In 1966, Batsell Barrett Baxter delivered an excellent sermon entitled “As a Man Thinketh.” I HIGHLY reccomend reading it. While the whole sermon is excellent, I choose to pull the following quote from his sermon at the Hillsboro Church of Christ:
“Chronic resentments, grudges that we carry around with us, become deep-seated abscesses. They ruin our personalities. They poison our minds, and they produce diseases in our bodies. When we continue to carry them, we are slowly but surely committing suicide! The cure for a surgical abscess is incision and drainage. This makes healing possible from the inside out so that the patient is rid of the abscess once and for all. The cure of a spiritual abscess is forgiveness–real forgiveness. This heals our minds, our bodies, and our souls.”
Have you ever suffered from someone who hurt you whether intentionally or un-intentionally? Do you or have you ever suffered so much that all you can do is supress the pain and try to forget? Do you hold a grudge against someone that harmed you or a loved one? If so, then I hope that what I share in this post will bless you.
By the time I was in my late 20’s I was slowly dying both physically and spiritually. This may sound extreme, but I had been poisoned by my inability to forgive one of my parents who I felt had abandoned me after a divorce in my younger years. On the surface, I knew I needed to forgive and I tried to force myself, but nothing I did seemed to help. It became so bad that my resentment started taking over my life in my relationships with others as well as the way I viewed myself. I was sick–both physically and spiritually.
When I came to the realization that I was the one with the problem and took responsibility, that was a huge step for me. I didn’t know where to start though and how to overcome the resentment that I had harbored subconciously for so many years. I turned to the Lord in prayer asking for Him to provide a way–and he did.
A couple weeks after I had started seriously praying for an answer and way to overcome my issues with forgiveness someone I hardly knew in church came up to me and said “I have a feeling that you could use my help.” I was immediately intrigued.
“What do you mean?” I said.
“I work for a lady that practices Reiki and other natural forms of healing.” she said, “You should come by.”
I’d never heard of Reiki before, but thought it was at least worth giving a try.
A week or so later I arrived at the clinic and started getting to know the “Reiki Lady”. A name that I soon started calling her that stuck. In our initial appointment I shared with her my experiences as a child. It was very painful and I was full of resentment, hurt, and anger. After our intial visit, she determined that multiple sessions were needed and I scheduled a few appointments.
For those who aren’t familiar with Reiki, it is an Asian form of natural healing in that the practioner focuses on your energy levels that your body puts out through pressure points called “chakras.” The sessions I found to be very relaxing and helpful, but my anger and resentment would still rear its ugly head along with the spiritual and physical symptoms. The spiritual symptoms would include: anger, bad habits of manipulating others especially in relationships, pessimism, a cynical outlook and behavior, and lack of trust. Physically I had depression, anxiety, and also pain in my stomach from holding the bitterness in for so many years.
During one session with the “Reiki Lady” we did something different than we had ever done before. We started normally with the sessions by getting me into a relaxed and calm state of mind. However, this time she told me she was going to do a guided imagery session to help me heal my subconsious mind. It was amazing and would take a long time to explain, but to keep this story short I was able to pull up images of myself as a child and see myself forgiving my parent for everything that had happened. It was truly a miracle. From that point forward, things started to fall into place and I was able to forgive completely and I can now say that I love and respect both of my parents completely.
My experience was different than others experiences in that it wasn’t the traditional approach. However, I know that God worked through a number of people to help answer my prayers and heal me from the poison of holding resentment.
In a way, I guess this is similar to what Glenn Beck has been sharing over on his site called Face your Storm. For those who would like to hear other stories of overcoming adversity, this is another great site.
I would love to hear others stories or thoughts on learning to forgive. Please share so we can all be uplifted.