In Chapter 5 of Healing Your Church Hurt, author and former pastor Stephen Mansfield notes that before we can let go of the bait in the trap, pull ourselves free and forgive, we have to take a good, hard look at ourselves. As long as bitterness remains, the devil has us in his grasp.
No, the author states, it’s not like a scene from the Exorcist. Our heads don’t spin around and we’re not reciting the Lord’s Prayer backward in Latin. But we do know that something has moved in. We are drawn by a strength behind the evil and responsive to images coming into our heads that we’re well aware didn’t rise up on their own. Perhaps we’ve organized our own band of disciples or slammed into others with our bitterness.
This, Stephen affirms, is “a normal pattern of the wounded and those infected of soul.” He adds that it is essential that we see our woundedness and acknowledge it as true- so that we can once again be whole. Stephen concludes with this clarification:
” . . . there is nothing that happened in that wounding experience with that church that is worth what is happening to you now. It is time to make a change. And that change begins with forgiving.”
Today’s question: How does accepting the normality of our response to wounding enable our healing process to begin? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the Christmas Short Meditation- “Do you hear what I hear?”