I leave you, the church leadership who cast us aside, with these words, be aware of the problem.  Understand the countless facets of domestic and spiritual abuse.  Do your research. Become educated.

And for the lives of the precious children involved, do not counsel couples where claims of abuse are made.  Instead, admit to your lack of training in this area and work with these couples in seeking out those qualified and trained to diagnose and counsel those in need of dealing with this growing problem found in our churches.

And to those who were cast aside, God is good.  He is faithful.  He will envelope us with His love and shower us with His grace.  Just trust His hand and allow His voice alone to lead.

With love,

Those who’ve been enveloped by His love

Left only with a story…

People have stories to tell.  Real life experiences that have left hearts pierced and broken. Experiences which many wish could be left behind and never revisited, however, it isn’t that simple.
Abuse comes in various forms.  It knows no boundaries.  It can strike any home, at any moment, no matter social status, race or gender.
For women, if often involves their greatest treasure, their children.  These priceless treasures will turn women into a mighty warrior princess.  No battle too immense to fight when the lives of those treasured little ones are at stake.
However, for many, these women must fight alone.  They remain on the battlefield to fight the enormous giant before them with nothing but their story.  And there in turn lies the problem when dealing with the abusive giant; her story is not enough.
This world is incredibly unfair.  Things are often backwards and justice often, does not prevail.  For the most part, the wolves, the abusers, typically win.
The countless stories that could be shared remain untold.  Numerous children harmed due to a broken system which chooses to protect the “rights of a parent” instead of the welfare of a child. Money speaks loudly in the American court system and those who have it, more often than not, win.
Children are ripped from the arms of a loving mama who has walked away from abuse to protect them.  Women without the necessary means to financially fight against the wolf, watch as the very ones they fight to protect are handed over to the wolf and nothing can be done.  All they have to fight with are their words.
Can you understand the difficulty establishing abuse with only stories and words to share? No bruises.  No signs of a physical fight.  No pictures to prove the damage. Abuse is difficult to substantiate when there is nothing to see.
The scars of emotional, verbal and mental abuse cut deep into the soul.  They leave scars, which take years to heal. As a woman begins to describe her pain, forming the words are near impossible.  How do put into words the lies, manipulation, constant put-downs, the doubting, the gaslighting?  How does one explain with words what is taking place behind the closed doors of the home that cannot be seen with the eyes?
A woman walks into a courtroom assuming justice will come.  Praying that relief will arrive for her children.  A woman walks into a courtroom believing that this judge will witness the mask worn by the wolf.  Will he hear her pleas and protect her children?  Sadly and horrifically, it doesn’t happen.
The wolf can afford expensive attorneys.  The wolf holds the key to the finances.  He holds down the home.  This woman has cared for her home and family for years.  She attempts to create a safe home full of love, nevertheless at her own expense.  She stands unprepared for the battle both emotionally and financially.
A woman who has endured years of abuse cannot fight against a wolf.  The wolf has brainwashed her into believing she is not good enough.  Made her believe that everything happening is her fault.  She is definitely the cause of the abuse.  And the court system in this country works right alongside of the wolf. Equipping and enabling the continued abuse.
As I write, I hear of another story of a woman who left abuse only to have her children ripped away by another judge.  A wolf has accused her of being unfit, being an adulterous wife while being a drunk and has won.  A wolf will execute whatever plan necessary to disparage the character of the one in which he is losing control over and will stop at nothing until he has his way.  Even at the expense of his children.
Each day another family is torn apart by domestic violence. Children remain forced to live with the wolf where the abuse continues and another woman is left to pick up the broken pieces of her life from the malicious attack.  Countless scars left to heal.
There is much work to be accomplished.  People who need to be educated, especially within our court systems.  Awareness must come in order for change to happen.  Will you take the time to educate yourself?  Educate yourself so that when the day comes that you are faced with a friend or loved one asking for your help, you are prepared to answer the call.
Visit today to learn more about how you can help a mama fighting against abuse.
Love is patient; love is kind.  Love isn’t envious, doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about. There’s no arrogance in love; it’s never rude, crude, or indecent- it’s not self-absorbed.  Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs or celebrate injustice; but truth-yes, truth-is love’s delight!  Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trust, hopes and endures no matter what.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Can you imagine: Tall Tails, Wolves and Accusations

