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Day 12: Shamer-Release – My mentor, Shannon, once wrote in an email to me, “I had two choices. I could be bitter toward my parents for being too busy and distracted to pay much attention to me growing up, or I could carve out time to focus on my own emotional needs and minister to the hurting little girl trapped inside this grown woman’s body. I chose the latter, and my entire family dynamic is much better for it.”

Like Shannon, we also have two choices. We can hold on to the past and continue allowing those who’ve hurt us to shadow our life, or we can release them. But releasing our grip on past-shame means doing something difficult — forgiving those who have shamed us.

When you think about forgiving your shamers, never equate it with ignoring truth, trivializing pain, or denying the past. Think of it instead as an active, ongoing work of the Holy Spirit and as a continual looking to the cross. If you are struggling to understand what it means forgive someone who has shamed you, these clarifying statements about what forgiveness is and is not might help. You can find the entire chart in Overcomer.

Forgiveness Is Not …

Forgiveness Is …

Ignoring the truth

Admitting that what happened to you warrants forgiveness

Engaging in a relationship with your shamer

Defining personal and relational boundaries in connection with your shamer

Giving permission for harm or wrongdoing

Pursuing your own freedom and health

Consider: If you could say something to shamers in your past without fear of being hurt again, what words would you say? When you read the descriptions of forgiveness, which statement is most helpful to you? Which one is the most difficult for you to believe?

Prayer: Almighty God, today I confess that I need you deeply. Help me release my tight grip on the pain from my past. Help me let go. Help me to forgive. There are tender places in my heart and I need you close to me. Amen. 

(Sections taken from Overcomer by Aubrey Sampson. Copyright © 2015. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com. All rights reserved.)

To read the full version of this in Overcomer, grab a copy at amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Books, or wherever books are sold. 

 

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