Feeling Broken by Your Offender?

Beauty of Forgiveness

When our hearts are broken by the sins of our offender—especially over and over—we typically want to do two things

1. Hurt our offender the way they’ve hurt us.
We might say this is simply to teach them a lesson—so they won’t hurt us or others again. Maybe there’s a grain of truth in that, but that truth in it’s raw form is like a tiny shard of glass from our broken hearts that’s gotten caught, let’s say in our “shoe.” Try to go the extra mile that Christ urges us in Mt. 5:41 with that “resentment rolling around” underfoot as we travel life’s road!

2. Fix the brokenness.
This is when we try to take that shard of glass “in our shoe,” as well as, gathering all the other broken and jagged pieces of our heart that have shattered and scattered at our feet and try to hold the pieces together tightly in our hands. We think our own wisdom, effort and power can put them back together. We don’t really want God interfering here, because we aren’t sure we’ll like the way He wants to put it back together!  And the more we squeeze the pieces in a crazy attempt to “fix” our brokenness, the more our hands ache and bleed.

Last week, I provided a list of questions that would help you process the pain and gain much-needed perspective in your hurts. But even “that” can become something of an attempt to put your broken heart back together on your own, without God’s redeeming touch.

It is not a list of “to-do’s” that will free you here …

It is a willingness to release to God what is broken and damaged, because it’s in our brokenness that He creates His greatest masterpiece!

And since God is patient and wants us to learn to trust Him, He never grabs the pieces from our hands to fix them. He waits for us to lay them down.

So, how do we learn to release to God?

I believe it’s in knowing His character and experiencing His love and forgiveness daily—continually.

The more you know God,* the more you can trust Him to put the broken pieces back together. But this time …

He will turn your heart into a beautiful mosaic that catches the light and sparkles—surpassing the beauty your life held before it was broken!

And the funny thing is, the more you know God, the more you’ll see your heart as broken—not just by other’s sins—but by your own sinfulness!

And it’s in that Cross-section of God’s grace that you’ll be empowered to give forgiveness to your offender—70 times 7! (Mt. 18:22)

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 (NIV)

Be sure to join us on Wednesday when Scott Perkins will be sharing his wisdom on what it truly means to be “one flesh” in marriage.

I will be continuing in this series on forgiveness after the first of the year, so stay tuned!

 

What hurt and loss caused by an offender in your life feels broken and beyond God’s repair?

 

What false beliefs get in the way of laying it down before Him?

 

 *There are many ways to “know God” more completely. I will also flesh this out more in a post in January.

 This is #6 in Forgiveness Series. Click link to access #5 – The Pursuit of Perspective

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Linking up with – Marriage MondaysMaking Your Home Sing Monday, Living Proverbs 31, Monday’s Musings, and Playdates with God

  • I agree Beth, rusting God is the key to being able to lay it all down before Him. In order to trust God we must know Him…
    Thanks a lot for sharing this, this series has been a blessing. Have a super blessed day!
    Love

    • I’m so glad you feel blessed by it, Ugochi! That’s a blessing to “me”! And Merry Christmas to you, sweet friend!

  • Nancy Sturm

    Such a beautiful image–laying the broken pieces of our heart before God. I will remember and use that image. Thanks, Beth!

    • You’d think we’d learn from the messes we make and the pain we suffer simply because we refuse to lay it down before our Lord! I’m certainly guilty of this! And the visual I used is not from my creativity, but God’s! Thanks so much for coming by, Nancy! Merry Christmas to you!

  • Mia

    Dear Beth
    One thing that I found very unfair about forgiveness is the fact that I thought God wanted us to allow another person to hurt us again and again. Until I realized that this was not true. True forgiveness is something He makes possible in our hearts, but His boundaries still falls in pleasant places. A continuing relationship and forgiveness are not the same.
    Blessings XX
    Mia

    • Yes, Mia, that’s one of the hardest parts of forgiveness. And boundaries are so important to all of this. Since I’m thinking all things Christmas, I think forgiveness is the gift and boundaries are like the wrapping paper that surrounds our forgiveness. I’ll be discussing how to set them in January. Thanks so much for coming by, sweet friend! Merry Christmas to you!

  • I was “offended” over the weekend so this is especially pertinent to me. I’ve been thinking about your imagery of squeezing broken glass since I first read your post last night, and it is spot on. I need to lay down the offense, not just squeeze it harder. Thanks so much, Beth.

  • JosephPote

    “It is a willingness to release to God what is broken and damaged, because it’s in our brokenness that He creates His greatest masterpiece!”

    Yes, and Amen! It truly is in our brokenness that he creates His masterpiece.

    Beth, here is a post I did a couple of years ago describing one of the times when God gave me a glimpse of His plans for my personal brokenness: http://josephjpote.com/2011/11/of-shattered-dreams-and-broken-pitchers/

  • God’s Character

    Thank you for this post!
    I also nominated you for the Sunshine Award http://godscharacter.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/sunshine-award/

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