4 Steps To Practicing Forgiveness
Jeremy • Apr 4 2021
One of the most heartbreaking things you’ll ever encounter is the person who cannot see their worth beyond their addiction. On a daily basis, people succumb to medicating the pain that they feel in their lives through alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, pornography, cigarettes, or food. It becomes their comfort – the one thing they turn to when the world seems to be against them.
After indulging, they immediately feel relieved of life’s many pressures. But when the high wears off, feelings of guilt, shame, condemnation, and worthlessness take over.
As all of those negative thoughts return, people tend to pull back and isolate from their friends and their family. Feeling insignificant and overlooked can at times even cause them to retreat from their careers.
The devastating effects far extend beyond the scope of themselves, often causing pain and torment to their loved ones.
As a teenager, I was fascinated by a show on television called Intervention. In a nutshell, there was the person who was struggling with substance abuse. And then there was the family. The ones who begged, pleaded, cried, and tried everything they could think of to encourage this person to find help. Their attempts never worked, which resulted in the intervention of professionals.
The family would gather in a safe space with a mediator present to discuss their raw emotions with the addict. Often, the addicted individual would erupt into a volcano of anger — becoming condescending, irritable, and flat out mean. They would refuse the help, believing that everyone else in the room was just out to get them.
People would remind them of who they were before the addiction took over. They would share memories of laughter, success, and love. Even the reminders of the hopes, dreams, and goals that had been set in the past were no match for the strength of the stronghold that was keeping the individual in bondage to their substance.
Something eventually sparked inside the person who was struggling. A later intervention, after they had time to really clear their head and think things through, often resulted in agreeing to rehab.
Success stories would scroll at the end of the show, providing updates about the length of sobriety, the new job that was secured, or the relationship that was restored.
Maybe you are at a place right now where it feels as if the whole world has turned its back on you. You have to trust me on this one – you have an advocate who is fiercely and tirelessly rooting for you.
Right now, the enemy wants you to believe that you’re a lost cause. You’re too far gone. Nothing can stop the direction of your life now. And friend, nothing could be further from the truth.
God stays. He listens. He waits. When you feel like you should give up the fight, it’s because God is beckoning you. He knows what you’re worth and can see a future version of yourself that right now, you cannot even begin to fathom. But just because you cannot see it does not mean that it does not exist or cannot come to pass.
Your life may have painted a portrait of God being angry, harsh, dominating, or judgmental. But you’re looking through a broken lens. Everything you believe God to be, it’s likely that He’s the opposite.
Close your eyes and envision God. Replace angry with loving, harsh with kind, dominating to gentle, and judgmental to constructive. For most, God is imagined to be sitting still in a large chair high above the clouds. But I think the Prodigal’s dad in Luke 15 paints a great picture of God.
This son squandered his life away in wild living. He became so needy in this lifestyle that he thought the only choice was to sell himself into the role of feeding pigs daily. After a period of time, he realized that he was starving to death and the best answer was to humbly return home.
On the journey, he plays out the coming events in his mind. I imagine his thoughts being something like this, “I need to confess to dad all that I’ve done wrong, admitting that I’m no longer worthy of his love. I’ll get treated like the hired help, but it has to be better than the life I’ve been living.”
But take note of the next part, this father saw his son coming from a far off distance. How? Because he had been expectantly awaiting his return. With watchful anticipation, he gazed down the road and his heart longed to be reunited with his beloved son.
When he saw him, he did not have any second thoughts or take a mental inventory of all that he believed his son probably had done wrong. Instead, he ran to his child and folded him into a loving embrace.
The son began apologizing, but the dad was so overjoyed that he started shouting about his return. He called for a feast and celebration. And that my friends is how God reacts when he sees that our hearts are turning back to Him.
This isn’t just a story Jesus told, He lived it. Jesus dying on the cross with arms spread wide, reveals the open arms of God. Even when we’ve been meddling in the pigsty of sin, God calls us out of it and waits for us to turn back to Him. The great truth for those of us that struggle is you don’t have to be perfect to run to God.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
– Romans 5:8
A new song released by Matthew West in July speaks volumes to the hopeless person who feels like their life will never change. I hope it encourages you as it reminds you that God is the one who stays and never walks away.
Friend, God has never turned his back on you. The choices you have made in your life are no match for the infinite and unending love that He has to offer.
Today can be the day when you decide to receive the intervention of the Lord. Answer the call that He has placed on your heart, and make yourself available to His healing for yourself and allow him to restore the broken relationships in your life.
You don’t have to figure it out on your own. A biblically based, video-based teaching study known as the Conquer Series has been helping more than one million men begin their journey to a life free from porn. God is your advocate, and the Conquer Series can help you as you begin this journey.
The Conquer Series is a 10-week teaching that ties together both Science and Scripture to facilitate the healing process. Filled with solid Bible-based teaching, proven principles, and strategies, men will learn why their efforts of trying harder has not worked. They will begin to understand how wounds of the past are likely contributing to the struggle, and will hear from individuals who know what it’s like to walk the journey.
To get the most out of the series, individuals should use the interactive study guide. And it’s important to note that this is not a war that can be won alone. Join a Conquer Series group, where you can fight alongside other warriors.
As Dr. Ted Roberts shares in the Conquer Series,
“You were wounded in community; therefore, you have to be healed in community.”
I, along with the rest of the KingdomWorks Studios staff, am praying for you.
Thank you for the person who took a few moments out of their day to read this article. I pray that in the words of this page or the words of the song, that You illuminated what You desire for this person to hear.
Remind them of the redemptive power of all that You did on the Cross. Begin to break down the walls that they have built around their heart and demolish the strongholds that the enemy has set up in their mind. Speak life back into what is dead, and bring about restoration in their lives that only You are capable of doing.
I pray that You draw near not only to them, but to their families and friends. Guide and protect them, and fortify the relationships that have suffered as a result of the enemy’s tactics. Bring people into their lives who will war alongside them, encourage them, and pray for them. Remind them that they are never alone.
Remind them that You’re the God who stays.
God honors the steps that we take towards Him. Choose to step out in faith, and sign up at SoulRefiner.com. A totally different life begins with the choice you make today!
The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.
Sign up for our blog newsletter to ensure you never miss a post.