Imagine with me for a moment, this story of a young girl.  A young girl walks into a small store with a short list of things to buy.  She gingerly picks up a shopping basket and smiles at the young person working in the produce department.  The same young person who is stocking produce every Wednesday she visits the store. As they exchange a friendly hello she winds her way through the store placing each of her items in the basket.  She makes her way to the front of the store ready to checkout where she is greeted by the young cashier who helps her each week.  Check out is quick and as she offers a friendly goodbye, she picks up her bags and heads to the car.  
The parking lot is quiet but as she unlocks the car door she hears a voice yell, “stop!”  Turning, she sees the young produce person running toward her. “That’s not your bag!”  She looks down in confusion. Suddenly, multiple people approach her car and her head begins to whirl as confusion fills the air. Each person is yelling something different but all accusing her of the same thing.  Stealing from the store.

The world begins to spin as her cheeks flood with heat.  These people know her.  She is in their store every week.  They know she would never steal anything.  She quickly hands over her bags as the manager grabs them from her hands.  Tears spill down her cheeks.  How could they assume such things about her?  Suddenly what was a quiet parking lot has now turned into a dramatic production.  People are watching, pointing, and whispering.  The young girl is shaken and humiliated.  What just happened?

To find out more about this story visit Give Her Wings

Lost Heros Found

Where the grace of God is missed, bitterness is born. But where the grace of God is embraced, forgiveness flourishes.
-Max Lucado

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.  Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

Hebrews 12:15

I had just left from a wonderful morning of worship and was heading home when the words, “every person in my life who I ever thought were great influences in my life ended up being a joke” came from my mouth.  I was feeling disappointed and angry.  My pastor had been speaking on how we each influence the world and asked us to think about those in our life who had been a great influence to us.  Every name that passed through my mind brought about feelings of hurt.  Suddenly my life felt like a joke.

Fortunately, for me, I have a husband who knows how to stay quiet when I have these moments.  He does not encourage my negative thoughts by adding insult to injury but instead just listens.  He knows I need to talk it all out and allow God to work  it out for me.

As I sat in the car with tears in my eyes, the thick black ooze of bitterness came pouring out of my heart.  I could feel the anger for each of these people rise to the surface.  I was a little caught off guard.  I really thought I had dealt with these deep nasty feelings.  Apparently, I had not. 

This week God has truly been working on me in this area.  I asked for His help and He has answered.  Monday as I was writing He led me to a book I have not read in quite some time.  Max Lucado’s In the Grip of Grace.   I came across this passage,

“Let me be very clear.  Hatred will sour your outlook and break your back.  The load of bitterness is simply too heavy.  Your knees will buckle under the strain, and your heart will break beneath the weight.  The mountain before you is steep enough without the heaviness of hatred on your back.  The wisest choice-the only choice-is for you to drop the anger.  You will never be called upon to give anyone more grace than God has already given you.”

OUCH! Wow!  Profound. My toes are a little sore. This means forgiveness. Not exactly what I wanted to hear.

In my head, I responded with “But, Max, that’s not fair!  These people do not deserve grace.  They do not deserve mercy.  They do not deserve my forgiveness.”

I continued reading,

“I’m not saying [they] he [are] is.  But are you?”

Ouch again!  His words continued jumping off the page at me.

“Besides what choice do you have?  Hatred?  The alternative is not appealing.  Look what happens when we refuse to forgive, “The master was very angry and put the servant in prison to be punished until he could pay for everything he owed” (Matt. 18:34).

Unforgiving servants always end up in prison. Prisons of anger, guilt and depression.  God doesn’t have to put us in jail; we create our own.  “Some men stay healthy till the day they die…others have no happiness at all; they live and die with bitter hearts” (Job 21:23-25 TEV).

I started rolling all that around in my head. It was a lot.  I recognize the heaviness he is writing about and I know I want it gone.  I began to think more about grace.  God does not just offer me grace but He offers it to everyone.  Not only that but He expects me to offer the same grace He offers me, to others.  All others.

