Tough Love

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I will instruct you and teach you
in the way you should go

Psalm 32:8

Jon Walker writes: 'What about forgiving within a...relationship...that's toxic and dysfunctional? Should you [stay]...when the person keeps doing the same thing?...Loving your enemy doesn't mean excusing his behaviour...In any toxic relationship we strive to resist the abuse with a peace-filled, godly response. This includes establishing healthy boundaries where you're less vulnerable to abuse and, if God directs, it may mean ending the relationship (easier said than done when the abuser is a parent, a spouse, or a child). The act of forgiveness doesn't require you to keep taking the abuse, and it doesn't mean you must stay in an abusive situation.

Jesus showed that forgiveness can be immediate by forgiving those who were crucifying him: 'Father, forgive them...they do not know what they are doing.' As we mature...God will teach us to forgive constantly, even instantly. But it's a learning process, so don't take on a guilt trip if you can't do it now. Fall on God's grace and let him move you closer toward forgiveness. It may - probably will - take time to fully receive his grace to forgive. God can work with that. The first step may be to let Him soften your heart. Our hearts have a tendency to become hardened in difficult relationships. Again, let me stress, the softening of your heart...is not the same as saying it's okay to keep taking the abuse, or that you should stay in a situation where you're being or may be abused. Forgiveness isn't the same as agreeing with an abuser's behaviour.' So, seek counsel, and talk to God. His promise is, 'I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go.'

Used with permission from UCB Word for Today. Free issues are available here for the UK and Republic of Ireland.

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Comments

Steve said…
Another thought-provoking comment. Thank you!
Steve said…
It's very difficult to forgive those who have hurt you deeply. Only God Himself can help you do that!
Pietro said…
Jesus said: "Don't forgive seven times, but seventy times seven".
Sublime.
Grace Olsson said…
sINCE LAST NIGHT THAT I am reading your posts....love it...Have a nice weekend, dearest

graceolsson.com/blog
mry said…
thankful for this God given opportunity that by the power of the graces given we can indeed come to that point.Thanks for that comment
Mike said…
Great to hear from you mry. Hope all is well is the US!!