The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Forgiving Others

You Love God But You Crave Revenge: Why You’re Not a Spiritual Failure

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If someone kicks you in the leg, you will immediately feel two things: anger, and a desire to hurt the person back.  You won’t want to just hurt them back a little—you’ll want to hurt them back to the same degree or more.  This is how functional humans are supposed to feel.  This is actually a sign of good mental health.  Read more of this post

Repentant Sinners: Is it wrong to stop feeling bad about the past?

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Let’s say you do something bad—really bad. You knew better, and you had plenty of resources to resist the temptation, but it was one of those moments where you just said, “Shut up, God, I’m doing this.” So you did it. And it was bad. And now some other people are really messed up because of what you did. But then you reached the point of sincere repentance. You stopped with the rebellion and you are now back in alignment with God, sincerely wanting Him to have His way in your life. There are now consequences for what you did in your life and in the lives of others. And in the midst of those consequences, you feel really terrible. You just feel perpetually awful about what you did. Well, isn’t this how you’re supposed to feel? After all, you sinned intentionally. So if you did something super bad, isn’t there supposed to be some limit to how joyful you can ever be after that? If you just go skipping forth in joyous freedom, isn’t that another form of sin? This is what many Christians believe: they think that once someone does something bad enough, it’s wrong for that person to ever make a full recovery, let alone soar to epic heights of soul peace and freedom. Well, what does God say? Read more of this post

Why You Shouldn’t Ask God to Change People: Improving Your Response to Grudges, Rebellion & Grief

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Your girlfriend is planning to abort your baby. Your husband is heading towards an affair with his secretary. Your wife has announced she wants a divorce. Your son just bought a gun and now he’s talking to one of his shady friends about some kind of heist. Your daughter is dating a sleaze and she’s threatening to move in with him. Your dying father refuses to listen when you talk about Jesus. When we see the people we love hurtling towards some disastrous decision which is only going to bring pain crashing down on their heads and ours, our natural instinct is to start praying for God to override the wills of other people. Read more of this post

Recovering from Abuse: Forgiveness vs. Reconciliation

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Hurting people hurt others—this is the human way. Abusers abuse for reasons that make sense to them. Often abusers feel like there are internal forces at work within them which are compelling them to lash out at others. When you’ve been the victim of abuse—whether it’s emotional, physical, sexual, psychological or spiritual—it changes you. The deeper the wounds, the more severely you become hampered in life. Healing from serious abuse often requires totally separating yourself from the abuser. It’s the same principle as running away from a man who is swinging a bat at you. If you want to heal from the bruises he’s already given you, you need to get out of his striking range. But once you separate yourself from your abusers, does God expect you to then return to them at some point and seek reconciliation? Isn’t reconciliation part of the forgiveness process? No, it isn’t. Read more of this post

Praying Down Your Enemies

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Arise, Yahweh! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. (Ps. 3:7)

Rise up, Yahweh, confront them, bring them down; with Your sword rescue me from the wicked. By Your hand save me from such people, Yahweh, from those of this world whose reward is in this life. May what You have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies; may their children gorge themselves on it, and may there be leftovers for their little ones. (Ps. 17:13-14)

Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the realm of the dead, for evil finds lodging among them. (Ps. 55:15)

Today Christians like to talk about the beauty of the book of Psalms. But in real life, there is an ugly theme of hatred woven throughout this book which results in a very polluted product. Certainly the parts where God is being praised are very positive. But this business about ordering God to wipe out one’s personal enemies on earth is just carnality run amuck. Read more of this post