As I was reading the words in the book over again, God brought this passage to mind.

No one is righteous- not even one.No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God.All have turned away; all have become useless.No one does good, not a single one.
Romans 3:10-11

This passage led me down a different road. My perspective began to change.  Not everyone gets it right all the time.  No one walks every second of life in the will of God.  No one.  Why?  Because no one does good…all the time.  It is just not possible.  So what does that mean?  It means we cannot put people on pedestals.  I cannot put people on pedestals.  Let me just say that I stink at this.  I have a tendency to place people that I look up to on these beautifully decorated pedestals.  I paint them as perfect and sinless.  Then I focus my attention on wanting to be like them because I see them as being the epitome of “Christ likeness.”  Ugh.  Sinful.  My intentions are good.  Honestly they are.  The problem is that this expectation is unfair.  It is not possible. Why?  Because none of us are Jesus.  No matter how hard we try, there is no way we will ever actually be Jesus.  We can reflect Him.  We can act like Him but we will never be perfect and sinless.  My issue is that of putting the wrong person(s) on the pedestal.  It should be Jesus.  My attention should be focused on Him because He is the One who will never fall off that pedestal.   He is the only One who will never let me down.

It is so simple now that I have thought it all through.  So much time wasted placing unrealistic expectations on people who will ultimately fall. Huge amounts of my time wasted with feelings of bitterness and anger.  It is time to let it all go.  It is time to release that huge weight that has been holding me back. It is time to acknowledge that the people who I once considered influences in my life are not a joke.  I know, how nice of me 🙂 Seriously though the time they spent being a part of my life and what they did teach me was not a waste of time.  It is time to acknowledge that all those things I learned from them did in fact help to encourage and grow my faith.  It is time to forgive the hurt caused by the toppling over of the pedestal for which I had placed each of them.  Just as God offers me grace, I now choose to do the same.  

The Sin of Assumption

During the American Civil War, rival armies camped out on opposite banks of the Potomac River. A musical contest erupted. Whenever the Federal band played one of its national tunes, the Confederate musicians would quickly strike up a Southern melody. On one occasion one of the bands started to play “Home, Sweet Home” and immediately the contest stopped, and soon voices from both sides of the river could be heard singing, “There’s no place like home.” Whatever differences each side had assumed, those differences were diminished by a common understanding—both sides would rather be at home nurturing their families.

It has been said that assumption is the lowest form of communication. If so, then at the time of the conquest of Canaan, Israel was at an all time low! When the 2½ tribes who built their homes east of the Jordan River after fighting and settling the land they built an altar as a monument to God’s faithfulness. But that’s not how the other 9½ tribes saw it. They viewed this altar as “competition” to the central sanctuary where all of Israel was supposed to worship. What was intended to be a symbol of unity was mistaken for a symbol of apostasy. This assumption led to hearsay and the hearsay almost led to civil war: “The whole assembly gathered at Shiloh and prepared to go to war against their brother tribes” (Joshua 22:12). Finally, a committee investigated it and the accused were cleared—all in the nick of time.

How many times are we willing to assume the worst? How often do we hear one side of a story and then form a conclusion based on that? We can become jury and judge, all based on sinful assumption. Rather than personally investigating or confronting, we go to others first, many of whom have the same inadequate information. “What a shame, what folly, to give advice before listening to the facts!” (Proverbs 18:13). Before fighting with a fellow believer, think of your future home—you’ll be spending eternity with your offending brother or sister. Ask God to help you get things straightened out here first.

Skip Heitzig

Be a doer of the Word

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
James 1:22


We are going through a series at church right now that has been quite eye opening to me. For a while, I have been fighting this feeling that we as Christians trivialize what being a Christ follower truly means. I have watched people who claim to follow Christ live a life that reflects something very different. Being a Christ follower is not about saying a prayer. Being a Christ follower is not about believing in Jesus. The demons believe in Jesus.
I have spent my entire life in church but on only a few occasions have actually heard it preached or taught that following Christ is a sacrifice. That it is about denying one’s self, taking up your own cross and following Christ. It is living a life of obedience. Somehow, along the way, churches have lost that teaching.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Matthew 16:24


