The issue of reconciliation to\with perpetrators has been addressed before on this blog, but in light of the resent posts about first husband, I feel the need to revisit it.
Today’s Bible study from Ann Graham Lot’s book, Daily Light Journal, sparked the fuel for this post. I will quote some of it: “You have cast all my sins behind Your back.* Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression of the remnant of His heritage: He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.* For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you, ” says the Lord, your Redeemer* I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.* Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit ther is no deceit.* The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Isa. 38:176; Mic. 7:18-19; Isa. 54:7-8; Jer. 31:34; Ps. 32:1-2; 1John 1:7
Questions that frequently comes up in the telling of our story are, ” How do we manage to forgive our perpetrators?; How can we feel God’s love and/or justice towards us when He is willing to forgive our perpetrators and hold them guiltless for what they have done to us?; How can you not be consumed with anger for the things that were done, especially by fellow Christians?”
First I must share that I don’t have this whole aspect of our healing journey mastered. I learned from a very early age and had in deeply instilled into me for all my maturing ages that it was not ok to be angry for anything done to us, no matter how unjust or hurtful. I learned to bury my anger deep inside. In therapy we have had to deal with personalities who’s almost sole role was to store the anger – these were personalities who were extremely angry and had to be dealt with inpatient because it was not safe to help them any where else. One of the important things I am learning in more resent years is that anger must be felt and embraced before it can give was to forgiveness. Anger denied is like a dam across the stream of life. The more anger denied, the bigger the reservoir that builds up behind it until it becomes a very powerful force that will demand to be dealt with. I have been in the process for the past several years now of dealing with anger, expressing it in healthy ways, learning to let go of it. It’s a journey I’m still on.
Those verses I quoted above are important to me because they speak to the seasons of life – seasons of God’s wrath and judgement as well as seasons of His blessing and forgiveness. I cannot enter the season of forgiveness until I have journeyed through the seasons of anger; but just as important I am learning that it is God’s way of dealing with His dear children to be angry for a while and then shower with mercy and forgiveness. I think maybe He does it that way in part to be an example for us – for us to learn from Him that it is not sinful to have seasons of anger at injustice; but it is Godlike to move beyond the season of wrath into the season of mercy and forgiveness.