Today starts a new day; I realize that I have been abused by religion. It took me through Day 8, 9 before I realized this, but I am glad I did. You can go back to see my comments on Day 8 and 9 to see what I am speaking of. I am taking the time to do the exercises as outlined in the book; Recovering From Religious Abuse, 11 Steps to Spiritual Freedom written by: Jack Watts. While I know that hurt and abuse as described and presented in the book are two different things, I have come to the understanding that in regards to taking advantage of me I have in fact been abused. I will admit, one of my greatest concerns is I may have at times abused religion. I don’t think I have but this journey will help me understand where I am at and in the process help others as I journal each day with the steps outlined in the book.
As I have gotten older and experienced abuse, I don’t know if those who have abused me really understand my perspective of where they are at. While I have been hurt by many people, I have finally gotten to the place that I am able to forgive them, and in that, feel a little sorry for them, especially if they hold on to their resentment, attitudes, and actions. It isn’t that I feel sorry for them because they are less of a person than me, but I feel sorry for them because I know how much God could use them if they were to let go and let God. The fact is, I chose to forgive them, and because of that choice, I am a better person, not better than them, but better because God has provided healing.
I know that forgiving people for many years was one of the hardest things to do, it is still difficult, but I have learned, if I forgive, move on and just don’t give their actions the time or thought, God can do a lot more through me. I can never do anything on my own, but surrender to God. As I surrender to God, forgive others, then God works and then as a result of God working in my life I experience a better attitude, a better spiritual place and a better relationship with God.
I learned over the years that when I hold on to anger, malice, and the sins against me, then I am a slave to that sin and sinful act. I choose not to be at that place. It is the place the short movie The Long Walk ends in fact; it is a place where I realize that when I was able to forgive, God set me free. The movie ends in a powerful way as to the importance of this concept; it isn’t one everyone wants to hear because some people find more joy in misery than they do freedom. I am not one of those; God has made me free, free indeed!
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has also forgiven you. ~ Ephesians 4:31, 32
How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.
I acknowledge my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. ~ Psalm 32: 1-5
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