We were created solely for the purpose of bringing honor and glory to God. That’s it. It is not about us. It is not about our happiness, our wealth, and our needs or wants but instead the growth of His kingdom. This is not a difficult concept to understand but because we are such self centered and sinful people, we struggle daily to achieve the goal set before us.
The goal I am referring to is the one that Jesus left with us before ascending into heaven. We are to go out and spread the gospel. Pure and simple. No matter the cost, we are to spread the gospel. Here is what is happening though. We set out to teach people truth but somehow end up helping them to say a prayer, that may or may not be sincere and that does not transform their life. Now I am not saying that this is always the case but I can vouch to the fact that there are many out there walking around professing Christ as their Lord and Savior but living for themselves. Nothing in their life reflects a life where Christ sits on the throne but instead reflects a self-centered love for themselves. In addition, we wonder why people do not want anything to do with our God. Can you blame them?
So what do we do? We set out determined to live a life of sacrifice and devotion to the One who saved us from our sins. We begin a journey where our love for the lost overwhelms us and we are compelled to share the gospel. There are those who would claim that Christ came to save us from hell but that is not true. If He came to save us from hell, then the moment we accepted Him into our lives, we would join Him in heaven because there would be no purpose left for us here. We do have a purpose. He has a plan for every one of us and it begins with Him. It begins with us setting out to share His love, His grace and His mercy with those who need it.
We need to go out looking for those that live in a constant state of conflict not only in their heart but also in their mind. They are lost and cannot gain any understanding for the things of God because the Holy Spirit is not present in their lives. To them, Christianity is just a religion and they are totally unaware of God and His presence. These are the unsaved, the lost. These are the ones we should seek out.
“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
1 Corinthians 2:14


Maybe you are one of those feeling conflicted. If you feel like you have no peace or purpose in your life or like something is missing, chances are you don’t know Him. If you do know Him but your life if filled with regret and guilt, you may need to reintroduce yourself to Him. Even if you have fallen away, He is waiting with open arms for you to return no matter what you’ve done (much like the story of the prodigal son)
The Lost Son


The following verses say it perfectly. These are the words of Christ and He clearly says that we will be known by our fruit. When I hear that, I immediately begin to name the fruit of the Spirit, which is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control. From what I’ve read in scripture a born again Christian clearly reflects these fruits. I believe this. People should know us and see Jesus in us as we go about our everyday life. It doesn’t mean we won’t ever do anything wrong but when life happens, our reaction should reflect something different in us.
“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
Matthew 7:16-20
So here is what you do. This is straight from scripture and nothing I’ve made up on my own.
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”
2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine your heart. All you have to do is ask the Holy Spirit for direction and He will give it to you. The Holy Spirit of God is so powerful. Some people will say that Satan has made them doubt their salvation but I don’t know that I believe that. Why would Satan make you doubt something that you would investigate further which would be considered a loss to him if you chose God? Just saying…





Bless or Curse???

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Luke 6:27-28

An enemy is defined as a person who feels hatred for, fosters harmful designs against, or engages in antagonistic activities against another; an adversary or opponent. Our enemies are out to harm and hurt us but Jesus says that we are to bless and pray for those who mistreat us. Why should we be kind to those who cause us harm? We show kindness to others because we are to be a reflection of Christ and we are to be God to the world. God is kind-even to those who are not and He loves those that we think are hopeless. We should not base our kindness on what we think our enemies actually deserve but instead because we are to love and forgive them as Christ loved and forgave us.

Kindness is the sign of a heart that loves and one of the greatest virtues. God is our perfect model of kindness and the kindest act ever committed was when He sent His own Son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that we might spend eternity with Him in heaven.


“But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean’.”

Matthew 15:18

The Pharisees did all the right things. They attended every service, gave ten percent of all they had and prayed several times a day. People looked at them and thought they were truly committed to God but they were not. Jesus called them “whitewashed tombs” who appeared to be neat and clean on the outside but inwardly they were dead and rotten. All their words and actions were meaningless due to the sinfulness of their hearts.

It is just like a sponge. Squeeze it and whatever comes out is what is inside. When the circumstances in our lives challenge us, our hearts and lives are tested and whatever comes out of our mouths, is a clear indication as to the condition of our heart.

