Home > Ramblings > Forgiveness as the antidote to pain

Forgiveness as the antidote to pain

Last week, we were looking at the dark side of leadership in a seminar I attended as well as examining our core sinfulness.  The idea was to come to a self-awareness and trust God to bring about redemption of our weak areas.  A helpful although painful exercise.  At the same time, I have been team teaching a seminary class with a friend.  He assigned me to handle two classes on emotional woundedness which we covered the last two weeks and this week will look at self-image.  I think the discussions were useful as we approached the topic from various perspectives.  I know in discussions like this, the Spirit often stirs up something that He wants to touch in a person’s life.   We primarily focused on self-awareness in the first two weeks and I realized in talking with the students that we need to give some significant time on forgiveness–the antidote for pain and the best solution for the healing of hurts.  In preparing for class, I have been re-reading The Art of Forgiveness by Lewis Smedes. His style of writing is very simple and I find he answers a lot of questions that most of us have.

One issue he raised that I wanted to bring up was the whole issue of emotions.  Smedes would say that we can only forgive a person and a person who has wounded us wrongfully or unfairly.  It appears that I don’t allow myself to feel the pain when I am wronged.  I remember how a counselor tried to get me to tear up magazines while thinking of my uncle who had abused me in an attempt to generate some level of emotion.  It worked a bit.  In any case, I think I need to give some attention to my suppression of emotional pain.  I think there must be a corresponding suppression of emotional joy etc.   Actually, I weaned myself off of an anti-depressant in the past two months in the hope that I would have a fuller range of emotions so this is something I have been thinking about.  Can’t say that I have noticed a great deal of difference.   A good topic to discuss with my spiritual director, perhaps a counselor.  However, I think God is going to have to open up this door.  Enough for now.

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