“For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”

Matthew 12:34b-35

Whatever flows from our hearts, will be revealed to the world through our words. Do we speak words of encouragement to those who are down? Do we keep our mouths closed when we could say something to hurt someone the way that they have hurt us? Do we praise and thank God for His faithfulness and strength? Do we choose to walk away from a conversation that is tearing down someone’s character? Do our words reflect a passion for God?

There is evidence in our lives when our hearts are full of self but oftentimes we do not even recognize it as evil because we have become so numb it. Doing the right thing just isn’t enough. We need hearts that are pure.

“But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’ “

Matthew 15:18-20

We cannot make our hearts pure. Only God can do that because a pure heart is a work of God. The Holy Spirit identifies the evil within us but we must claim and confess it in order to become clean. We can be encouraged by David. He not only sinned terribly by committing adultery with Bathsheba but he also committed murder to try to cover it up. When he finally came face to face with his sins, he threw himself on God’s amazing grace and repented. He experienced true forgiveness and was washed clean. He did not just want to be forgiven of his sins but wanted God to change his heart and make it pure.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Psalm 51:10

We see the wretchedness of our own hearts and attempt to change but oftentimes fall back into our own ways. We have to seek God for stability to pursue a pure heart and our stability can only come from a daily walk with Him. Each day we must recognize that we can only depend on Him in order for our hearts to be purged and purified. We all could use a heart change and one day we will all have to give account for the careless words we speak.

“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Matthew 12:36-37


“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

Recently I have dealt with the hurt that has come from the wickedness of gossip and lies. People within my church began spreading things about me that were untrue and extremely hurtful. Over these past few weeks, the hurt that I experienced from it turned into anger and soon the unforgiveness crept in allowing bitterness to form. Knowing how easy it can be, when bitter, to fall into sin with an unforgiving attitude, I began to search God’s word for wisdom.

God’s timing is perfect and last Sunday at church, my pastor preached on bitterness and the bitterness that comes from having an unforgiving heart. I have spent this week focusing on these truths.

In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus tells of a servant forgiven a huge debt by his king. When the same servant has an opportunity to forgive someone a minor debt, he chooses to inflict punishment instead. The king finds out and is outraged:

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:32-35, NIV)

These words penetrated my heart as I thought of my bitter attitude toward those who have hurt me. As I meditated on these verses, God reminded me of times that I have said or done hurtful things to others. God’s forgiveness has been extended to me in those times and so I can no longer allow myself to withhold forgiveness from those who have wronged me.

Forgiveness is a process and something that God must work within us but we must be willing to let go and to allow Him to work. I have to continue to forgive the ones who hurt me and as I have struggled with this issue, God is showing me biblical steps to take as I forgive those that have caused this hurt.

We must recognize and confess our own sins.

Psalm 41:4, “I said, ‘O LORD, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.'” (NIV)

We must rejoice in God’s forgiveness of our sins.

Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (NIV)

We must remember that forgiveness is a continual process.

Matthew 18:21-22a, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” (NIV)

When we allow forgiveness to take place and allow the Holy Spirit to heal our hurts, I believe we are then able to experience Psalm 34:8:

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

Letting go

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes”.


Psalm 37:7



You know that you have truly surrendered to God when you rely on God to work things out instead of trying to manipulate others or to force your own agenda in order to control the situation. You let go and let God work and instead of trying harder, you find yourself trusting more.


Surrendering your life means that you will follow God’s lead when you are not even sure where He may be sending you. You will wait for His timing, not knowing when it will come. You expect a miracle not knowing how God will provide and you totally trust His purpose without understanding the circumstances.


Christ showed the ultimate example of self-surrender the night before His crucifixion when He surrendered Himself to His Father’s plan. True surrender says that if the circumstance or hurt you find yourself in is needed to fulfill God’s purpose and to glorify Him, then you will take whatever may come your way.


This kind of faith and maturity does not come easily but true surrender is hard work and requires intense warfare against our self-centered nature.


Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
       and lean not on your own understanding;

 in all your ways acknowledge him, 
       and he will make your paths straight. 

Proverbs 3:5-6